We are committed to understanding and managing our impact on the environment.
The University's main priorities are:
- The integration of environmental management into the University’s governance.
- The improvement of procedures for efficient use of resources.
- The establishment of management systems that will drive performance.
- The creation of a sustainable culture and ethos through staff, student and community engagement.
Wrexham University is committed to ensuring we are an ethical university, improving the social, economic, environmental and cultural well-being of our stakeholders. We ensure students and/or representatives are part of the decision-making process through the University's various committee structures.
As part of the two-yearly staff survey, in November 2022 78% of staff said they were familiar with the University’s Environmental Sustainability strategy and 81% said they were able to engage in opportunities to become more aware of their impact on the environment, and increase of 8% and 7% since the last audit respectively. In 2022 the annual NSS survey indicated that 72% of students thought WGU encourages good environmental practice and 53% believed their course had encouraged them to think about their environmental sustainability.
Below are some areas that incorporate our priorities. Click a title to find out more.
Wrexham University recognises that food production and consumption has a big impact on the environment. As a result, the University is committed to reducing this impact as much as possible, in line with Wrexham University’s Environmental Sustainability Strategy Policies and documents
We also recognise that we have a considerable influence in our buying power to encourage our suppliers and contractors to minimise negative ethical, environmental and social effects associated with products and services we provide, by working together with suppliers to encourage sustainable and healthy food production and consumption. We have key performance indicators aligned with our sustainable food strategy written into our catering contract.
Since August 2017, Wrexham University have been working with the catering company, Aramark. They have continued the University’s mission to promote seasonal products used in their menus and are sourcing new products which we can utilise in our food production based on the seasonal menu. They have sourced good alternatives to meat.
They have been working with Wrexham University to create events that raise awareness in healthy, sustainable and Fairtrade food.
Aramark purchase products that have all the relevant information on labels. Aramark have set recipes, so any products made in-house are labelled with BB/UB dates and allergen information.
Aramark also changed their disposable products and are now produced by Vegware. They have introduced Ceramic bowls/plates & mugs to assist with the reduction on disposables used on campus. Aramark have continued with Wrexham University’s Reusable Cup scheme, and in September 2018 a 20p surcharge was introduced to the beverage price for drinks purchased in disposable cups. The surcharge has been used to purchase Huskups, made from rice husk rather than plastic, and are given to students free of charge at Fresher Fair. Read more here.
In December 2017, Aramark became signatories of the Sustainable Fish Cities pledge, making public their commitment to put in place a verifiably sustainable fish policy and celebrated it with Wrexham University
Free Drinking Water
There are free drinking water fountains throughout all the University sites, including the Students' Union and the main canteen. All our free water refill stations are logged with the Refill app to help reduce waste, aid convenience, save money and measure our impact. To join in download the app from Refill.org.uk
WGU Growing Facility
Are you passionate about the environment? Would you like to get involved with planting your very own fruit and vegetables at Wrexham University? Head to our Northop Campus to get a patch in one of our five poly tunnels and between July – October. You can also pick your own apples from the University orchard.
The University’s Northop Campus growing facility is run by a collaboration of community growing group Flintshare and Student Union Societies. You can get involved and learn about planting different seeds, weeding, transplanting and pest control. You will develop a practical understanding of horticultural techniques by understanding how to make compost, dig beds, as well as gain knowledge about different plants, insects and the eco system. We are always looking for people to get involved.
At the main campus there is a Communal Garden where staff and students can get involved with growing vegetables and managing the fruit plants – or alternatively is just a great space to go to have a look nin the pond and take a breather away from the bustle of University life.
Working in the growing facility provides a great distraction from your busy life and you can enjoy some fresh air while taking in the stunning views from our rural campus. It promotes the mental and physical health benefits of being outdoors, getting physical, being part of bigger change, meeting and connecting with people and enables the University to create connections with growers and local charities as a way of engaging with a larger community.
Wrexham Glyndŵr University was officially awarded Fairtrade University Status on Monday 29th January 2018. The Fairtrade Foundation commented on our application:
“Well done, you have provided us with an incredibly detailed set of policies that extensively illustrate your commitment to Fairtrade and the steps put in place to ensure that a high standard of ethical practice is maintained. We are impressed by your motivation and it is great to see the possible collaboration with Wrexham’s Fairtrade group”.
The University continues to strive to become a more sustainable, Fairtrade University. We aim to promote Fairtrade at every opportunity and follow the principals of the Fairtrade Foundation. We plan to run a range of events and activities with Fairtrade being the main focus for Fairtrade Fortnight.
For previous Fairtrade events, we have taken the opportunity to promote Fairtrade at our open days by including a delicious Fairtrade flapjack along with a leaflet explaining what Fairtrade is, why it is important and how everyone can make a difference. We regularly have prize draws to win a Fairtrade hamper entered by purchasing a Fairtrade product, and will continue to raise awareness for Fairtrade with events throughout the year.
Fairtrade Steering Group
The Fairtrade Steering Group, which was first formed in 2017, is represented by staff, students and our catering company Aramark. The steering group’s semi-annual meetings are to discuss and stimulate action for Fairtrade across the University. The group are responsible for the activities related to Fairtrade and promoting Wrexham University’s support for Fairtrade and the Fairtrade policy. Fairtrade Steering Group also attend the Fairtrade Wales University's meetings to discuss ideas for Fairtrade events and campaigns.
To get involved, email the chair of the Fairtrade steering group – email@example.com.
Fairtrade Certified Products at WGU
Wrexham University sell Fairtrade products throughout all its catering outlets, including the Students' Union, and offers Fairtrade products at all in-house and external meetings.
Sustainability is high on the agenda for IT Services at Wrexham University, and has become embedded into our decisions on how we procure products and services and in the management and operation of those services.
Many changes have already taken place, and we have plans to continually improve.
- Reduction in the number of printers across site by introducing more networked workgroup printers.
- Duplex printing is set as default on the majority of printers.
- Procurement includes duplex printers as standard and eco-mode printing
- Replacing CRT displays with LCD displays, reducing energy usage.
- Active monitoring of PCs in use, and a campaign to switch off unused devices at night and during inactive periods has reduced wastage significantly. Automatic shutdown on schedule of IT labs PC.
- Recycling of product packaging. Increased use of remote support tools, reducing IT engineers’ travelling.
- Implementation of SMS text alerting service for students, keeping them informed of lecture changes thereby reducing wasted journeys.
- Construction of a paperless meeting room incorporating laptops and displays, which will reduce paper waste.
Looking forward, plans include the following:
- Use of thin client computing to decrease energy usage.
- Automating shutdown of all PCs.
- Powering down sections of the network out of hours.
- Investigate use of outside air cooling for equipment rooms to complement air chiller units.
- Reducing energy used to keep equipment rooms at correct temperature.
- Detailed monitoring and evaluation of printed material to drive a reduction in waste.
- Plans to increase virtualisation of servers to reduce energy usage.
Electrical equipment disposal
All of our end of life electrical and computer equipment is disposed of using our WEEE compliant supplier. Equipment or equipment components which can be reused or recycled is securely wiped of any data and repurposed. Components which cannot be repurposed are processed to recover recyclable materials. The supplier also processes our used toner/ink cartridges. The University currently uses CDL.
Books at end of life are recycled though Better World where possible, or recycled though paper disposal processing. Our book exchange facility allows students to exchange text books between themselves using a peer-to-peer online service.
Printers and copiers
The move to greater online learning since the pandemic has driven the reduction in the use of printers and paper, together with other improvement initiatives. Initiatives include:
- Electronic assignment submission.
- Publication of handouts and other classroom information packs via the University virtual learning environment.
- Delivery of learning materials via digital online systems.
- Caps on the number of pages’ staff can print.
- Default duplex for printers.
- Removal of personal printers with a move to workgroup printing.
- Print and collect printing using print release, which reduces unneeded printing.
- Information to users of costs of print jobs before printing ensuring users are considering print in an informed manner.
The University also seeks to reduce the packaging used for computer equipment. On large consignments, we opt for pallet packed equipment, reducing individual containers. Suppliers are asked to use recycled or recyclable materials where possible.
Power usage of computer equipment
- Server room temperature is set at 25c to reduce cooling costs.
- PC’s are purchased with energy efficient power supplies.
- Computers on campus are controlled by power management policies to power down or hibernate idle computers and VDU equipment.
- On-site server and storage equipment has been rationalised into virtual server environments, reducing the energy usage of many separate units.
Wrexham University is committed to ensuring we protect and increase the level of biodiversity across all campuses.
The University has three campuses, all built on different land types and all of which are valuable assets to the University, community, and the natural world. We are working hard towards conserving the biodiversity found on and around these spaces.
Our three campuses are:
Wrexham - Urban, Northop - Rural, St Asaph - Coastal
See our Biodiversity on our policies and documents page.
Wrexham University offers undergraduate degree courses in Wildlife & Plant Biology and Animal Studies, which both include modules on Wildlife Conservation, Environmental Conservation and Land Management, where the staff and students are involved in research on declining species, in the management and monitoring of a variety of species on campus and in studying the impacts and effectiveness of different management and surveying techniques. Students are also taught practical habitat management and conservation skills. The Sustainability Action Working Group have an excellent connection with staff and students from these biodiversity focused areas, which encourages engagement and achievement of the Biodiversity Action Plan.
Techniquest Glyndŵr was successful in obtaining around £34K of funding to transform a derelict and unused area of ground to the rear of the LEIS building, used by the popular Science Centre on the Wrexham Plas Coch Campus of the University. The Communal Garden offers a mixture of planted areas and features such as wheelchair friendly surfacing, raised beds and pond area, a composting area and a number of working exhibits of equipment that will illustrate the primary scientific themes of Biodiversity, Renewable Energy and Recycling.
Share your wildlife sightings
The Sustainability Action Working Group would love to hear of any wildlife sightings you might have seen across any of our campuses- photos would be even better. There is a new general species list for all plant and wildlife that is now accessible and ready to be populated by staff and students from all campuses.
Alternatively, if you have any ideas on how the University can encourage biodiversity to thrive on any/all campuses, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
As an employer, we're committed to creating a sustainable and fair culture.
Estates and Safety, Health and Environment
The University's Estates Department manage and monitor the internal environment. Safety, Health and Environment Manager is a specialist key role and integral to the successful function of the Sustainability Action Group. The team develops and delivers the Low Carbon Transition and Delivery Plan for the University and integrates energy efficiency and water conservation across all sites to support the delivery of core business objectives. All aspects of sustainability are a standing item on the Safety, Health and Environment committee, who report directly to the Vice Chancellors board.
In order to support the University’s core strategic themes, the Environmental Sustainability Strategy will focus on the following key priorities:-
- Priority 1 - Education for Sustainable Development
- Priority 2 - Partnerships & Engagement
- Priority 3 - Environmental Impact of Campus 2025
The Safety, Health and Environment Manager has responsibility for the disposal and monitoring of all waste produced at the University and to comply with legislation. Waste Management Services are regularly reviewed to ensure it supports and contributes to the improvement of environmental aims and objectives.
The SHE Department is the driver of environmental and sustainability projects and objectives, benchmarking against similar organisations. The team ensure that departments align strategic priorities for the University and that an environmental management system is achieved.
Individual departments are responsible for their own waste disposal, in accordance with current health, safety and environmental legislation.
Within the University, all Academic and Professional Service Departments are required to:
- Reduce carbon emissions through working practices.
- Embed sustainable development and awareness into the curriculum.
- Manage and reduce waste generated.
- Reduce the University's impact on local, national and global travel demands.
- Preserve and enhance the natural habitats, local wildlife and biological diversity on University sites.
- Ensure that procurement is carried out in a socially responsible manner.
All new staff and students attend safety, health and environmental training within their first month of employment or fresher’s fortnight in September. The information delivered is based around the environmental and sustainability responsibilities of staff and students at the University.
Further information can be obtained from email@example.com.
The University has made a commitment to implement the Welsh Government’s Code of Practice on Ethical Employment in Supply Chains, which seeks for all public sector organisations and universities in Wales to commit to a range of ethical employment practices, including considering paying all of their staff the Living Wage Foundation’s Living Wage as a minimum and encouraging their suppliers to do the same.
Wrexham Glyndŵr University is signed up as a Living Wage employer and is committed to paying the Living Wage Foundation’s Living Wage as a minimum to all its staff. The University will also ensure that as part of any contracted service arrangements, for example in providing cleaning, catering and security services, that at the point of re-tendering, contractors commit to also pay the Living Wage Foundations Living Wage.
Find us here - Accredited living wage employers
The University has adopted the Welsh Government’s Code of Practice on Ethical Procurement in Supply Chains. This is designed to ensure that high-quality public services are delivered throughout Wales by a workforce that is treated legally, fairly, and safely, and is well-rewarded. This Code includes a commitment to consider promoting the Living Wage in relevant contracts.
Evidence of fair work practices include:
- A fair and equal pay policy that includes a commitment to paying all staff at least the Living Wage
- Becoming an accredited Living Wage Employer
- Ensuring that all staff have access to training and development opportunities
- Promoting equal opportunities for all staff regardless of age, gender, disability, religion, race, and sexual orientation
- Stable employment, avoiding inappropriate use of zero-hours contracts, and umbrella employment firms
- Flexible working arrangements to allow support for carers, and for family-friendly working
- Supporting workforce engagement, for example Trade Union recognition and representation, or other arrangements for empowering staff.
Equality & Diversity
Wrexham Glyndŵr University is committed to supporting, developing and promoting equality and diversity in our practices and activities. We aim to establish an inclusive culture, free from discrimination, based on the values of dignity and respect.