The University for the Creative Arts (UCA) is committed to reducing the environmental impact of its activities through its teaching, research and the day to day operations.
A commitment to sustainable development is highlighted in UCA’s Strategic Plan 2013-18. Strategic leadership responsibility for Sustainability is held by the Vice Chancellor (VC) and operational responsibility is held by the Director, Estates & Facilities (E&F).
UCA has established an Environmental and Social Sustainability Policy that is overseen by the Environmental and Social Sustainability Working Group (ESSWG), which was established in 2012. ESSWG is composed of representatives from academic and professional service departments and the Students Union and meets three times each year. Since October 2015, ESSWG has been chaired by the Director of The Centre for Sustainable Design®, UCA who reports to the VC on progress.
A survey of UCA students in 2015 found that 72% of students wanted to learn more about sustainability and three fifths of students were amenable to the inclusion of sustainability issues in their courses.
Since 2014/15, UCA’s Learning and Teaching Committee has held responsibility for developing plans for the integration of Education for Sustainable Development in all course curricula over a two-year period. Addressing the challenges of Sustainable Development is one of eight commitments related to all courses that is highlighted in the Creative Education Strategy (Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategy).
The Centre for Sustainable Design® was established in 1995 at UCA Farnham and is led by Martin Charter, Professor of Innovation and Sustainability. The Centre has undertaken a wide range of international, national and regional research on sustainability, innovation and design - please see www.cfsd.org.uk/research. Current research interests include grassroots innovation and the emergence of community-centred workshops, the Circular Economy, eco-innovation and SMEs, and the development of localised innovation solutions utilising materials from waste plastic fishing nets and ropes, based in North Atlantic fishing communities - see www.circularocean.eu for more details.
CfSD’s international conference series on Sustainable Innovation is now in its 21st year.
UCA's Students' Union and UCA were presented with a Green Impact Bronze Award by the National Union of Students in June 2016 to recognise achievements in sustainability.
UCA’s third Carbon Management Plan was approved in 2016 and sets out plans to achieve a 37% reduction in absolute carbon emissions by 2019/20 compared to 2005 levels.
By the end of academic year 2015/16, UCA had reduced absolute annual carbon emissions (CO2e) from energy consumption by 29% compared to its 2005 baseline.
Improvements in energy efficiency have reduced carbon intensity (the weight of carbon emissions per square meter of internal area) from 75 kgCO2e/m2 in 2008/09 to 64 kgCO2e/m2 in 2014/15.
According to an independent league table (BriteGreen) of 127 English Universities, UCA is ranked 26th for percentage reduction in absolute carbon emissions between 2005 and 2015/16, and 7th for percentage reduction in carbon intensity (kgCO2e/m2). These are the highest rankings for any specialist arts and design university in the UK.
Since April 2013, all of UCA campus electricity has been delivered on a green tariff. A renewable energy source (solar panels) was commissioned at the Epsom campus in 2012 and in Farnham solar panels commissioned in 2017 are expected to generate almost two megawatt hours of electricity per year.
Recycling schemes operate on all campuses and directly-managed student residences, and food waste composting and collection services operate at UCA Farnham and UCA Epsom. In addition surplus used office furniture is donated to causes local to campuses. In 2017 nearly 200 items of office furniture have been donated to local charities in Farnham, including the Scouts, local residential care homes and a school.
UCA’s 5HARE car-sharing scheme is available at www.5hare.co.uk, and staff Cycle-to-Work and season ticket loans are available.
A draft Sustainable Travel Plan was developed for Farnham campus in spring 2017 and together with plans for our other campuses will be completed in early 2018.