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Launched in partnership with Chester Sustainability Forum, this initiative provides an opportunity for individuals and organisations to make personal pledges and support actions to tackle the Climate Emergency called by Cheshire West and Chester Council.

As part of the campaign, 10 green pledges are outlined, but individuals or organisations can decide which ones they’d like to commit to.

Pledge areas include: flying; car emissions; consumption; reuse and recycle; 100 per cent renewable energy; fossil fuels and high-carbon sectors; meat and dairy; food waste; protecting our trees; plastic free.

Tamara Hunt, Sustainability Officer from the University, explains: “We have chosen to focus on four pledges which align with a number of objectives we have set for the year, including switching electricity supplies to a 100% renewable tariff, improving recycling rates towards our 65% of all waste recycled by 2025 and encouraging more sustainable and active travel.

“We’re also working with our suppliers and staff across the University to look at what we’re buying and the sustainability credentials of our suppliers. Our Catering Services team continues to improve the sourcing of food products to provide seasonal menus, utilising home grown fruit and veg grown by the University’s Grounds and Gardens team and building back the allotment with the student-led Welly Wednesday group. They’ll be launching Kale Yeah! an initiative to promote plant-based diets, with ‘Meet the Suppliers’ events planned throughout the new academic year.

“However, we are conscious that the biggest impact we can make to the Climate Emergency is through educating future leaders, educators and decision makers to understand the science of climate change and equip them with the knowledge and skills to act in order to avoid the worst impacts of climate change and set us on a path towards a more sustainable future. Which is why we are starting to deliver Carbon Literacy training to staff and students and plan to extend this to our local community thereafter.”

Clare Harrison, Deputy Chief Executive of CWVA, added: “We’re delighted the University of Chester is supporting our Green Pledges campaign.

“Our campaign is all about making people and organisations, particularly those in the community sector, think about what they can do to help tackle the Climate Emergency. Having such a large organisation like the University of Chester supporting our campaign is fantastic and will hopefully encourage others to get involved.

“Our partnership with the University has gone from strength to strength during the pandemic and this is another way we’re able to work with one another.”

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