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Embedding sustainability at Aston University
Aston University has made significant enhancement to its environment becoming a core green space within Birmingham city centre. It has redeveloped its campus grounds and has fully refurbished a majority of its 1960’s buildings stock.
Our absolute emissions have dropped by over 32% since 20015/06 without selling off properties through a wide number of energy saving projects including a large CHP energy scheme that provides heat off site to third parties and is in the final stages of being connected to Birmingham New Street Station. Aston was the first University to embed Sustainability into all of its subjects by having all second-year students attend a weeklong event called the Carbon Journey.
Finally, we have embedded sustainability into our core practices including procurement, catering and projects, which has led to us gaining a first in People and Planet Green League 6 years in a row.
Top 3 learnings:
1 Colleagues are our strength - recognise leadership everywhere to embed sustainability into and support cultural change.
2 Negotiate with senior staff - change has many faces so initiating change will differ from person to person.
3 Ask the Question - we couldn’t get anything without asking people ‘can this be done; when can it; why not etc.’ and we weren’t scared to push an idea to anyone. You may be surprised on the support you gain long term.
CO2t savings over the life cycle of the project:
3732 CO2t (since 2005/06) actual
The number one resource
for sustainability in post-16 education