Sustainability – Bath Spa University

Want to know more about sustainability at Bath Spa? We recognise and cherish the unique spaces in which we learn and work. Discover our sustainability strategy, our Climate Pledge and more in these pages.

Our purpose is to make the world a better place, one student at a time. We do this not only through our education and research, but also in everything we do as a business. We recognise that this is a process of continual improvement and we're learning as we go.

Our Sustainability Policy sets out the aim to minimise our impacts and continually improve our environmental performance, and our Sustainability Strategy shows how we'll deliver this focused on seven key themes.

Our most recent annual report outlines recent progress and how we're doing across the board.

The Sustainability team at Bath Spa focuses on delivering the Sustainability Strategy across the University, but sustainability is part of every staff member’s role. Additionally, several Bath Spa colleagues are tasked with driving the University’s sustainability goals forward.

What we're doing

Managing our environmental impacts

We manage our environmental impacts through the internationally recognised standard ISO14001, which specifies requirements for an effective environmental management system (EMS) covering all activities and sites. Our environmental manual sets out the intended outcomes of the EMS and how we ensure compliance with the standard. Our environmental planner sets out our objectives, targets and responsibilities.

In July 2020, we became one of a small handful of UK universities to have been awarded the International standard for energy management ISO50001. This gives us confidence that we're managing our energy consumption and carbon emissions in the best way we can and supports our Net Zero Carbon 2030 target.

Supporting the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

We support the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and are signatories to the SDG Accord, a worldwide collaboration of universities, committed to delivering the Goals.

As part of our support for the SDGs, we're mapping our curriculum, research, business practice and partnership-building against the Goals, in order to understand where we're doing well and where we can improve. This is our first SDG report on progress so far. It's a huge task and there will always be much to do but it's helping us to play a meaningful role in making a better world.

Reducing single-use plastics

We've taken a number of actions on single-use plastics, and have produced a rationale for why we have taken these steps.

Using certified renewable energy sources

Since 2016, all our electricity has come from certified renewable sources. 20% of our electricity is purchased under a power purchase agreement (PPA) directly from a UK wind farm. The other 80% is purchased from the REGO scheme. We're working with our energy provider to secure 100% electricity directly from new wind and solar.

Bath Spa biodiversity network

The Bath Spa Biodiversity Network will be made of representatives from academic and facilities staff, as well as students and the Students Union, with the following aims: 

  • To continuously improve biodiversity at Bath Spa University’s campuses and ensure there is a safe space for nature
  • To monitor Biodiversity levels 

The network will achieve these long term aims through the following tasks: 

  • Biannual Bioblitz
  • Annual Riverblitz
  • Hedgehog surveys and continuing the work of the Hedgehog Friendly Campus
  • Applying for relevant biodiversity focused awards e.g. Green Flag Awards / Nature Positive Universities
  • Bulb planting
  • Maintaining allotment crop rotation
  • Continuing engagement activities 

The network will be facilitated by the Sustainability Coordinator with direction from the Grounds Manager. All students and staff will be welcome to join and contribute to the network. 

The network will meet every 3 months for a general meeting, with following meetings and planning sessions being scheduled when appropriate. 

General questions for the network should be directed to

Eco Champion scheme

This is a staff scheme to ensure integration of the Sustainable Development Goals throughout the University and provide the opportunity to share new policies and ideas. Key responsibilities are to:

  • Assist with the development and delivery of the Carbon Literacy Training programme
  • Disseminate any changes to policy, practices and staff benefits focused on sustainability
  • Share and take responsibility for department/school responses to the Travel Survey
  • Coordinate the enhancement of the Sustainable Development Goals within the curriculum of employee’s department
  • Relay any ideas or concerns highlighted by colleagues to the Sustainability Team

Any staff member with a passion and drive for sustainability is welcome to join the Environment Champion Network. We aim to have at least once representative from each department and school across all Bath Spa campuses. 

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Bath Spa University first class award in the People and Planet University league 2022-23

17th greenest UK university

Finalist of the 2023 UK and Ireland Green Gown Awards

Green Gown Award Finalist 2023

Social Enterprise Gold Mark accredited for outstanding practice logo

Social Enterprise Gold Mark

Fairtrade University and College Award

Fairtrade University

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