Save it!

Save it!

Save It! is the University's carbon reduction awareness-raising campaign. If you have ideas to help us Save It! please send an email to:

The University is aware that it can play an important role in protecting the environment and in the development of a fair and inclusive society at local, national and international levels.

We aim to achieve this through a commitment to ethical principles and the adoption of good practice in teaching and learning, and in research. We believe that the same principles should guide the management of activities that underpin these on a day-to-day basis and that we also have a responsibility to the wider community. 

To acknowledge and highlight these commitments, the University has joined other leading universities around the world in becoming signatories to the Talloires Declaration and the Copernicus Charter. Relevant policies include:

The Carbon Management Committee has been established to progress all carbon-related projects and initiatives, and to advise SMG on the implementation of the University's Carbon Management Plan, and Strategic Travel Plan.  To drive the adoption of good practice, the University has appointed Green Champions across the Colleges and Services:

Additionally, the Glasgow Sustainable Development Network brings together all staff involved in sustainability-related research across the University, and links with campus sustainability initiatives in transport, energy, waste and biodiversity.




The University has made significant efforts to reduce its carbon footprint and was the first in Scotland to attain energy efficiency accreditation status by complying with the national benchmark standard for energy efficiency

Save It! Energy  As a signatory to the Talloires an Copernicus declarations, the University of Glasgow has made a commitment to the protection of the environment, conservation of natural resources and to sustainable development.

This is reinforced by the University's policies on Sustainable Development and on Carbon and Energy Management.

The University’s Carbon Management Plan sets out the strategy for tackling the issues of climate change adopting a key target of a 20% reduction in CO2  emissions by 2014. The Carbon Management Plan is supported by £1.5m capital funding programme together with a Salix energy conservation fund of £650K. Three quarters of our electricity supply is generated from green sources, that is wind and hydro, resulting in a 26,000 tonnes per year reduction in CO2 emissions associated with the University's activities.

Over the last decade £2.5 m has been invested to reduce carbon emissions. The University has received numerous national awards for our success in reducing our carbon footprint including the 2007 Carbon Trust Low Carbon Buildings Award for the Scottish Centre for Ecology and the Natural Environment at Loch Lomond, the Cycle Friendly employer award in 2009 and Carbon Trust Standard accreditation replacing the energy efficiency accreditation scheme in 2009.

Main Campus utility costs are currently £8.6m, comprising:-

  • Electricity £5.5m
  • Gas £1.9m
  • Water £1.0m
  • Heating oil £0.19m

We are committed to continuing this tradition of excellence in energy awareness and today we are trying to minimise our environmental impact as much as possible. We also offer advice and encouragement on ways to save energy around campus, such joining in the worldwide ‘Earth Hour’ event, and organising events for the annual Climate Week.

Bert Young is our Carbon and Energy Manager, and is in charge of managing and implementing energy policy on a day-to-day basis. He can be contacted on


The University is committed to minimising waste and to ensuring that waste that we cannot avoid producing is dealt with in a way that is both environmentally and socially responsible, and which complies with legislation.

Save It! Recycling The Waste Minimisation and Recycling Policy affirms this commitment, and a number of procedures have been put in place to assist departments in complying with the policy.

Staff and students have been enthusiastic in their support of green initiatives on campus, and we now offer mixed recycling containers for all buildings on-campus. These can be used to recycle plastic, cans and paper. These containers and their lining are available by request from Estates & Buildings Helpdesk.

More information on recycling within the University is available on the Safety and Environmental Protection Services (SEPS) website:

Travel Planning

The University’s Travel Planning is one way to address the problems caused by car traffic, the Travel Planning webpages exist to help staff find alternatives to single-occupancy car use.

Save It! Travel planning By using our Travel Planning website, you can get advice on how to walk, cycle, car-share or utilise public transport to get to and from work. The service will also help to cut carbon emissions, parking and congestion issues, and save money. 

Recently, the University has carried out staff and student surveys on the Travel Planning facilities
on offer. The results have now been published on the Travel Planning website.

The following were highlighted as being of concern:

  • Staff desire more secure bicycle parking, shower and changing areas on-campus.
  • Requests for a scheme that supports ZoneCard customers to spread the cost of the season ticket over a year.
  • Low quality of cycle paths in Glasgow and perceived dangers of on-road cycling.
  • Low quality and high cost of public transport.
  • Students are concerned about the cost of travel and also wish for more secure cycle parking facilities on-campus.
  • Whilst the service was praised, the capacity of the SRC minibuses was seen as not sufficient.
  • Students wish more information on travel initiatives and facilities available to them.

Car sharing
Did you know that the typical commuter who car-shares every day saves themselves about £800 a year? Car-sharing is a simple way of saving some money, and doing your bit to help save the environment

The University provides a totally free car-share scheme where you can find others going your way. You can either take turns driving, offer someone a lift (in exchange for a contribution to the fuel costs) or look for someone to give you a lift. To sign up and find a car-share companion or two, just go to: University Journeyshare. If you are already registered, why not log on and check if there are any new requests or offers for sharing?

Cycling is great way to save money and improve your fitness levels, cycling to and from work could even save you time. To support employees interested in cycling to and from work, the University is running a cycle to work scheme, called ‘Cycle Plus, which allows employees to hire up to £1,000 of cycling equipment from the University.

Learn more about Cycle Plus, including how to apply and pay for the scheme, take a look at the Benefits Plus webpages: Cycle Plus

The University’s Travel Planning Service also have lots more information on cycling facilities on-campus on their cycling pages: Cycling (old)

Walking regularly can help to reduce the risk of developing heart disease, type II diabetes, and some cancers, it may also help to relieve stress. Replacing short car journeys by walking will also protect the environment and improve your carbon footprint.

If you are walking or cycling around the campus or the city of Glasgow don’t get lost! Take a look at the University’s Maps and Travel pages for more details:


The University was only the second university in Scotland to achieve the highly coveted Fairtrade status and we have always strived to develop and refine a policy that adheres to Fairtrade guidelines by supporting, promoting and using Fairtrade goods.

Save It! Fairtrade Fairtrade foods are served at all meetings hosted by the University and the student unions and a wide range of Fairtrade products are available and prominently displayed throughout the University. We have a Fairtrade policy, developed alongside representatives from Fairtrade, which further outlines our commitment to Fairtrade at Glasgow: 

Make sure to visit FairTrade online on Facebook or on Twitter.

Why is Fairtrade important?

The concept of Fairtrade dates back for over forty years, but the first Fairtrade label was launched in Holland in 1988. Called “Max Havelaar”, the label was named after a fictional Dutch character who opposed the exploitation of coffee pickers in Dutch colonies. After the success of Max Havelaar, the company was replicated in other countries throughout the late 80’s and early 90’s.

In Belgium, Switzerland, Denmark, Norway and France the company retained the name Max Havelaar. In the US, Canada, Germany, Austria and Japan it was known as Transfair, and in the UK and Ireland the Fairtrade Mark, but recently the Fairtrade Certification Mark has become the new international label, and all but three countries have adopted this. In the UK, as Fairtrade became better known, the Fairtrade Foundation was established in 1992 by Christian Aid, Oxfam, Traidcraft and the World Development Movement (CAFOD), and later the organisation was joined by the Women’s Institute; since then the Fairtrade Foundation has flourished.

The first annual Fairtrade Fortnight was held in 1995, to promote Fairtrade and commemorate the achievements of the Fairtrade Mark. Originating in Scotland, the Fairtrade Fortnight has had such success that it is now celebrated in many countries including Canada, New Zealand and Australia. 

Fairtrade has grown so much that between 2001 and 2009, the retail value of annual Fairtrade sales has rocketed from £30m, the equivalent of £1 being spent every second, to £799m. In 2004, Fairtrade won the award for Charity of the Year and in 2007 The Fairtrade Foundation was awarded The Directory of Social Change’s ‘Social Change Award’ in the category of Influencer.

According to the Fairtrade website, Fairtrade’s mission is to “to connect disadvantaged producers and consumers, promote fairer trading conditions and empower producers to combat poverty, strengthen their position in world markets and take more control over their lives.” Unfair trade rules deny poor countries nearly £440m a year, but globally, consumers worldwide spent £1.6bn on Fairtrade certified products in 2007 alone, directly benefiting over 7 million people in 58 developing countries. 



The University is nurturing a culture of sustainability across both student and staff populations. The student led Glasgow University Environmental Sustainability Team, GUEST, connects practice to the centre of the university community.

GUEST works to raise awareness of past achievements and future initiatives, maintaining long term environmental values to the core of staff, student and university activity.   

The GUEST project is made possible through the support of The University Settlement, as well as Friends of The Earth Glasgow.

Sustainable Transport:

Bicycle Promotion and hire scheme, Aviation usage Investigation, Working with Glasgow Bike Station.


Willowbank Community garden and Glasgow University Wildlife Garden upkeep as well as biodiversity surveying of the grounds, investigating bee keeping on campus, allotment gardens and updating policy. 

Energy Conservation:

Investigating and arranging energy audits at the QM Union building, hosting energy-saving competitions in halls of residences, engaging the university community in how to lower their carbon footprint.

Recycling, Reducing and Reusing: Publicising the Glasgow University recycling campaign, investigating ethical procurement and Hospitality Services to foster a sustainable food policy.

To contact GUEST please email: