Corporate Social Responsibility

Being a responsible corporate citizen is important to us at Bucks New University. The University’s Impact 2022 strategy sets new targets to meet the highest standards in relation to our environment, including energy, waste and travel. We will:

  • deliver against our mission as a civic University, engaging with communities across the county of Buckinghamshire and elsewhere.
  • engage effectively with business, actively contributing to the local and national industrial strategies, and economic growth within the region.
  • minimise the impact of our University estate on the environment.

In 2019, we became the first UK University to achieve a Gold award in a scheme which recognises sustainable and ethical organisations for their excellence in corporate social responsibility. The University’s activities were rigorously assessed across four areas: environment; philanthropy; community and workplace. Read the news story about our Gold CSR Accreditation.

The University works in partnership with Bucks Students' Union to continue building on our CSR achievements, by making a positive impact on the environment and within our communities. Find out more about our CSR activities and impact in this publication:

Our commitment to the fight against climate change

We’ve always taken our environmental responsibilities seriously and are proud of our track record. We know that sustainability is as important to our students, people and stakeholders as it is to us. That’s why we are redoubling our efforts in the fight against climate change.

In February 2020, Buckinghamshire New University pledged to go carbon net zero by 2030 - 20 years ahead of the Government’s target – declared a climate emergency and joined the Climate Commission Council.

The University also signed up to the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Accord, a collective response by education institutions to help the environment. We have submitted our first report to the United Nations on our progress against the 17 SDGs, and are publicly sharing our submission to provide transparency around the progress we have made:

Read about how our University community celebrated Love Our Planet day with a range of environmentally-friendly activities here, and how students are embracing sustainability in the amazing work they create.

The University’s environmental achievements include:

  • already exceeding the carbon footprint target 2020, with a 64% reduction since 2011;
  • a 140% increase in the amount of renewable energy generated on campus;
  • global research to give more people access to safe drinking water;
  • electric vehicles comprising 66% of our fleet;
  • removing more than 5,000 plastic straws from our bars;
  • achieving a 12% year-on-year reduction in the amount of waste produced; and
  • redistributing used and unwanted items such as kettles and toasters between students through our Bucks New Usage scheme.

Environmental Annual Report and our Sustainability

We monitor and report on our progress against our environmental and sustainability targets, and our Environmental Policy is available here.

You can also read more on what we are doing towards improving our Biodiversity, Fairtrade and Water, Waste Reduction and Travel.

Bucks New University has achieved the Carbon Trust Standard in recognition of measuring, managing and reducing carbon emissions.

Read our Carbon Management Implementation Plan.

We have a target to reduce our scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions by 50% by 2020 from a 2005-06 baseline.  From the baseline 2005-06 carbon emissions of 6,975 tonnes we have now reduced our footprint to 3,156 tonnes, which is a reduction of 3,819 tonnes per year.  This 55% drop ranks us as one of the top UK universities for reducing our carbon footprints and has achieved the University's 2020 target.

Here are some of the projects we have undertaken to reduce our carbon footprint.

  • Lighting systems with presence and absence detection, and daylight dimming
  • Up to 80% heat/cooling recovery from ventilation systems
  • Variable speed pumps that reduce energy requirements under different loads
  • Highly efficient air source heat pumps
  • Sub-metering and monitoring of all systems with a building management computer system
  • Automatic shut-down of computers via software.
  • Use of electric vans for post delivery and maintenance staff.
  • Installation of solar panels capable of producing up to 138,000 kWh of energy per year.  This equates to an annual saving of 70 tonnes of carbon.

The University works with and supports the Student Union to promote sustainability to students.  Information is provided to the students on how to live more environmentally friendly through the Student Union's community guide.  The University also supports the Student Union to run an annual Go Green Week.  In 2018 Go Green Week focused on recycling and became Recycling Awareness Week.  The Student Union also promote sustainability to the students through their submission to the NUS for Green Impact.

Volunteering opportunities for students are available from the Student Union including working on sustainability projects.  This years Give it a Go Week saw students helping out at the One Can Trust local food bank, in the garden of Wycombe Museum, sorted out donations in our very own Bucks New Usage store and went down to Brighton for the day to clean the beach

The University is currently developing an environmental management system through the EcoCampus scheme.  Currently the University has been awarded a Gold accreditation to this scheme.

In June 2018 Bucks New University signed a declaration that it did not hold investments in extractor fossil fuel companies and that they will be excluded from future investments.

The University runs working groups for carbon reduction, waste management and travel. These groups bring university staff and the Student Union together to discuss and implement ideas to improve the sustainability of the University.

The Estates, Facilities and Services Directorate implement sustainability within the University estate.  Ian Hunter, Director of Estates, Facilities and Services, leads this team with specialist support from a Sustainability and Energy Manager, an Estates Manager and a Maintenance Supervisor who implement new sustainability initiatives into the University estate.

If you would like more information on Sustainability at the University's please contact Alastair Jack, Sustainability and Energy Manager at alastair.jack@bucks.ac.uk.