Since 2007 the university has had an Environmental Management System (EMS) EcoCampus, to provide a framework for managing our environmental responsibilities efficiently in a way that is integrated into all our operations. In May 2010 the university became the first in England to achieve the EcoCampus Platinum Award for the whole campus, its highest award. EcoCampus is specifically designed for Higher Education. We are also accredited with the international standard ISO 14001:2015 for the entire University on all it's sites, the full scope of the system is defined in the EMS Index. As new sites are acquired these are added to our EMS.
The University sees its commitment to society to be much broader than mitigating its negative impacts and focuses its resources on positive societal impacts of its activities. Higher Education has a unique role to play in this and it is one ‘area of distinction’ for the University. Therefore whilst noting and managing any potential harm, equal prominence is given to positive impacts and materiality. Sustainability education prepares people to cope with, manage and shape social, economic and ecological conditions characterised by change, uncertainty, risk and complexity. Teaching our students about this has the greatest societal impact. Materiality is a concept or convention within auditing relating to the importance/significance of something. In this context it assists in identifying the material aspects of this University, i.e. what from our operations has the greatest societal impacts. The assessment of what is material is a matter of professional judgment and we have utilised the wisdom of the sustainability committee to help set and identify these over a series of workshops. An example is shown here. This is the analysis of the risks and opportunities. Communicating and articulating about our purpose, key activities, direct and indirect sustainability activities with key stakeholders is very important. Key stakeholders and lead responsibility for this can be found here.
The multiple award winning University and local authority library and history centre The Hive is a BREEAM outstanding building and part of the University's estate. Learn more about this most impressive sustainable building and the services which operate from it by watching this video about how it was designed and built, and the reactions of the many users of this wonderful facility.