What is sustainability at UEA?
At UEA we are working to create a university now that will be even better in the future. The UEA Sustainable Ways vision is one of a resilient university – where consumption is efficient and self-generated energy supports low carbon goals, supported by a vibrant community of world-leading researchers and inspired graduates.
At a basic level, sustainable development at UEA means that we try to balance the ‘three pillars’ of environmental, economic and social elements.
We challenge our environmental impact through on-site energy generation and a district heating and cooling network, reducing our reliance on grid electricity and therefore fossil fuels. We promote and use recycled and ‘eco’ products such as biological cleaning materials. We champion local suppliers and ethical causes, including Fairtrade and vegan products. We seek to ensure value for money in a holistic, whole-life costing sense in our new buildings and procurement contracts.
UEA’s Sustainability Team is part of the Estates and Buildings Division.
UEA's environmental management system, covering teaching, research and operational activities, successfully achieved ISO 14001 and the EcoCampus Platinum Award in May 2015. ISO 14001 is the international standard for environmental management systems and helps to control activities at UEA that could have an impact on the environment, as well as ensuring legal compliance.
The Future Skills Initiative is shaping education for sustainable development (ESD) at UEA. Developed from initial funding from HEA in 2013, the initiative is working to embed sustainable development principles into curricula, and interdisciplinary life skills in UEA’s future graduates.
The UEA Living Lab is developing the University of East Anglia campus as a site for applied teaching and research around sustainability and low carbon. This programme provides a platform for collaboration between researchers, students, and the Estates and Buildings Division to develop and monitor innovative, sustainable practices and technologies through student projects in real world settings.
The Green Impact programme sees teams from across UEA challenge their School or Department to improve its sustainable credentials. An online toolkit guides teams through a range of actions to an end of year celebration of achievements and the resulting awards. Central campaigns, such as holiday shut-downs or awareness day events, support a whole-University approach to energy saving and other initiatives.
Staff (Sustainability Champions) and students (CarbonCrew Students) work with Estates to support environmental initiatives across the campus. With ongoing Estates support, staff and student members become part of an active Sustainability Network who share knowledge and best practice.
The Sustainability Network provides a local focus for environmental and energy issues, and to help encourage friends and colleagues to make small changes to everyday practices that will collectively make a difference across UEA.