We’re officially a Cycle Friendly Employer!

The Cycle Friendly Employer scheme, run by Cycling UK, is a framework for employers to promote and enable cycling at their workplace. Earlier this year we have achieved the Gold Award!

Following an audit at the end of last year, we are delighted to announce that the University of Salford received the Gold Award! The judges were impressed with our university’s commitment to improving the facilities for cycling, increasing the number of available parking spaces from 362 to 500, and further to nearly 2,000 over the next decade.

Participation in the scheme supports our actions to encourage the shift to more sustainable travel by students and staff, as set out in our Sustainable Travel Plan

The criteria is based across 6 categories: Communication and Incentives; Coordination and Organisation; Service; Facilities; Parking management; and Customer Traffic. We have achieved Gold in all of these areas.

Feedback and scores from the judges will help us set ambitious targets and further improve our cycling facilities and encourage sustainable travel. The next steps will involve work around car parking and provision of additional cycling facilities, such as cycle maintenance stations across campus.

Read more about Sustainable Travel at the University of Salford here.

Active Travel at Salford and in Greater Manchester

Cycling at Salford

  • If you’re interested in cycling, join our Cycle User Group on Teams to stay up to date with all our cycling-related news and incentives!
  • If you’d like to hire a bike, the recently launched Transport for Greater Manchester’s Bee Network Cycle Hire scheme is available on all of our campuses – read more here.
  • We’ve also got an internal E-Bike Hire Scheme for staff, which we run in partnership with Manchester Bike Hire. It gives you a chance to hire an electric bike for 4 weeks for free to try it out on your commutes. You can read more and sign up here.

Ride It Out! with Enactus Salford

Enactus Salford are leading a project called Ride It Out! which will include weekly rides around Salford to encourage people to cycle as part of a group, whilst also teaching them about bike safety and maintenance. The routes are designed for beginners. Each ride will also include a café stop. You can bring your own bike, but they will also be offering FREE bicycle hire for those getting involved.

The next session, will take place tomorrow, 5th of March at 11am. Email Olivia Morris for more info or to sign up: rideitoutliv@gmail.com 

Active Travel in Greater Manchester

Transport for Greater Manchester have an Active Travel hub, where you can…

  • Get a personalised map of all the walking and cycling routes, green spaces and upcoming improvements
  • Find cycling tips on things like maintenance, security, commuting, as well as buying a cycle. You can also book free cycling training, and hire or buy a cycle.
  • Learn about the benefits of walking and how to make it a habit, and join your local walking group.
  • Read about the Bee Network –  integrated transport system which will connect buses, trams, rail as well as cycling and walking.

For longer journeys, here you can find more information about travelling by bus, tram or train in Greater Manchester.

Follow us on social media to stay up to date about active travel at the University of Salford:

Green Gown Awards Success!

winner-imageWe are very proud to annouce that the University of Salford has won two Green Gown Awards last week for community and student research projects at a prestigious ceremony in the cultural quarter of Leicester.

Established in 2004, the Green Gown Awards recognise the exceptional sustainability initiatives being undertaken by universities, colleges and the learning and skills sectors across the UK and Ireland as the education sector leads a path to efficiency, employability and better quality of life for us all.

The education sector is a critical player in ensuring the next generation is equipped with the skills and experience required to provide a sustainable future. The Green Gown Awards celebrate pioneers that are taking the bold steps that are necessary to develop resilience and adaptability and to showcase the education sector’s contribution to society.photo-4

Our Castle Irwell Flood Basin Project took home the best Community award. Floods from the River Irwell periodically devastate the lives of the families and businesses in the Lower Broughton and Kersall areas of Salford, most recently on Boxing Day 2015. The project brings together the University, local communities, the local authority and the Environment Agency in an innovative partnership to create a flood protection scheme designed to safeguard over 1400 homes and 500 businesses, provide a high quality 5.5ha wetland wildlife habitat and improve sports facilities for local and student groups. Check out a fantastic video about the scheme here.

We are also super proud of one of our students Danielle Butler, headshot-jpeg-dpi300who studies in the Sustainable Housing and Urban Studies (SHUSU) unit, also won in the Student Research category for her research which explored fuel poverty among young adult households. She was one of only three student research project finalists. You can watch a video about Danielle’s research here.


Although we didn’t win, our Choose to reUSe project was also shortlisted in the Facilities and Services category for realising savings of almost £0.5m over the last five years by reusing over 600 items across the University. Go here to watch a video about the Choose to reUse project. If you are staff at the University and have any items that you no longer need that could be reused please register and list them at www.warp-it.co.uk/UniversityOfSalford We are currently listing items from the old Adelphi building so similarly if there is anything you need for your office please check the website and if you know of any local charities, community groups or small businesses, encourage them to sign up and partner with us to claim items!

The judging panel consisted of over 80 representatives from the diversity of the education sector and experts in the various fields, including Universities UK, Department of Energy and Climate Change, PwC, WWF and the United Nations Environment Programme.

For more information on the Green Gown Awards please contact Rebecca Bennett on 54071 or r.a.bennett@salford.ac.uk 

Introducing our new team members!

A big welcome to new and existing staff and students here at the University of Salford. The Sustainability Team are looking forward to an exciting year ahead and hope that you are ready to get involved too!
Gillian Wright joined the University back in May as the Energy Manager, and Neva Mowl has recently started as the Green Impact Projects Manager. With a new team in force, we thought it would be a good idea to introduce Gillian and Neva, and find out a bit about them.

Let’s start with Gillian; we began by asking ‘What does your job involve?’
‘I am tasked with managing the amount we spend on energy and water, but also reducing the carbon footprint from our building use, as we have ambitious targets to meet. I do this by looking for energy saving projects such as changes to how we operate; encouraging behavioural change; and installing technology to reduce energy or generate renewable energy. This will help make the University more efficient with less reliance on fossil fuels and therefore a more sustainable operation.’


What did you do before starting at the University?
‘I have had several energy and environmental related roles and have worked in the energy industry since 1999, in various manifestations in private, public and third sectors. My last role was Head of Sustainability and Energy Carbon Manager at Sheffield Hallam University, before I took a year ‘off’ to volunteer in Africa. I developed environmental feasibilities for renewable energy and environmental management for organisations in Malawi and Cameroon.’
‘What does sustainability mean to you?’
‘When I went to University I picked Chemical and Process Engineering because I wanted to stop factories polluting water courses. I didn’t go into chemical engineering as at that time, the environmental impacts weren’t as recognised as they are now so I was quite disheartened by the whole thing! I recognise that the distance we have from the source of all the things we consume or dispose of is so great, that the concept of them even having an impact is completely abstract. I like to raise awareness of these impacts to encourage people to think before they act. In terms of the University, we have to demonstrate best practice in what we teach and how we operate, to give students the best toolkit to go out into industry and replicate those behaviours to maximise the impact.’

gillian-malawi‘Tell us a bit about you.’
‘I am a Trustee and Project Leader for Aidcamps International (http://www.aidcamps.org/home.aspx), which is a tiny UK charity working with Non-Government Organisations in developing countries, to provide schools and health centres through short term volunteering projects. Volunteers fundraise for the project and then travel to the country together to complete the building and hand it over to the community. In the last year I have led groups of volunteers to build schools in Ethiopia, Nepal and Cameroon, where I was honoured as Ya’ah (queen) by the local Fon (chief).’

Moving onto Neva; ‘what will you be doing at the University?’
‘My role is to manage the Green Impact project and other initiatives such as Blackout, helping to promote and embed sustainable behaviours across the University. I am really excited about this role and am looking forward to working with staff and students across the University. I won’t say too much about Green Impact now, as I will be communicating the details very soon!’

‘What did you do previously?’
‘Before starting at the University I delivered environmental education and engagement projects at various organisations. Over the summer I worked for the RSPB, connecting families with nature in their local green-spaces. Before that I worked for a waste education facility (Global Renewables), Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust, and The National Trust.’
‘What does sustainability mean to you?’
‘To me, sustainability is about taking care of all aspects of our environment and not being wasteful. I have always loved nature and the outdoors, which is where my interest in sustainability stems from, but I also believe that social and economic sustainability are important too. We all need to live in a way that we meet our own needs, without compromising the ability of future generations to meet theirs. We need to make sustainability a part of everything we do, so educating people that they all have a role to play is really important. By changing the way we do things, we can collectively make a positive impact to our environment and communities.’

neva-owl‘Tell us a bit about you.’
‘As I mentioned, I am a big fan of nature and the great outdoors. I really enjoy taking trips to go wild camping, walking in beautiful spots around the UK and I pretty much cycle everywhere I go. I also like a spot of bird watching and had a great opportunity to live in Hungary a few years ago, where I worked for an owl sanctuary. I carried out barn owl surveys and looked after owls in the aviary; the highlight was releasing a young long-eared owl back into the wild, after caring for it for weeks.’

We’ve been WARP’ing-it!


Around a year ago we launched WARP-IT at the University of Salford. No, it’s not a system to get us out of here very quickly!! It actually stands for Waste Action Resource Portal, it’s a redistribution network for items that we might usually dispose of.
WARP-it works in a similar way to Ebay or Freecycle but for organisations rather than individuals and makes it easy for departments to give away, loan or claim items unwanted by others within the organisation and beyond.
The scheme encourages reuse, saves money and carbon.
Over the last year we have saved a brilliant £100,000 by using the system (in purchasing and disposal costs)! This has resulted in savings in carbon and waste too as shown below and a return of 56 times our initial investment in the system!


We’re actually currently in 10th position in the national league table for total savings from the scheme!


But we can do more!!!! We want to get to one of those top positions and we need the help of our staff!
What you can do…
1. Register yourself
As a staff member please register on the system by visiting our homepage here: www.warp-it.co.uk/universityofsalford Make sure you book mark it. Hit the big green button which says ‘register’ now. Once you register you will receive further instructions. Also encourage your colleagues!
2. Claim an item
Before purchasing anything for your office or area, check what we have on WARP-it, there may be something you could use! Go to the homepage above, login with your details and select view items.
We launched the system with a free chocolate bar for new sign ups to claim…I think it may be time to do that again so you’ve got to be in it to win it!!
3. Donate an item
If you have any surplus items…WARP-it!
We take reusable furniture, fixtures and fittings, office consumables (such as stationery and ink jet cartridges), but any resource really. As long as it is legal it can be transferred (apart from electrical items).
4. Register a charity
Are you involved with a local charity, community group, faith group or club? Are you looking for office furniture or other resources for your charitable social purpose activities? Look no further! Warp It facilitates the legal and safe transfer of surplus assets to charities and social groups for free.
To sign your local community or charity group up for free visit www.warp-it.co.uk/charities You have to be a charity , social enterprise, community or faith group delivering a social objective to join. So sports clubs, scouts and brownies and any groups serving a social or charitable purpose can join.

Paul Britton, one of our Building Managers has done an amazing job adding on all the items for reuse from the clearance of Faraday building and so many department’s around the University have benefited from these, and some charities so a big thank you to Paul!
We do have some stores to keep items for a period but we are very limited on space so we are trying to redistribute items as soon as possible so please add your item as soon as you can (you can add the date to which it will be available) and we can try and match a recipient as soon as possible!

Thank you and look out for those chocolates!

We Sat Down to Stand Up for Farmers and #Fairtrade!

The thin months, the months of the big stomach, the times of silence – these are just some of the ways the farmers behind our breakfast describe the times of the year when they struggle to feed themselves and their families. Image

Millions of farmers and workers in developing countries are going hungry, missing meals or, worse, facing a year-round struggle to get enough food to eat, despite working long hours to provide for our breakfasts. This is why this year the Fairtrade Foundation had the theme for Fairtrade Fortnight of Sit Down for Breakfast, Stand Up for Farmers.
Seasonal hunger is common to coffee and cocoa farmers who harvest once or twice a year and have to make the money last until the next harvest. That’s to keep a family fed, clothed, housed, educated and healthy. On banana and tea plantations, poor pay leaves them with hunger throughout the year. Malnourishment, stunting, illness and infant mortality can be brutal realities when there isn’t enough food.

But by choosing Fairtrade, we can support a better deal for farmers and workers. This means they can have more control over their lives when times are hard and do something we take for granted ̶ put enough food on the table for the people they care about, all year round.

We were very pleased to be contacted by the Fairtrade Foundation to host their north west breakfast event to help highlight these issues. We worked with our partners at Salfood and were joined by a particular supporter of Fairtrade, Tony Rodd. indexYou may recognise Tony as he was a finalist on Masterchef last year and was best known for his amazing desserts and chocolate work! Tony told us that he supports Fairtrade as it’s a great way to enrich farmers’ lives and fantastic quality products and it’s as simple as choosing the product with the Fairtrade logo when you do your weekly shop. A big thank you for Tony for coming up from London to help with our event.

Salfood’s Head Chef Simon Spencer created some fantastic breakfast goodies with Fairtrade products including pancakes and waffles with jams, honey, syrup or chocolate sauce toppings as well as beetroot and chocolate muffins! Also Salfood’s Student Engagement Manager Misbah Haque did a fantastic job organising and creating a beautiful setting for us at our MediaCity campus. We were joined by University and Salford City College students as well as staff, I think everyone had a good time! Thanks also to our photographers Richard Meftah and Stefanos Pallebo and Laura Bailey who filmed the event for Salford Online who really captured the morning!


Check out more pictures of the event here and the film here.

The University is proud to be certified by the Fairtrade Foundation as a Fairtrade University. Part of this includes raising awareness of Fairtrade through events such as this but also, with the support of partners including Salfood, ensuring that we offer Fairtrade products on campus. If you would like to get involved in promoting Fairtrade or would like some more information/resources please just get in touch.

Wishing you all a great Easter break!

Bec @ r.a.bennett@salford.ac.uk

Springing Back!


It’s Bec here! As you can see we have been a bit quiet over the last year on our blog as i’ve been on maternity leave where I had 9 months to enjoy welcoming our second little boy, Owen, to our family, joining our eldest, Oliver. However, we will be starting to post more often to keep you a bit more up to date with our sustainability journey at University of Salford!

Thank You Shaun and Laura!

Firstly a big thank you to Laura Bayliss who covered my position and also (slightly belated) to Shaun Wykes our Green Impact Project Manager who’s contract ended while I was off. Shaun led a fantastic year with our Green Impact programme last year. We had more staff and students involved than ever and some brilliant results.
This year an estimated 500 staff were influenced by the Green Impact programme with over 80 directly involved in a Green Impact team. These teams completed over 600 sustainability actions through the year resulting in energy savings such as 32,500kg of CO2e from ensuring printing was double-sided, 90,000kg CO2e from having a lighting equipment plan and 3,700kg CO2e from using the stairs rather than the lift. Just these actions result in approximately £27,000 of savings on our energy bill! In addition 27 students were trained as auditors for the scheme receiving IEMA accreditation, over 40 students were trained as Project Assistants working directly to support the teams and over 70 students volunteered for the first University of Salford Blackout – a campus wide energy audit carried out in March.
Laura continued the development of the Sustainability Strategy, including leading some consultation workshops and got involved with lots of engagement initiatives across campus, especially in partnership with our new caterers, Chartwells.
I thank both Laura and Shaun for all their hard work and enthusiasm and wish them all the best for the future!

What’s happening now?Image

Having had some time away from the role, it’s been the ideal time to refresh, rethink and refocus! We are almost ready to launch our new Sustainability Strategy which will give a roadmap to how we aim to become a more environmentally sustainable institution. We do recognise we still have to tackle the issue of how to better embed social sustainability into this to have a truly holistic approach but it’s a great start and will provide a platform from which we can develop further.

Our key Strategic Priorities in the map include;

* Managing carbon in our estate
* Building a culture of sustainable behaviours
* Positively influencing sustainability in industry and business
* Sustainability in learning and teaching
* Our leadership for sustainability
* Embedding sustainability through collaboration

The tools we will be using to help deliver and monitor our progress with this strategy include the LiFE tool and EcoCampus.
One of the main keys to our success is effective collaboration – this won’t be achieved in isolation, our University community needs to come along the journey together. A paradigm shift throughout the University is needed, we need to think in a different way, to challenge and change the way we do things.

The Sustainability Map supports the University’s vision

“By pioneering exceptional industry partnerships we will lead the way in real world experiences preparing students for life.”

Sustainability is a major concern to global industry and tackling sustainability issues is a global challenge. At the start of this year the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development — adopted by world leaders in September 2015 at an historic UN Summit — officially came into force.  Over the next fifteen years, with these new Goals that universally apply to all, countries will mobilize efforts to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities and tackle climate change, while ensuring that no one is left behind. (UN, 2016)

The goals are a call to action, we can all do out bit. Now is not the time to rely on others to do it for us! As a University we are particularly well placed to take action to support these goals through our students, research and industry partnerships and our Sustainability Strategy Group will be looking at how to do this when we next meet.

If you would like to know more and how you can take action take a look UN Goals Take Action.

Always happy to chat more, please get in touch at r.a.bennett@salford.ac.uk

Bec 🙂

Green Impact 2014/15 !

Welcome back staff and students to another big year at the University of Salford! The sustainability team have a number of exciting initiatives planned for this year including the university’s involvement in Green Impact for a second year.

The team want to firstly say a big thank you to Charlie Spring for all the hard work she put in during 2013/14. Charlie spearheaded the inaugural year of Green Impact which was a huge success and a real tribute to Charlie’s work. She got eleven staff teams on board and supported them throughout the year. She also recruited and trained a number of students as Project Assistants and Auditors providing them with valuable transferrable skills and sustainability knowledge to assist them in their employment. We are lucky to be keeping Charlie within the university where she will be undertaking a PhD in food waste so we look forward to seeing her around. Thanks Charlie!

photoShaun Wykes – Sustainable Behaviours Assistant 2014/15

Our new Sustainable Behaviours Assistant for 2014/15 is Shaun Wykes. Shaun studied law and environmental science at the Australian National University and during his university years he was involved with sustainability on campus including organising events, working with other students on campaigns and writing case studies about the sustainable initiatives that departments were undertaking.

Shaun said, “I’m very excited to be working with the team at the University of Salford to continue the great work of Green Impact into its second year here. This programme is a unique opportunity for staff to follow defined steps to make real sustainable change within their department and for students to access invaluable work experience and knowledge.”

Green Impact is an NUS scheme which began in 2006, and has grown rapidly to now work with over 50 Universities and Colleges, over 100 Students’ Unions, and ever increasing numbers of community organisations, reaching over 44,000 employees across the country – all coming together to lessen their environmental impact.

The central team at NUS and the Environment & Sustainability Team at University will help support teams through the process, as well as providing a wealth of online resources to help make changes across the University.

Over thirty volunteer Student Project Assistants are being trained this week to provide extra support to teams and then next Thursday November 13th from 12-2pm Green Impact will be launched for 2014/15. The launch event will be held in the Students’ Union Activities Space in University House. This event is open to anyone interested in participating or wanting to find out more about the scheme. Please register your attendance by clicking here.

Bec Bennett, Environment & Sustainability Officer said, “We are very excited to be participating in Green Impact again this year. Last year saw some fantastic efforts by staff and student volunteers. We’re hoping to build on that with the development of a new workboGreen-Impactok, more resources and we have a great team of student volunteers all ready to be trained to support the staff teams! We have even introduced a new Platinum level which we know some of last year’s teams will be striving for!”

If you have any further queries email Shaun Wykes; s.wykes@salford.ac.uk or click here for more information and stay tuned to hear about more initiatives happening throughout the year.