Environment & Sustainability

Engaging in Sustainability

At UAL, sustainability has become a key part of learning and operations, with many courses dedicating time and resources to the teaching of sustainable practices and ideas while UAL's carbon emissions are falling.

This short video explains the importance of sustainability to the UAL community and outlines how you can help. 

In Energy and Environment, supported by the rest of the Estates team, we want to make sure that energy efficiency and sustainability is made a priority across UAL.

We have already made huge steps forward, with the rolling out of new energy efficiency measures designed to lower usage, as well as new processes for waste disposal, designed to increase recycling while eliminating landfill.

UAL has several platforms which allow both students and staff to engage in sustainability, they are:

  • Meet the tide logo.
    Logo: Energy and Environment in Estates at UAL.

    Meet The Tide

    A blog platform for students to engage in sustainable Art and Design, with monthly design competitions. Students can also see their own carbon budget, giving them their share of UAL’s total carbon output.

  • Green grass image for sustainability blog.
    (c) UAL image library

    Sustainability documentation

    Find information and documentation relating to UAL's sustainability, energy and environmental policies and plans

  • Electricity usage at Lime Grove depicted using cotton.
    (c) Energy and Environment

    UAL carbon dashboard

    Site managers and Estates staff can see just how their sites are performing. We hope staff outside Estates as well as students also use the site to see how their building is performing.

A chart showing UAL’s score card in the People & Planet University League 2016, where we ranked 36 out of 150 universities, receiving s 2:1 award class.

In 2016, UAL was ranked 36th in the People and Planet Green League with a 2:1 result.

UAL is committed to implementing a strategy that will improve our rankings on People and Planet’s University League. Read on to find out more about our sustainability initiatives and progress. 

How we are progressing

Environmental sustainability policy and strategy

Sustainability policy and strategy

UAL's commitment to sustainability is embodied in the UAL Strategy 2015-22. One of the key goals, delivering an inspirational environment, will be achieved by delivering sustainable new environments for our staff and students.

The success of this will be measured by UAL’s carbon footprint. This is one of the key selected indicators that UAL will assess itself against during the period of the strategy.

At a more detailed level, UAL has a comprehensive Environmental Policy November 2015 (PDF 117KB) with specific and achievable targets which is overseen by the Sustainability and Environment Project Board, a committee of senior staff members as listed on the UAL Sustainability Blog.

It was first published in 2013 and was updated in 2015 to make the targets more explicit and reflect the University's progress, for example, in attaining ISO 50001 accreditation.

Biodiversity

We want to use our central London sites to ensure biodiversity and habitat is improved within the city. Our Biodiversity Action Plan (PDF 1,301KB) assesses the baseline biodiversity of our sites and sets out targets for improving this. 

It is supported by a program of enhancing green spaces and bee keeping across our sites (see more on London College of Fashion's Green Spaces program).

Construction and refurbishment

UAL is committed to ensuring works improve our environmental performance. Our target in our Environmental Policy November 2015 (PDF 117KB) to achieve BREEAM Outstanding for Buildings over £1m and SKA gold for refurbishments over £0.5m is supported by the Design Brief for Sustainability Checklist (PDF 39KB)

Our first new building completed since the policy was released - a studio at Wimbledon College of Art - achieved BREEAM Outstanding, was shortlisted for a BREEAM award in 2015 and won the Ashden Award at the New London Architecture Awards in 2016.

Community involvement

UAL Sustainability has an online platform, Meet The Tide, which provides a blog and twitter presence to publicise and improve sustainability networks at UAL.

Specific colleges at UAL also run community engagement campaigns, in particular Better Lives at London College of Fashion.

Energy

UAL achieved its target to reduce carbon emissions by 22% by July 2016 - we redcuded emissions by 25%. UAL also acheived ISO 50001 accreditation in 2015 as evidenced by our ISO 50001 Certificate (PDF 118KB)

This was the culmination of the significant work done to set the energy baseline as outlined in the UAL Carbon Management Plan (PDF 543KB) and create a robust monitoring process. This is explained more on the UAL Carbon Dashboard.

Sustainable procurement

UAL acknowledges that our procurement is one of the largest impacts UAL has. Our Ethical & Sustainable Procurement Strategy (PDF 280KB) provides an overview of our environmental and social position on procurement and guidance on how to uphold these values.

Our work to improve our visibility of our supplier's supply chains through the CIPS Index was shortlisted for the Guardian's Observer Ethical Award in 2015 (see the shortlist). 

Travel and transport

Being based in central London, UAL does not own cars or have significant parking facilities at most sites. However, as we operate teaching spaces and offices across thirteen sites in London, we also have significant travel between sites.

The UAL Workplace Travel Plan (PDF 339Kb) encourages use of cycling and walking and web meetings to reduce emissions. This has been successful in reducing scope 3 emissions as discussed under Carbon Management section below. 

Waste management

UAL sends no waste to landfill. We have a target within our Environmental Policy November 2015 (PDF 117KB) to increase recycling and decrease resource intensity of our operations. Waste production data is collected and published on the UAL Carbon Dasbhoard web site. This is updated monthly. 

Water

We have a target to reduce water consumption by 5% on sites within our Environmental Policy November 2015 (PDF 117KB)

Water usage is also tracked and reported upon monthly on the UAL Carbon Dashboard. ‌

Human resources for sustainability

Senior management

Various members of senior management have responsibility regarding sustainability at the University. There is the Sustainability Advisory Panel, whose members include the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Chief Operating Officer), the Director of Estates and the Director of Finance. The panel’s role is to approve, implement, monitor and advise on strategies and policies such as the Energy Policy, the Carbon Management Plan and the Sustainability Manifesto.

Ian Lane, Head of Sustainability

Ian represents sustainability at a senior management level and provides strategic advice and policy improvements. Ian's role in UAL is situated in the Estates Department as shown in the Estates Organisational Chart. As the Head of Sustainability, Ian's role covers a wide range of areas - he oversees all topics covered by the SMART Targets 2017 (PDF 196KB)and leads on construction and refurbishment, sustainable procurement and travel and transport. Ian provides strategic input to the university's strategic sustainability agenda as evidenced by the policies on the Sustainability Documentation section of this website which are sponsored by Ian, such as, sustainable procurement, sustainable travel and biodiversity.

Contact: i.lane@arts.ac.uk
020 7514 9829
Full time

Rebecca Smart, Energy and Major Projects Support Officer

Rebecca's role concentrates on the areas of energy and carbon reduction, environment and UAL operations. Rebecca leads on ISO 50001 compliance and processes. She monitors the energy, waste and water SMART targets, as well as community involvement by managing the sustainabilty platforms which engage with students and staff.

Contact: r.r.smart@arts.ac.uk
020 7514 6125
Full time

Rosemary Willatt , LCF Sustainability Co-ordinator

Rosie coordinates operational and engagement activities at the London College of Fashion covering many of the SMART targets. She works to improve recycling rates, energy use, and awareness and engagement with sustainability. The role covers a range of topics such as education, research, energy and environment and she has a strong interest in biodiversity at the College and monitors green spaces such as the dye garden and the bee hives.

Contact: r.willatt@fashion.arts.ac.uk
020 7514 7846
Part time

Gary Campbell, CSM Sustainability Co-ordinator

Like Rosie, Gary's role covers many of the SMART targets by coordinating operational and engagement activities at Central Saint Martins College. Gary works to raise awareness and increase engagement with sustainability amongst students and staff as well as improving the College’s environmental performance.

Contact: g.j.campbell@csm.arts.ac.uk
07832 212872
Part time

Who's who

The Who's Who of Sustainability lists staff, students and alumni of UAL who are working on or have an interest in sustainability and it states their particular area of interest. This document can also be found on the intranet where it contains links to people's profiles which provide further details of their work areas.

A community effort

The whole university community is key to the culture of sustainable development and responsible for helping us achieve our environmental targets. You can read more about how staff and students contribute in the 'Staff and Student Engagement' section on this webpage.

Other resources

Staff are resourced with a Sustainability Budget 2016-17 and the details of future funding to implement the Carbon Management Plan V6 can be found here.

Environmental auditing & management

Environmental Management System

UAL has used many versions of Environmental Management Systems (EMS) to reflect the diverse nature of UAL activities. UAL has 18 buildings that are located across London, all offering an individual mix of learning, teaching and research activities. UAL Education for Sustainable Development offering is outstanding. To ensure our activities reflected this, UAL has used an EMS originally designed by the Environmental Association of Universities and Colleges called the ‘LIFE’ system. This inforgraphic shows our progess - LIFE Inforgraphic (PDF 591KB). We also complete the annual return to the Association of Directors of Estates for their EMS – the AUDE Sustainability Scorecard. You can se your scorecard here - AUDE Sustainability Scorecard (PDF 376KB). In 2015, UAL was awarded its first internal standard for quality management system called ISO 50001 (see certificate). UAL is one of only six institutions to have been awarded this ISO standard. The scope of our ISO 50001 system includes every building in our portfolio, covering every activity that is undertaken in our buildings.

In 2016, UAL completed a BS 8555 audit (see report). This year, we have conducted a ISO 140001 assessment (see report) to further enhance how UAL manages and audits its environmental performance and progress. We cover waste management, travel and transport, sustainable procurement, energy, water and biodiversity across each EMS.

Carbon management

Read about our UAL Carbon Management Plan v6 2017 (PDF 1391KB)

Scope 1 and 2 emissions

Scope 1 and 2 emissions are those due to utility consumption within our estate. Our major consumption is gas and electricity consumption on site.

Our performance against these can be tracked monthly on the UAL Carbon Dashboard website. We also report annually to HESA through the Estates Management Record process.

The energy monitoring system UAL uses is proven to be robust, as it has been accredited with ISO 50001 (UAL ISO 50001 Certificate (118KB)).

Our total Scope 1 and 2 emissions are tracking on target as shown in this graph of historical progress marked against the target to 2020 (Scope 1 & 2 emissions).

Scope 3 emissions

UAL has also set a baseline and target for reduction of Scope 3 emissions particularly those due to transport (Scope 1, 2 & 3 emissions). Our Scope 3 emissions are also reported annually to HESA.

Emissions from residential buildings

We report emissions from residential halls over which we have control.

Workers rights

Electronics Watch

UAL is a member of the London University Purchasing Consortium (LUPC). LUPC are a founding member of the Electronics Watch initiative to enhance the security and health of electronics workers. 

CIPS Index

The Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS) published an index framework to give purchasers more visibility on the supply chain of their products and services.

UAL has worked with our major suppliers to guide them through the CIPS Index. This has allowed us to push suppliers to consider their ethical responsibility more fully and allow us to distinguish between suppliers. 

Sustainable food

Agriculture and transportation of food have a big environmental footprint in terms of carbon and the impact on soil and biodiversity.

The UAL Sustainable Food Policy (PDF 313Kb) set out the goals for UAL to reduce its environmental and ethical impact through the type of food served, its location and procurement.

In 2014, UAL was one of the first universities to achieve Gold Standard under the Soil Association's Food for Life rating scheme as explained in this UAL news article. This means that all food served at UAL is assessed to high environmental and ethical standards including fish and seafood equal to Marine Stewardship Council standards. All meat is sourced from the UK and local produce is used where possible. 

UAL works with Baxter Story, our catering partner, to improve the health and environmental impacts of food. Baxter Story promote a Real Food Website to publish menus and extra information about the food. 

In May 2016, all UAL canteens served only vegetarian food for National Vegetarian Week. 

All sites provide free drinking water and microwaves for students to encourage them to reuse bottles and bring leftovers for lunch. 

Staff and student engagement

There are a number of ways for staff and students to engage with sustainability through our 'meet the tide' programme. The meet the tide website outlines our sustainability strategies and has the most recent blog posts, while our Twitter account is where you'll find our latest news. The carbon dashboard shows how the university and each college is performing regarding utility consumption and carbon emissions. Here, you can also submit suggestions to help us reach our reduction targets.

The internal staff newsletter, The Big Picture, delivers updates to all staff and in the past this has included the university’s World Environment Day activities, Carbon emissions per student and future plans to embed sustainability in our buildings.

Contribution to the Carbon Management and Sustainability Policy

All students and staff have the opportunity to contribute to the development and progress of the UAL Carbon Management Plan v6 2017 (PDF 1391KB) (CMP) and UAL’s new sustainability strategy – the ‘UAL Sustainability Manifesto (2016 - 2022) (99KB)’. Anyone in the UAL community is able to join the Sustainability Working Group who, as explained in the CMP, meet on a regular basis to consider UAL’s progress against the CMP and other sustainability topics expressed in the Manifesto. The Group reports to the Sustainability Advisory Panel whose membership includes the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, the Director of Estates and the Head of Sustainability.

Previous to Manifesto, three workshops were held across the colleges in 2015 to canvas people's opinions on the future direction sustainability at UAL. The findings of these workshops are available here:

London College of Fashion Sustainability Workshop Minutes

London College of Communication Workshop Report

Central St Martins Workshop Report

The findings and an accompanying online survey were fed into the development of a sustainability framework under the sustainability strategy.

Inductions

During staff inductions, a video demonstrating the importance of sustainability to UAL is shown to new staff members. This video is also shown to all students during the Freshers Fair and is available on the main student engagement platform, Halls Life.

Green Week and other events

UAL always run a comprehensive program of events in Green Week. In 2017, we ran a number of events including make your own natural cosmetics, fabric swaps, beekeeping and gardening. There were also free bike health checks and environmentally themed film nights in Halls of Residences. UAL also runs campaigns open to students and staff, such as World Environment Day and encouraging the use of reusable coffee cups. There also events like the Unlocking Conversations which encouraged discussion about our surrounding landscapes. A cross-college collaboration program called Waste Off was launched in Green Week 2015. This involved students across all colleges using recycled materials to create new, helpful products. After the formal program finished, an alumnus of UAL was commissioned to provide bespoke furniture made of recycled wood to UAL's new cafe at Camberwell College of Art. You can watch a video of this journey through the UAL Estates team Vimeo. This work is supported by the Communications Strategy.

We can see there has been an increase in awareness of environmental stewardship and social responsibility through our 2017 Staff Survey.

Funding

Sustainability Budget 2016-17, with further details of planned expenditure in the Carbon Management Plan. UAL has 'The Exchange' which provides professional development and funding to support the development of student and staff sustainability literacy and environmental sustainability. You can find out more and read examples of previous funded projects here.

There are funds available to support student and staff led sustainability projects that enhance sustainability on campus through the London College of Fashion Sustainable Projects Fund. Multiple projects are funded each year by the pro Vice-Chancellor at LCF, with £500 available for each project. Applications are open to all students, staff and to alumni up to 6 months after their graduation. In 2017, the fund allowed a natural dye workshop to take place, aimed particularly at MA Fashion Futures students. This has increased their understanding of using natural resources and reducing reliance on chemicals to dye material. Details of how to apply for the fund and other examples of past projects can be found on the Intranet – search ‘Sustainability Projects Fund’.

Student Union

The UAL Students' Union is committed to sustainability as well and is signed up to the 'Green Impacts Students' Union'. This program helps unions to reduce their negative environmental impacts.

Education for sustainable development

UAL recognises the importance of sustainability teaching across the wide range of courses we offer. UAL's Research Strategy for 2015-22 focuses on research and teaching to manage environmental change and build community resilience. 

Research and Innovation

We look for opportunities to involve students in sustainability operations at UAL where possible. The development of a new accommodation block at Camberwell College of Art offered an opportunity to involve students from the Central St Martins Spatila Practices Programme who delivered ideas for the development of the new block to main contractors and UAL Estates team. Read more information about it on the UAL news feed.

A number of research hubs at UAL also advance sustainability in teaching and reputation of UAL. These are:

  • Centre for Sustainable Fashion which provides leading research and leadership on sustainable fashion, including involvment in collaborative exercises such as the COPtimist project and creation of projects such as Dress for Our Time before the Paris climate talks.
  • The Textile Futures Research Centre investigates sustainable and ethical innovations in textiles
  • Design Against Crime investigates ways to use art and design to create safer and more sustainable urban environments

 

Profile image of University League 2016

University League 2016

People and Planet’s University League is a comprehensive league table of UK universities ranked by environmental and ethical performance.