Aston University is committed to integrating sustainability into all aspects of the three corners of our academic triangle, as stated in the missions: “delivering an excellent learning experience for our students, enhanced by the interaction with internationally recognised, relevant research, and linked to innovative support for local companies and engagement with schools and the community, involving students and staff in raising aspirations and attainment”.
The University endorses the World Commission on Environment and Development’s definition of Sustainable Development: Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
In doing so we will strive to reconcile the tensions which exist between the three pillars of sustainability – economic prosperity; environmental quality; social equity – both now and for the generations who will engage with the University in the future.
Through our Sustainable Aston Working Group, both staff and students are actively encouraged to help develop, provide feedback and monitor our Sustainability policies, targets and strategy.
Below is a list of our policy documentation as well as the action plans and objectives and targets that support these policies.
The Sustainable Aston Working Group is an interdisciplinary group of academics, student representatives and support staff. Supported by the Executive, in May 2007, the Sustainable Aston Working Group developed a vision, Aston’s Sustainability Aims (PDF), committing the University to the concept of sustainability in the three key areas of community, teaching and research. This was then further developed in June 2008, when SAWG established a Sense of Direction document, detailing key areas of focus for the future.
The Sustainable Aston Working Group's prime role is to act as a focus for sustainability activities across the University, fielding ideas, lending support and enabling action. Trade Union representatives are welcomed to provide their input and should contact email@example.com if interested in finding out more about the group and getting involved.
The group always aims to include student representatives. If you're a student with an interest in sustainability issues at Aston, please get in contact and we will invite you to the next meeting.
Please also get in contact if you have a research project you would be interested in looking into related to sustainable development at Aston University. Areas may include:
The University is able to provide funding for student and staff led practical sustainability engagement projects. Some of these projects have included:
If you have an idea for a project and would like to find out if the University can fund it, please get in firstname.lastname@example.org
The Estates Sustainability Group was created in 2016 in order to embed Sustainability into other Estates practices as well as have more senior level support. This group includes the Director of Estates, Head of Space Strategy and Refurbishment, Estates Engineering Manager, Head Of Estates Facilities And Resources and the Energy, Environment and Sustainability Team.
The group will go through the current status of the Carbon Management Plan and Energy Forecasting in line with ISO 14001 and ISO 50001 requirements.
As part of the Carbon Management Plan a number of projects have been identified in line with a budget of £500,000 per year for the next 5 years to help meet our targets. Furthermore a Salix Revolving Green Fund budget of around £80,000-90,000 a year goes towards smaller projects. Finally, there is a small awareness budget for events. All projects need to have a business case and go to University Executive Committee to be approved..
There are opportunities for other departments to highlight energy saving projects that would be funded through the above resource and this will be investigated reviewed on a case per case bases.
The Sustainability Team are keen to embed the University's initiatives within our teaching and learning objectives. A way which this is happening is offering students the possibility to work on projects that benefit the team as well as provide real world examples to the student. A list of potential projects can be downloaded here - however, these can be adjusted to meet the objectives of a students project.
Examples of existing projects that the team are helping students with include:
If you have an idea for a project and would like to find out if the University can fund it, please get in touch. email@example.com