The University’s new Lanarkshire Campus, winner of the Guardian University Awards’ Buildings That Inspire, was designed with efficiency in mind – electricity is derived from Blantyre Muir windfarm, with supply supplemented by photovoltaic panels, and toilets are fed by rainwater harvesting. The campus is carbon neutral for energy – a significant shift from the former Hamilton Campus which accounted for 22% of the University’s overall carbon footprint (1,842 tonnes of CO2e).
A 25-pence charge for single-use coffee cups at University catering outlets means 50% of customers now bring their own reusable cup – compared to 3% before the charge was introduced. The University, in partnership with Coffee Conscience, also roasts its own coffee beans on-site in Lanarkshire and Paisley – and has planted 308 trees to offset carbon emissions through the coffee partnership. Catering outlets have also introduced more vegan and vegetarian options, including Meat Free Mondays, to reduce food carbon.
The University’s fleet of cars have been replaced by all electric or hybrid vehicles, while vans are new and more efficient, and the University minibuses have improved accessibility too. Sixty sustainability-focused research projects are also underway, with a value of £4.4million.
UWS Principal and Vice-Chancellor Professor Craig Mahoney said: “UWS takes its responsibility around sustainability very seriously – and this is of particular importance in the current unprecedented international coronavirus situation. Collectively, we have an obligation to embed sustainability across our key functions of learning, teaching and research and to ensure we are fostering a commitment to sustainability in our staff and student populations."