We are committed to reducing our environmental impact and improve sustainability across our campus

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The University's campuses feature a mosaic of different habitats, including grassland, hedgerows, ponds and woodland. As a University, we hold people, the planet and all living things in the highest regard. Our strategy commits us to reducing our environmental impact and improving sustainability across the institution. Our third strategic priority for 2015 to 2020 is sustain - we are committed to making a positive environmental impact and contributing to a sustainable future. This is reflected across the institution – from the curriculum to our estate to the food we serve on campus.

Our approach and ethos has resulted in us winning a variety of awards for our sustainability initiatives, including: 

  • Social Enterprise Gold Mark 2017
  • British Quality Foundation Sustainable Future Award 2016
  • Green Impact National Award for Innovation and Engagement (Marshall Rose Library) 2016
  • Winchester Carbon Smart Gold 2015
  • British Quality Foundation Sustainable Future Runner Up 2014
  • Winchester Eco Business of the Year Award 2013
  • Winchester Eco-Business of the Year 2012
  • South Coast Eco-Business of the Year Award 2012

Our Carbon Management Plan Progress Report and Environmental Strategy Report are received and approved by the Board of Governors each year. The University is a signatory to the Talloires Declaration on the International Association of University Leaders for a Sustainable Future. All of which are used for internal training and monitoring. 

Our environmental initiatives

Environmental strategies and governance documents

You can view our strategy and policies by visiting our policies and procedures section.

Biodiversity

These are havens for wildlife - from nesting swifts to mining bees, to hedgehogs and the rare white helleborine orchid. There are also green roofs on The Stripe and St Alphege, a Green Wall on the Performing Arts Centre, wildlife ponds and student and staff allotments to encourage staff and students to grow their own food on campus.

Allotment

The University's Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) sets out the University's plans to create and enhance habitats and support wildlife across our campuses. We implemented our first BAP in 2012 in partnership with Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust. Projects completed included the creation of a wildlife pond, a butterfly garden, the allotments, wildflower planting and native hedgerow planting. The BAP was updated in 2016 and The Wildlife Trust undertook a suite of surveys of King Alfred and West Downs campuses during the summer of 2016 and developed a new set of actions and projects.

BAP projects completed in 2016/17

In conjunction with the Wildlife Trust and the Students' Union, students and staff volunteers have taken part in bat surveys and small mammal monitoring, sycamore clearance in our wooded copse and pond clearance. We have put up six additional bat boxes around campus, created new hedgehog highways through our boundary fences and developed new long grass habitats by reducing mowing regimes.

Education for Sustainable Development

Our Vice-Chancellor is leading the strategy to embed climate change education and sustainability into every degree course at the University.

Education for sustainable development

We want all students to graduate from the University with an understanding of how climate change is relevant to their subject area and their everyday lives and what they can do to address the effects. Our Climate Change Education Strategy was approved by the Board of Governors in 2017.

The University will be implementing the NUS Responsible Futures programme in 2017/18 to embed sustainability and social responsbility across the formal and informal curriculum. We have been a member of the NUS Dissertations for Good initiative since 2016 and actively encourage students to partner with off-campus organisations and collaborate on dissertations and research projects themed around ethical, environmental, social or economic sustainability.

Education for responsible management

The Winchester Business School was an early and active signatory to the United Nations Global Compact, Principles of Responsible Management Education (PRME) in 2008 and is proud to have played a leading role in the development of the PRME Regional Chapter.

In 2012, the Business School established The Centre for Responsible Management to bring together the private, public and civil society sectors to develop a community of practice, dedicated to the creation of a more equitable and sustainable economy and society.

In January 2016, Winchester was invited to become a PRME Champion School (one of only three in the UK) to contribute to thought and action leadership on responsible management education in the context of the United Nations sustainable development agenda. The Business School hosts the PRME Secretariat and Chairs the Steering Group.

Ethical Investment

The University has made a commitment to environmental sustainability through the implementation of its ethical investment policy and is currently engaging on a revision of its investment portfolio to ensure funds are fully divested, favouring investments with institutions that identify with our five positive ethical assessment criteria:

  • Responsible employment practices
  • Best corporate governance practice
  • Conscientiousness with regard to human and animal rights
  • Sustainable environmental practice
  • Sensitivity towards the communities in which business operates

How do we divest our surplus funds?

The Ethical Investment Policy governs how the University invests its surplus funds, including how it ensures that investments are diversified, financially safe, ethical and compliment the University's values.

To date the University has divested £5million into the Nationwide Building Society which is recognised as a green, ethical fund by the EIRIS Foundation (Ethical Investment Research and Information Service). The divested funds include all University of Winchester endowment funds. The University continues to review its treasury management, in light of the Ethical Investment Policy, as funds on long term deposits mature for reinvestment.

We have signed People and Planet's Fossil Free declaration and made a full divestment commitment. We have no investments in fossil fuels and receive no research funding from the fossil fuel industry.

Recent discussions on amendments to the Treasury Management Policy and future investment options and are detailed in the excerpt from the Finance and Audit Committee meeting minutes, linked below.

Further details about our Finances can be found on our Winchester Facts and Figures page.

The University gained Fairtrade University status in 2007 and accreditation by the Living Wage Foundation in 2015 as a Living Wage employer.

Find out more

See our policies and procedures section for all our official documentation.

Staff and Student Engagement

We encourage all students and staff to live and work sustainably and reduce their environmental impact and there are many opportunities to be involved in initiatives and activities taking place on campus.

Student and staff inductions 

During Welcome Week in September, we hold daily talks on our Green Campus initiaitives and Green Travel options. All enrolling students are encourage to attend. Find out about this year's talks in the Headstart schedule on pages 10-13 of the Undergraduate Welcome Pack and Postgraduate Welcome Pack, or download from the Registration Information page.

All new staff are given an environmental induction as part of their University induction programme and all departmental level inductions include an environmental checklist for line managers to work through with new starters.

Go Green Week 

The University hosts an annual Go Green Week in collaboration the Student Union. The most recent Go Green Week in November 2016 featured a full and exciting programme of activities including the green Fairtrade pop-up cafe, wildlife pond work party, meat-free Wednesday, the Bike Doctor, the bike auction and the big recycling giveaway!

Campus Blackout 

The University's twice-yearly Campus Blackout sees teams of staff and student volunteers switch off computer monitors, lights, printers and other small power in offices and teaching rooms across King Alfred and West Downs campus on a Friday night. This allows us to demonstrate the positive impact our collective actions can have on the University's carbon footprint and energy bills. The November 2016 Campus Blackout weekend achieved a 19% reduction in energy use overall in the buildings selected (compared to a baseline average of the previous two weekends' energy use). The March 2017 Campus Blackout realised an 8% saving. The decrease in energy saved may have been a result of more staff remembering to switch off their equipment when leaving the University.

Saving energy in halls 

The University takes part in the NUS Student Switch Off scheme every year to encourage students living in halls on campus to save energy and recycle more in their flats. We also run annual Pizzas for Power and Burger Off! competitions. The flat in each hall that saves the most energy (demonstrates the largest reduction in electricity consumption) over the week of each competition wins a pizza feast and vouchers for the Gourmet Burger Company on campus.

JUMP and Green Impact

We have launched a new staff engagement programme for 2017/18 called JUMP Winchester. JUMP is on an online platform that encourages and rewards staff for being green in the workplace, as well as taking part in fitness and wellbeing activities on and off campus.

We have taken part in the NUS Green Impact programme for a number of years, supporting staff to green their offices and departments. In 2017, ten staff teams took part in Green Impact, achieving 4 Bronze, 1 Silver and 5 Gold awards. Martial Rose Library team won the Green Impact National Award for Innovation and Engagement in 2016, in addition to securing Green Impact Gold.

Working with our Unions

We are always looking for new ideas and suggestions on how to improve our environmental and ethical credentials. Members of the University and Colleges Union (UCU) and UNISON, along with all staff and students, are welcome to get in touch at environment@winchester.ac.uk.

Most recently, the University consulted UCU and UNISON representatives on 2016/17 parking permit charges on campus and was able to adopt their suggestions to adjust the charging framework by combining staff grading with vehicle emissions.

Travel and Transport

The University is keen to support all students, staff and visitors to travel sustainably and offers a number of green transport initiatives and discounts on public transport and with local suppliers. The University’s Travel Plan was published in 2016 and sets out our commitment to reducing single occupancy car use and encouraging a modal shift.

Cycling

There are cycle storage and shower facilities located across the University's three campuses. We host a monthly Bike Doctor outside the University Centre, in partnership with Bespoke Biking, where students and staff can bring their bikes for free maintenance checks and minor repairs carried out by qualified mechanics.

Students and staff are also entitled to a 10% discount on cycles and accessories at both Hargroves Cycles and Peter Hansford Cycles in Winchester on presentation of a University ID card.

The University's Cycle to Work scheme enables staff to save at least 30% on the cost of acquiring a bike and safety cycling equipment, up to a maximum of £1000. This means you can access great savings with numerous suppliers, including online.

Train

Winchester has excellent rail links and the railway station is only 10 minutes walk from the University.

For students, the University sells rail season tickets, which could help you save up to 20% on regular train travel to Winchester from your starting station each semester. The ticket can be used for unlimited journeys peak and off-peak between the starting station and Winchester, including at evenings and weekends. You can also break or start your journey at any station on the line between the starting station and Winchester.

One season ticket per semester.

A 16-25 Railcard saves a 1/3 on Standard Anytime, Off-Peak, Standard Advanced and First Class Advanced fares. You can use the 16-25 Railcard at any time of day but a minimum £12 fare applies on all journeys made between 4.30am and 10am Monday to Friday. The £12 minimum fare DOES NOT apply on travel at weekends, on Public Holidays, or during July and August. The 16-25 Railcard is valid for anyone aged 16-25, or over 25 and in full-time study. It costs £30 for a whole year and can be purchased online or over the counter at all staffed National Rail stations. If over 25, you will need to have your application form completed by your University tutor or faculty administrator.

The University is a member of easitHAMPSHIRE and all staff are eligible for an easit discount card, enabling them to take advantage of numerous transport discounts, including 15% off all South West Train journeys into Winchester (valid on peak and off peak, daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, 6-monthly and annual season tickets).

Park and Ride

Winchester has four Park and Ride sites and the University is well-served by the service. The nearest Park and Ride bus stop is outside the Royal County Hospital on Romsey Road, less than a five minute walk from both King Alfred and West Downs Campuses. All buses on the service stop here.

Students and staff can save 85% on the service and travel for around £40-60 per year (just 50p per day) by purchasing a Park & Ride Smart Card from the University's online store using their University email address. Each Smart Card costs £10 and comes pre-loaded with 20 return journeys - covering both parking and bus travel. The Smart Card can be used on any day and does not have to be for 20 days of consecutive travel.

  • Travel to the University on the P&R bus three days a week, each semester, requires four Smart Cards, costing a total of £40 for the year.
  • Travel to the University on the P&R bus five days a week, each semester, requires six Smart Cards, costing a total of £60 for the year.

Bus

The Bluestar 1 service runs between Southampton - Chandlers Ford - Winchester every 15 minutes. Staff and students are eligible for a 20% discount on Bluestar bus 30-day and 90-day network tickets, covering all Bluestar services across Hampshire and Dorset, including the Bluestar 1 to Winchester and the Unilink bus service in Southampton.

  • 30 day network ticket: regular price £92 - save £18.40 - UoW price £73.60
  • 60 day network ticket: regular price £210 - save £42 - UoW price £168

If you're a student, the Stagecoach Unirider allows you to travel on any Stagecoach bus across Zone 1 (Winchester only) or Zone 2 (Winchester, Hampshire, Surrey and West Sussex) all day, 7 days a week. Unirider tickets can be purchased from the Stagecoach website using a University email address.

The Stagecoach Megarider ticket provides unlimited travel for staff on Stagecoach buses in and around Winchester. In addition to standard-price weekly and monthly tickets, staff can save 10% on the cost of 13-week or annual Winchester Megarider (main city area) or Megarider Gold (covering Hampshire inc. Romsey, Alton Andover etc) tickets. For more information email environment@winchester.ac.uk.

First Hampshire

Students can save 10% on monthly, termly and annual tickets and staff can save up to 20% on monthly bus tickets, covering all First Hampshire bus services in the county. 

Car Share

The University has its own car share scheme and staff and student commuters can join forces to car share and save money on their journey to work. Register on the car share database and find potential matches at. It's free to join and requires your University email address.

Car share permits cost £48 for the year. Dedicated car share bays are located in St James, the Dytche and West Downs Centre car parks and are reserved for car share permit holders until 10.30am each day. Car share to the Park & Ride and up to six passengers can travel on each daily P&R ticket.

Electric Vehicles

The University has both rapid and all-day charging points for electric vehicles installed at the West Downs Campus. Free permits are available to staff and students driving electric vehicles and all staff are eligible for a £10,000 discount on the all-electric Nissan Leaf Acenta through the easitHAMPSHIRE scheme.

Green Transport Loan

Staff are able to apply for an interest-free green travel loan of up to £3000 a year to purchase the following;

  • A bicycle and safety accessories. (cannot be combined with the Salary Sacrifice Scheme)
  • A Moped or Scooter (excluding motorcycle) up to 1250cc
  • A Season Rail Ticket (This can be combined with the EASIT discount of 15% off train travel
  • A season ticket on Stagecoach bus services
  • Student Commuter Society
  • Student Commuter Society

Student Commuter Society

The Student Commuter Society was formed to help link commuting students together, who may share similar circumstances and don't always find it easy to immerse themselves in university life because of outside commitments.

The Commuter Society's Lounge on campus is designed to give commuting students a 'home from home' with comfy sofas, a dining area, a kitchen with a kettle, microwave, fridge, lockers, a shower, a silent study room with a printer and PCs that are linked to the University network. The Society runs events throughout both semesters, at different times to make them as accessible to as many commuters as possible.

Waste and Recycling

The University is in an innovative waste and recycling contract with the Universities of Southampton, Solent, Portsmouth, Bournemouth, Bournemouth Arts and Southampton City College. Together, we form the South Coast Affinity Group (SCAG) and share our services, expertise and vision of waste management, focusing on reuse and recycling.

The University's recycling rate in 2016/17 was 60%, up from 14% in January 2009. We achieved zero waste to landfill in 2013 and all waste which cannot be recycled is sent for energy recovery.

We operate a two-bin system across campus and in halls of residence for dry mixed recycling and general waste.

The current SCAG waste contract features a number of innovations. All low-grade plastics collected in the recycling stream are sent to an end-of-life plastics facility and converted into kerosene and diesel, used by the contractor as fuel in their refuse collection vehicles.

Food waste from our catering outlets and office kitchens is sent for Anaerobic Digestion and our waste cooking oil is converted into Bio-diesel. We collect milk bottle tops for New Forest Mencap and there are Gum-drop bins located across the campuses for recycling chewing gum.

Reducing our coffee cup waste

Throughout 2016/17 the University has been working to reduce its disposable coffee cup use. Since introducing a 25p surcharge on hot and cold drinks in November 2016 and giving away 3000 reusable cups to staff and students in March 2017, we've saved over 25,000 disposable cups from being used on campus! An average of 33 drinks in 100 are now served in a reusable cup, up from just 3 in 100 in 2015/16. Our reusable cups are Gum-tec Americano mugs - made of 20% chewing gum (around 42 pieces per cup). The chewing gum we collect on campus is sent to Gumdrop to then be recycled into the Gum-tec mugs. A great example of closed-loop recycling in action!

This initiative has been shortlisted for a 2017 Green Gown Award. 

Bag It Up

Between April and June the University runs an end-of-year move-out project, supporting students to donate unwanted items to a good cause when they move out of halls of residence. Students are provided with bags and stickers for clothing, bedding, homeware, kitchenware, books and other items. Bags are collected weekly from halls and donated to Emmaus Hampshire - a social enterprise community for the homeless based in Winchester.

In 2017, we donated 739 bags of items to Emmaus Hampshire, weighing in at 3.3 tonnes. In addition, 40 bags containing unopened packets and tins of food were donated to Southampton Basics Bank.