Sustainability Strategy 2016-2021: Enough for all, forever

Our vision

We will become a world-class, world-changing university where collective responsibility is taken to ensure we undertake our work in an ethical and sustainable manner; our staff and students will be empowered and have a clear understanding of the role they will need to play in order to bring about progressive change.

Mission statement

We aim to promote equitable treatment of our staff and students, and respect the places that we operate in (market place, community and environment), thus creating a university that is inspired to impact positively with regard to the health, wealth and cultural wellbeing of the world.

Our principles

  • Embedding sustainability
  • Engaging and Empowering; working collaboratively and sharing skills/ knowledge
  • Agility; to harness innovation and embrace change
  • Promoting efficiency
  • Continuous improvement

Sustainability strategy - overall goals

We commit to regular review of our performance in each of the areas outlined below; a defined set of indicators will enable us to measure progress over time.

Building knowledge and sharing best practice

We will:

  • Share best practice across our campuses, enabling staff and students to deliver positive change.
  • Provide training to ensure that staff and students understand the role they will need to play in delivering the sustainability agenda.
  • Communicate the need to act in a sustainable manner, across our campuses, in a coherent way.
  • Share environmental performance data (e.g. building-by-building electricity and heat consumption levels) more widely across the organisation, to enable staff and students to take greater ownership of the energy they are consuming.
  • Work with charities, voluntary and social enterprise groups,using our knowledge and experience to help them strengthen communities and transform public services.
  • Provide internships and learning opportunities to our students, wherever possible.

Embedding a whole-of-institution approach to sustainability

We will:

  • Develop robust management systems to ensure performance is continually measured against our sustainability targets, and that legislative requirements are adhered to.
  • Create a governance structure which ensures that all parts of the organisation have clear roles and responsibilities, with regard to the delivery of our sustainability targets.
  • Form collaborative internal working groups to address issues that are either ‘cross-service’ or ‘whole-of-institution’ in nature.

Becoming a positive force in the market place

We will:

  • Ensure that sustainable procurement practices are fully embedded with respect to internal operating procedures.
  • Require our external contractors and our suppliers to commit to sustainable business practices and to be capable of evidencing this commitment.
  • Place an increased emphasis on the purchase of local/regional and seasonal food, and support suppliers that promote the highest standards of environmental stewardship.
  • Increase the number of supported businesses that are contracted to carry out work on our behalf.

Respecting the environment

We will:

  • Improve the carbon efficiency of our estate and deliver an absolute reduction in our organisational carbon footprint.
  • Improve the water efficiency of our estate.
  • Utilise our buildings in a more efficient way.
  • Enhance the biodiversity of our different campus locations.
  • Hold ourselves to rigorous standards of environmentally friendly and socially responsible construction.
  • Reduce waste production, efficiently reuse resources where possible and improve our recycling rate.
  • Develop our campuses in a manner that encourages greater use of active and public transport.

The University’s impact on people and communities

The University is committed to addressing its impact on people and communities.

We are:

  • Striving to ensure that we are a model employer by; - Remunerating our staff in a manner that allows them to provide for themselves and for their families. - Promoting the health, safety and wellbeing of our staff. - Pursuing greater equality and diversity in appointments.
  • Working with the Students’ Representative Council to ensure we foster an engaging campus environment that is safe, inclusive and conducive to effective learning.
  • Strengthening our relationships with Glasgow City Council and other public sector bodies, in order to share examples of best practice and learn from the experience of others.
  • Respecting and reflecting the heritage and communities around us.
  • Fostering a growing volunteering culture amongst our staff and students that encourages involvement with a wide range of community groups, while allowing development of new skills and attributes.
  • Using our work to benefit and enhance Glasgow, the West of Scotland and the global community, wherever possible.
  • Developing our estate in a manner that enables our staff and students to flourish and ensure that it is open and accessible to the wider community. - Engaging widely with the local community as we progress with the planned redevelopment of our Gilmorehill campus.