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Sustainability Matters

As an educator and one of the largest employers in the city of Chester, the University of Chester prides itself on its history and values. In an ever-changing Higher Education landscape, it is vital that the University truly embeds sustainability as part of its educational, scholarly, and operational activities. 

The University of Chester is ranked 78th in the People and Planet University League 2022

Our students and the young people coming into Higher Education are demanding more in terms of climate action and what they want to learn and participate in, to create a sustainable future for ours and future generations. Consistently, over the last 10 years, more than 80% of students surveyed believe that sustainable development should be actively promoted and incorporated by UK universities, a belief which increases as they progress through their studies. As a university, the biggest impact we can have is through our students and through our Citizen Student Strategy we are committed to equipping students to be engaged citizens in an increasingly uncertain world and endeavour to equip them with the knowledge of environmental, social, economic, and political challenges and opportunities we will face in the future. 

Sustainable Development Goals are a collection of 17 ambitious goals set by the UN General Assembly in 2015. The 17 Goals are an urgent call for action to improve health & education, reduce inequality, spur economic growth - while tackling climate change and working to preserve the oceans and forests. We aim to align our activity within the sustainability strategy to demonstrate how we are contributing to these goals.

Reporting on Progress

Each term, the Sustainability Unit reports to the University's Health, Safety and Environment Committee. The committee comprises representatives from the Strategic Executive Team, Heads of Department, academic representatives, Professional Services, the Students' Union, and Trade Unions. Progress, challenges, and targets within each of the four strategic themes are presented to the committee who have oversight and input to the strategic development of sustainability at the University. At the start of the academic year a summary report is presented to Council and included within the University's Annual Review 2021 (previous editions are available on the Annual Review archive).

Sustainability at the University of Chester

Sustainability is not limited to our buildings and infrastructure, it is a part of every process, decision and action taken at the University and spans our academic Faculties and all aspects of professional services teams. For example, from how we purchase goods and services and the impact this has on our wider supply chain, to how we look after and value our staff.

We aim to not only minimise our negative impact, but to actively create collaborative partnerships within our local community and industry (Hynet and CREST) to build and develop initiatives that have a positive effect on the people and environment where we work and live.

The University acknowledges that there is a climate crisis and that it is one of the most significant challenges facing humanity. It is crucial we act to reduce our emissions to Net Zero, as well as identify ways we can adapt to the impacts that we will encounter as a result of the emissions already locked into the climate system. We are committed to implementing an Environmental Management Plan over the next five years which will enable us to continuously monitor and improve our environmental performance. Our five key areas below outline our achievements, activities, and plans for development, as well as opportunities for students and staff to get involved and contribute positively to our local environment and community.   

  • Heather profile photo
    Posted by Heather Johnson , Sustainability Engagement Co-ordinator
    September 13, 2022

    Waste and recycling at Chester

    Every year UK households throw away over 25 million tonnes of rubbish, less than 50% of which gets recycled. Here at the Univeristy we're preventing, re-using and recycling our waste for a better future.

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  • Heather profile photo
    Posted by Heather Johnson , Sustainability Engagement Co-ordinator
    August 31, 2022

    Sustainability at University of Chester

    We are at a critical point to take action on climate change, but, if we act now, we can all make a positive difference in creating a low-carbon future and meeting the goals of the Paris Agreement. 

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  • Go Green stall at Seaborne Library
    Heather profile photo
    Posted by Heather Johnson , Sustainability Engagement Co-ordinator
    December 18, 2020

    2020 Reflections

     Heather Johnson, from our Sustainability Unit reflects on 2020 and looks forward to how we can make 2021 the year for positive change, not only for ourselves but also for our planet.

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  • sustainability, green chester, trees, climate change
    Tamara profile photo
    Posted by Tamara Hunt , Sustainability Manager
    June 3, 2020

    Green Chester: Putting Sustainability at the Heart of the University

    Tamara Hunt from our Sustaibility Unit tells us how, despite COVID-19 and the lockdown, sustainability remains at the top of the University's agenda.

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