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. 

Policy documentation

Below is a list of our policy documentation as well as the action plans and objectives and targets that support these policies. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sustainability Groups

To support the University’s Sustainability Strategy, the Sustainability Strategy Steering Group was formed, which is an interdisciplinary group of executive, senior members of staff, academics, student representatives and other professional support staff. It is chaired by our Chief Operating Officer, Neil Scott.

The Sustainability Strategy Steering Group prime role is to act as a focus for sustainability activities highlighted in the Sustainability Strategy’s three main objectives, Sustainable Campus (operations), Sustainable Communities and Sustainable Development in Academic Services. The group meets twice a year to discuss on going work to embed sustainability throughout the organisation. To support this group there are four sub groups that are in the process of development, which will focus specifically on the three main objectives.

Trade Union representatives are welcomed to provide their input and should contact the environment team if interested in finding out more about the group and getting involved.

The group allows staff and students the opportunity to get involved with the development and ongoing monitoring of various sustainability documents, including:

  • Sustainability Strategy
  • Sustainability Policies
  • Annual Sustainability Report
  • Responsible Futures accreditation
  • Carbon Management Plan
  • Objectives and Targets

The group membership consists of:

  • Chief Operating Officer (Chair)
  • Energy, Environment and Sustainability Manager (Secretary)
  • Deputy Vice-Chancellor Engagement
  • Pro Vice-Chancellor Education
  • Executive Director Business Engagement and/or Director of Strategic Regional Projects
  • Director of Research Strategy Funding And Impact
  • Executive Director of HR and OD or Associate Director - Organisational Development
  • Director of Estates
  • Director of EBRI and/or Government and Enterprise Engagement Manager (EBRI)
  • Director of Finance and/or Head of Procurement
  • Head of Careers
  • Low Carbon SME representative
  • Academic representation from colleges (research focused)
  • Students’ Union representative

Other sustainability groups include:

  • Energy Steering Group – looks at utility use, budgets and initiatives to reduce energy
  • Sustainable Transport Working Group – looks at supporting sustainable transport initiatives at the University, which includes members from Birmingham City Council and Transport for West Midlands

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:

  • Renewable energy sources
  • Behavioural change initiatives
  • Water reduction management
  • Sustainable Construction