MMU Environmental Sustainability Strategy 2014-2020

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Environmental Sustainability Strategy 2014–2020


WE ARE MMU Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) is the University for World-Class Professionals. Our Environmental Sustainability Strategy will enable us to become one of the most environmentally sustainable universities in the world.

MMU is a major economic contributor to the north west, with 37,000 students and 4,300 staff across Manchester and Cheshire. We pride ourselves on training the future talent of the region, with 70% of our graduates staying and working right here in the north west. As a university, our contribution to local industry takes many forms: providing continuing professional development courses; working with

businesses in Knowledge Exchange Partnerships; and providing work-ready graduates with the skills and expertise that add value to business. Environmental sustainability is placed alongside graduate employability as a key priority for MMU. Protecting the environment and ensuring our graduates have the necessary sustainability knowledge and skills is no longer optional – it is a duty shared by every student and member of staff.

Environmental sustainability is placed alongside graduate employability as a key priority for MMU.


Why We Are Sustainable Our reputation as the University for World-Class Professionals will increasingly depend upon how we embed issues pertinent to success in the environments of the future.

As the demand for students with sustainability and global citizenship skills increases, MMU has a responsibility to ensure graduates possess the attributes and skills to be competitive in the employment market. Alongside this commitment, the UK Government’s agenda on climate change, coupled with statutory legislation, environmental taxation and rising utility and resource prices, also play an important role in driving forward MMU’s environmental sustainability commitments. This Environmental Sustainability Strategy supports the delivery of MMU’s corporate strategic aim of long-term financial and environmental sustainability, as well as sharing many strategic interfaces right across the University.


2020 Vision Our vision is to be a sustainable university. The Environmental Sustainability commitments and principles we have set out will be embedded into our culture, behaviour, buildings and operations.

Established lasting partnerships to create efficiency and knowledge gains in the journey towards becoming a sustainable university

Enhanced the student experience and enriched community life through the quality of the learning environment

Embedded the principles of sustainability and global citizenship into our learning, teaching and research

Placed sustainability as a priority area in MMU’s Research and Knowledge Exchange Strategy supporting students as World-Class Professionals

By 2020 we will have

Developed intelligent campuses, where efficient and effective buildings and public realm is designed to meet user needs and expectations

Minimised our negative environmental impacts through the delivery of our Environmental Management framework

Built social, intellectual and environmental capital through campus, research and knowledge exchange


The University for World-Class Professionals Improving our environmental performance and minimising our impact is dependent upon the approach the University takes. Good Leadership and Governance will ensure that environmental sustainability is part of our long-term future success.

These approaches will support the delivery of our two strategic pillars:

Engaging with our stakeholders effectively and working in partnership with stakeholders will play a significant role in embedding sustainability throughout the University.

• Estates and Operations.


• Teaching, Learning and Research

The Environmental Sustainability Strategy has shared attributes and objectives with other key University Strategies.

Our Approach Teaching Learning Research

estates AND




STRATEGIES Academic Vision 2020 Masterplan 2020 Research and Knowledge Exchange Strategy Teaching and Learning Strategy E3 – Employability, Employment and Enterprise Strategy MMU Engagement Strategy Internationalisation Strategy


Our Approach Leadership and Governance The University is committed to integrating a wide range of sustainability issues into its values, culture and operations. To do this, it is critical that we have good strategic leadership and senior management support in delivering our strategic commitments, and that we recognise sustainability issues are part of our long-term future success. By integrating social and environmental aspects into core business operations we’ll strengthen our position as ‘The University for World-Class Professionals’. The University’s Environmental Strategy Board is responsible for the strategic direction and review of the Environmental Policy, Environmental Sustainability Strategy (including its associated objectives and targets) and the effectiveness of the Environmental Management System. This Environmental Management System, which will be certified to International Standard ISO 14001, will also ensure that this Strategy is delivered and reviewed.

Progress on the implementation of this Strategy is reported through MMU’s Annual Environmental Sustainability Statement and to the Environmental Strategy Board, University Executive and Board of Governors. This Environmental Sustainability Strategy also supports and interfaces with other key University Strategies, such as the 2020 Academic Vision; Research and Knowledge Exchange; Employability and Enterprise; Learning and Teaching; and Internationalisation.

We will

strengthen our position as The University for World-Class Professionals


Engagement and Partnerships Effective processes for engagement and partnership working are key to the implementation and success of this Environmental Sustainability Strategy. Establishing meaningful and collaborative partnerships with stakeholders will play a significant role when transforming strategy and policy into action, and will minimise financial and environmental risks. Our staff and students play a critical role in the delivery of this Strategy. Through learning and professional development, we will enhance their understanding of environmental and social responsibility and impact at both an individual and institutional level. This appreciation of the issues and opportunities will be integral for our journey towards becoming a sustainable university. We will provide opportunities for staff, students and external stakeholders to engage with the sustainability commitments of the University.

The concept of sustainability is inclusive of a range of cultures, values, behaviours, processes and operations. Creating channels for dialogue with our internal and external stakeholders, along with environments that are conducive to collaboration and positive engagement, are key to achieving our strategic aims and longer term successes. This process of engagement will also allow us to gauge our stakeholders’ awareness of organisational environmental sustainability through bi-annual and annual surveys.

Our staff and students

play a critical role in the delivery of this Strategy 9

Strategic Pillars

Learning, Teaching AND Research One of our strategic pillars centres on MMU’s core business activities – Teaching, Learning, Research and Knowledge Exchange. MMU believes that developing and supporting a student’s journey towards becoming a ‘World-Class Professional’ involves equipping them with the skills and attributes to drive a socially just and environmentally sustainable future.

The Higher Education sector’s long-term impacts, and its contribution towards sustainable development, rests on graduates who possess the skills, knowledge and expertise to drive forward sustainable futures by acting as global citizens.

our aim is for all research and new knowledge at MMU to have a

significant environmental and social impact 10

Research, Knowledge Exchange and Innovation Sustainability is one of a number of priority themes in the University’s Research and Knowledge Exchange Strategy – our aim is for all research and new knowledge at MMU to have a significant environmental and social impact (MMU RKE Strategy 2012). Interdisciplinary research and knowledge exchange between disciplines and external stakeholders is critical for advancing this creation of new knowledge (MMU RKE Strategy 2012), informing curriculum, shaping business, influencing policy-making and informing professional practice. We’re also ambitious in this arena and are aiming to define, deliver and grow the amount of sustainability-themed research activity undertaken at the University by 2020. We’ll achieve this by aligning the University’s funding streams with key global challenges; building research and knowledge exchange networks to foster long-term partnerships; and using the University as a ‘living laboratory’ to create opportunities to improve the sustainability of the estate and provide real-life experiences for students.

In order to support students as World-Class Professionals, our ‘research drives the knowledge economy through knowledge exchange’.

Learning for a Sustainable Future All universities are pivotal in preparing graduates to have the skills and knowledge to make informed decisions and valued judgements. Here at MMU, we aim to embed Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) issues and topics common to global citizenship into formal curricula, and offer our students opportunities to develop the skills and knowledge to live and work sustainably. To achieve this, we will map ESD within the curriculum; identify best practice; provide professional development opportunities so our staff also have the knowledge and skills to embed ESD into subject areas; and support our students to make the most of their university experience.

Sustainability knowledge and skills acquisition often takes place inside the curriculum and regularly occurs outside of the formal educational experience.


Strategic Pillars

ESTATES and OPERATIONS Improvements in the University’s estate and operations should be mirrored by improvements in our environmental sustainability performance. The University’s wider environmental, social and economic impacts are influenced by the energy efficiency of our buildings, operations and infrastructure as well as our wider business decisions.

We will create a campus that improves the estate to minimise negative environmental impacts and remain legally compliant. A campus designed to meet user needs, in which buildings facilitate positive user experiences, satisfaction and behaviour can impact directly upon the University’s business performance.

we will Create a campus that

minimises negative environmental impacts and remains legally compliant 12

Emissions and Discharges to the Environment The University’s activities affect the environment on both a local and global scale – and for that reason it is important to reduce our negative impacts. MMU aims to reduce direct (Scope 1&2) carbon emissions by 50% by 2020. We’re also measuring and reducing our wider, indirect (Scope 3) emissions – those created from activities such as water supply and treatment, waste disposal, purchase of goods and services, business travel and commuting and investment – in line with the reduction targets set for water, waste and travel emissions. We will achieve these reductions by making sure our activities are geared towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions; implementing the University’s Carbon Management Plan; putting environmental management procedures in place; and developing and implementing strategies that set out Scope 3 reduction plans.

Energy Management The university sector in the UK is a large energy consumer and, as such, it has an important role to play in reducing emissions and demonstrating leadership on energy management. Energy efficiency and management forms an important part of MMU’s corporate commitment to institutional sustainability. We will reduce operational energy consumption from the building estate in line with our carbon emission reduction targets. We will achieve this through the implementation of a robust energy management system, and developing and delivering an annual energy investment programme aligned to the estates plan.

Developing campuses to support the University’s teaching, learning, research and knowledge exchange will act to improve the student experience and enhance knowledge at the University. 13

Sustainable Buildings The development of sustainable, efficient and intelligent buildings across the University is the strongest factor determining ongoing energy costs and carbon emissions. We recognise this and, as part of the rationalisation of our estate and redevelopment plans, have set challenging energy efficiency standards for our new buildings and refurbishments. However, it’s not just in the construction and refurbishment of buildings where we need to consider our impacts. By embedding the principles of sustainable design during any development, we will also achieve low environmental impact throughout occupation. We will achieve this by implementing an Energy Investment Plan, investing in energy efficiency projects and low carbon technologies, and by ensuring environmental design principles are adhered to.

Committed to being a Zero Waste to landfill university and is working hard to reduce its environmental impacts.


Waste and Resource Management The University is committed to being a Zero Waste to landfill university and has a responsibility to reduce environmental impacts through waste minimisation, reuse and recycling, and resource efficiency gains. The increasing cost implications associated with the disposal of wastes make it imperative to manage our waste and resources in order to limit our environmental, social and financial impacts. Legislative, environmental and resource limitations all act as strong drivers to improve waste management systems and performance. Here at MMU we will ensure a robust approach is taken through the adoption of the Waste Hierarchy to prevent, reduce, reuse, recycle, and dispose of our wastes. In order to achieve this step change, we will implement a Waste and Resource Management Strategy, invest in waste consolidation programmes, and increase awareness amongst our communities through education and training.

Sustainable Travel Planning

Water Management

MMU is a large employer and, with a student population of 37,000, there is a significant opportunity to support staff and students to make informed choices about the way they travel. We have Travel Plans for both the Cheshire and Manchester campuses that encourage travel by sustainable means.

There are global pressures on water resources – population growth and industrialisation are increasing demand for water and placing supplies under strain. At the same time, climate change is increasing rainfall intensity and, coupled with urbanisation, is worsening flood risk in many areas.

We aim to minimise the impact of staff and student travel and encourage the use of modes of transport that minimise environmental impact, reduce congestion and air pollution.

It is important that the University uses water as efficiently as possible to reduce costs, contribute to reducing water stress and flood risk in the area and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with supply and treatment.

We will achieve this by monitoring and updating the University’s Travel Plans to enable and promote sustainable travel, improving the connectivity of our campuses to the public transport networks and investing in infrastructure.

Support and encourage staff and students to use modes of transport that minimise environmental impact, reduce congestion and air pollution.

We aim to reduce total water consumption through practical water conservation measures and reduce costs through the increased use of alternative water sources. We will achieve this through investing in water efficiency measures across the estate; implementing of Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SuDS); and integrating rainwater collection, reuse and borehole water supplies where practical.


Biodiversity and Growing Systems Urbanisation is a major cause of habitat loss and ecosystem degradation. There is no denying that MMU occupies a large area of estate, and we recognise that we have an important role to play in enhancing biodiversity, protecting habitats, creating green corridors and making spaces available for growing food in urban areas. We’re also using our estate as a ‘living laboratory’ – creating the opportunities for research, learning and teaching to not only enhance the student experience, but also improve the sustainability of the estate itself. We aim to protect and enhance biodiversity across the University’s estate and promote its benefits for students, staff, visitors and the local communities. To make this a reality, we will implement management plans themed around the three key aspects of urban biodiversity conservation: protection, use by people and interconnections between sites.

We’re using our estate as a ‘living laboratory’ – creating opportunities for research, learning and teaching to enhance the student experience and improve the sustainability of the estate itself. 16

Sustainable and Ethical Procurement The Higher Education sector in the UK is a huge consumer of goods and services. MMU has a multi-million pound annual expenditure on non-pay goods and services, which account for a significant proportion of our indirect (Scope 3) greenhouse gas emissions. The ways we procure goods and services and invest our funds have social, environmental and economic impacts. We can make an important contribution to local, regional and national sustainability targets by making responsible procurement decisions that have the least negative impact on the environment and society. We aim to invest in goods and services that consider whole-life costs and that give regard to economic, social, ethical and environmental impacts. Our Sustainable Procurement Policy and Strategy will help us to achieve this. We will measure the progress of the University’s sustainable procurement performance against the Sustainable Procurement Task Force’s Flexible Framework. Key actions include developing awareness and skills; engaging with key stakeholders to minimise impacts and mitigate risks; embedding policy into operational practice; and implementing actions to gain sustainable and ethical procurement accreditations, such as Fairtrade and Food for Life.


Target and date achieved by (if applicable)

Key Performance Indicator

Sustainability Engagement

Maintain score of over 80%

Percentage of students who perceive the University to have an ‘eco-friendly attitude’

Sustainability Research, Innovation and Knowledge Exchange

Measure and increase sustainability research

Percentage of staff carrying out sustainability research at the institution

Learning for a Sustainable Future

Test and achieve the NUS Responsible Futures Accreditation Mark by 2015-16

Responsible Futures Accreditation Mark achieved

Emissions and Discharges to the Environment

35% less by 2015-16 50% less by 2020-21

Scope 1 & 2 carbon emissions reductions

Energy Management

Energy use – 35% less by 2015-16 50% less by 2020-21

Gas and electricity consumption

Sustainable Buildings

Maintain rating of above ‘C’

Display Energy Certificate rating of existing estate

Environmental Management Systems and Legislative Compliance

Eco Campus Platinum (ISO14001) achieved by 2015-16

Level of Eco Campus Environmental Management System

Waste and Resource Management

60% by 2015-16 85% by 2020-21

Reuse and Recycling rate (excluding capital construction and refurbishment projects)

Travel Plan Management

37.5% by 2018-19

Single Occupancy Vehicle (SOV)

Water Management

Water consumption down 25% by 2015-16

Water consumption

Biodiversity and Growing Systems

Measure and increase

Land area used for biodiversity enhancement and growing food

Sustainable and Ethical Procurement

Level 3 Flexible Framework achieved by 2014-15

Level of Flexible Framework



Let’s make a sustainable planet 19

Let’s make a sustainable planet


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