Each month, academic, professional services and student sustainability leaders come together to discuss the ongoing sustainability work across the University. Each member of the Sustainability Delivery Group is responsible for organising, resourcing and delivering sustainability projects and embedding sustainable values throughout the institution. The breadth of departments represented allows the group to ensure a coherent approach across the University.

In October, this group met virtually to discuss the University’s sustainability strategy and keeping on track with the sustainability plan in the new student year and in the context of COP.

Project updates

Several projects have been ongoing and the group discussed the progress of these priorities:

  • Milk Churns: News of the transition to milk churns from plastic milk bottles was successfully covered with a piece filmed for BBC Look North
  • Travel Advisory Group: The group has considered the governance arrangements for the travel advisory group and the need to join up travel discussion with wider sustainability priorities.
  • Waste and Reuse Across the University: Sustainable consumption has been promoted in the residences through the freeshop and provisions for self isolating International Students have been given to charity for further use. Leafleting has also been significantly curtailed at the SU to reduce waste and an additional bin has been provided on the concourse during Freshers events.
  • People and Planet University League: The group has liaised with People and Planet regarding their 2021 sustainability league table. Several of the group’s appeals have been adopted by the People and Planet scoring. 
  • COP26 update: COP26 preparations were discussed, including the launch of a COP26 microsite detailing University activities and expertise. This microsite would profile academic experts ready for comment and analysis in the media. It will also highlight events that are going on at the University and local area, and provide a platform for blog posts on COP26, information on our sustainability research, and overviews of our attendees. 
  • Blog communications: Duncan Cameron mentioned he had been approached by The Conversation to write an article on the effect of soil degradation to food security under climate change.
  • Business travel: Work supporting an updated business travel policy has been reviewed by Disability Sheffield to ensure the policy has inclusion embedded throughout. Disability Sheffield will also be advising some examples to be used in a microsite to support disabled staff in navigating policy.
  • Energy efficiency updates: A new swimming pool cover which reduces heat (and therefore energy) loss has been incorporated into the S10 pool. LEDs have also replaced the lights in Firth Court and external lighting has been upgraded at Ranmoor and Endcliffe student villages to a greener alternative. The conversion to 100% renewable energy with Bryt energy has also been finalised with a fixed price to ensure protection from price increases.

AMRC Small World Consulting carbon audit

Small World Consulting and the Carbon Trust has been working with the AMRC as part of a review providing an holistic overview of the AMRC’s climate and related sustainability impact.

The work has highlighted that most significant impacts of the AMRC’s activities in terms of carbon are its supply chain (scope 3 emissions), electricity usage (scope 2) and commuting to site (scope 3).

Tackling these problems will require further work to identify the specific carbon-intensive elements of the supply chain and which pieces of equipment are driving emissions. It was also noted that this had taken into consideration a non-renewable energy supply which has now been converted to 100% renewables.

Sustain suppliers code of conduct

The introduction of the Sustain suppliers code of conduct was considered. This has been developed by the UK universities purchasing consortia, the eight UK consortia who created a formal entity to support collaborative procurement within Higher and Further Education. The suggestion of providing a cut off point on supplier size was agreed to help mitigate concerns for small suppliers.

The Delivery Group agreed to recommend the adoption of the code of conduct to the Sustainability Steering Group.