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With the 2020/21 academic year marking the build up to the COP26 events in Glasgow, Net Zero and all things green were on our minds more than ever.

Catch up with El! 

Our former SU President is now studying for a PhD focused on green skills – here she tells us all about it.

Holding ourselves accountable

As a major employer, educator of the future workforce and large property owners, we recognise that we have a huge responsibility to set a standard for green and sustainable practices, and to live up to those standards.  We have committed to achieving Net Zero by 2030 and, to move towards this, from April 2020 we moved onto a renewable energy tariff, meaning that our CO2 reductions are certified and we know from where our energy has come.  We even found a way to recycle our old duvets (which are the second largest contributors to landfill)!  At the end of Summer, we delivered our first Carbon Literacy ‘train the trainer’ sessions to students and staff, meaning that we are well-placed to deliver this important training across the University next year.

Leading the way

The activities undertaken by our Citizen Students this year – supported by our dedicated staff – highlight how important (and possible) it is to embed a commitment to sustainability and Net Zero in every aspect of life. 

Some of our students led the way in making better choices for a sustainable world.  Our Fashion Design students were provided with sustainable and vegan faux fur by producer Ecopel and PETA UK to use in their final degree show collections, highlighting the choices we can make to support a responsible textile industry.  Ruby Cotter was awarded a full-funded PhD studentship through our Sustainable Futures scheme to propose an ethical framework of human food choice, considering particularly the way humans use animals for food.

In other areas, our students undertook research to better understand how we might challenge standard practices.  BSc Chemistry student, Harriet Jones, got the opportunity to work with a funded research team looking at how cooking and cleaning affect the air quality of our homes.  PhD student David Cann developed an experimental pilot in conjunction with PMW Research Ltd to demonstrate an innovative process that makes it cheaper and easier for businesses to reduce their CO2 emissions.

Got an idea that could help contribute to our Net Zero target?

Let us know about it by emailing!

Follow our progress @greenuochester on Instagram.