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Solent is committed to social justice and recognises it has an important role to play in promoting sustainability and improving the quality of the environment for students, staff and the wider community. 

How we're doing this

  • Trees
    The University has saved roughly 240 trees by printing a mini guide instead of a full prospectus.
  • Electricity
    100 per cent from renewable sources, such as wind, solar and hydro-generation.
  • Lighting
    Movement sensor low-energy lighting in lecture theatres, library and corridors.
  • Solar panels
    Solar Photo Voltaic (PV) panels are installed on the Spark building, the Sports Complex and at Timsbury Lake.
  • Water
    Water usage is being reduced by use of an online service providing continuous remote monitoring and leak detection.
  • Carbon management
    Working towards a 33 per cent carbon reduction target.
  • Student switch-off
    Since 2016, 1,239 students have taken part. This has saved 294,994kwH of electricity - the equivalent to boiling 9.2 million cups of tea, avoiding 142 tonnes of CO2 - the same weight as 1,420 baby elephants.
  • Awards
    Awarded EcoCampus Platinum and ISO14001:2015 in March 2019 for our environmental management system.
  • Fairtrade
    Fairtrade products are available for sale in all campus shops, and Fairtrade foods are used in all cafés, restaurants and bars on campus.
  • Buildings
    Major new building developments have been constructed to achieve the BREEAM Excellent environmental standard.
  • Wildflower meadow
    Our wildflower meadow won Highly Commended in the national Bees Needs Awards for providing food and habitat for pollinating insects.

To ensure progress is maintained, the University’s Environmental Policy includes a commitment to continual improvement in environmental performance through the implementation of an accredited Environmental Management System (EMS) at all sites. Developed through the EcoCampus scheme, with submission for the Gold Award in autumn 2016, the EMS will enable the University to achieve accreditation to the international ISO14001 standard.

The University’s Environmental and Sustainability Strategy provides a route-map of aspirations and targets, extending to all areas of environmental impact, including energy, waste, water, biodiversity, construction, travel, procurement and student, staff and community engagement.

The Carbon Management Plan formally sets out the University’s approach to tackling its carbon emissions. The University has agreed a target of reducing CO2 emissions by 33% (below the 2005/06 baseline level) by the end of 2020. A wide range of energy-saving projects have been completed and work continues towards achieving this ambitious target.

Staff and students play an important role in environmental initiatives. Members of staff are encouraged to join the long-established Green Impact programme, with achievements being audited by student and staff volunteers before the annual awards. Students participate in the popular Student Switch Off campaign, with teams in the halls of residence competing for prizes for achieving energy and waste reductions. For the past two years, the “Blackout” event has seen students and staff working together to minimise energy use by switching off all non-essential equipment over a weekend.

The University is committed to maintaining and enhancing the biodiversity of its estate, recently working with the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust to produce a Biodiversity Action Plan. A conservation management plan is in place for the University’s Timsbury Lake site, with progress monitored by ecological survey and assessment specialists.

Developments at the main City Campus are providing further opportunities to achieve lower carbon emissions, by incorporating best sustainable practices in design and construction. The Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) is being used to inform the design of new buildings, with the “Excellent” rating already being achieved on the recently completed Spark building.

Please go to the environment and sustainability pages for more information about the University’s sustainability policies, waste and recycling advice, community initiatives, contacts - and some useful energy-saving tips.

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Research

Solent is involved in and leading a range of innovative research projects into sustainability and green challenges, including:

Sustainable food policy

The University works closely with its contracted catering partner, Sodexo, to deliver quality and excellence with a strong ethical basis. The contractor is actively encouraged to review the service provision, assess and improve offers and continue to maintain the high standards necessary to meet the expectations of the University.

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Fairtrade

Solent University is a Fairtrade university, ensuring that Fairtrade products (including food and cotton) are available for sale in all campus shops, and that Fairtrade foods are used in all cafés, restaurants and bars on campus.

A Fairtrade directory helps staff and students locate where Fairtrade products can be purchased on campus. The Solent Fairtrade steering group works to maintain the University’s Fairtrade status, organising campaigns and encouraging the Fairtrade ethos through promotion and sale of Fairtrade products.

In partnership with the Solent Students’ Union, the University has implemented a Fairtrade policy which is reviewed on an annual basis.

The Solent Fairtrade steering group can be emailed at fair.trade@solent.ac.uk. More information about Fairtrade can be found at the Fairtrade Foundation website.

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Southampton City and Region Action to Combat Hardship (SCRATCH)

As part of the University’s commitment to the local community and waste reduction, strong links have been created with a local charity, SCRATCH. Students donate any unwanted items when they move out of accommodation, and the University also donates surplus bedding and other items.

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