University hits gold for its positive impact on environment and communities
Date: 26th Feb 2019
Bucks New University is the first university in the UK to achieve a Gold award in a scheme which recognises sustainable and ethical businesses.
The University was awarded the highest Gold Accreditation as “visible testimony of its excellence” in corporate social responsibility (CSR), following an independent assessment by an accreditation panel. The University was rated across four areas: environment; philanthropy; community and workplace.
Richard Collins, Managing Director of CSRA, the accreditation organisation said:
“The independent accreditation panel was collectively impressed with the quality and level of the University’s CSR activity. It’s clear that the University takes sustainable and ethical seriously, and is determined to set a good example by demonstrating CSR leadership in the higher education sector. Not only that, achieving a gold award is not easy and is a visible testimony of its excellence.”
Evidence considered by the panel of the University’s positive impact included:
- Bucks has already exceeded its 2020 target to reduce its carbon footprint; reduced its waste by 12% last year; and has electric vehicles which comprise 66% of its fleet;
- University staff have access to 24/7 online mental health support; free fitness sessions; and can study no-fee University courses;
- Bucks Students’ Union received funding of £1.4m from the University in 2017/8 to fund initiatives including the ‘Big Deal’ which provides free recreation, sports and skills development opportunities for all students. Students volunteered 11,333 hours of their time last year to make a difference in the community, and raised £6,500 for local charities;
- Global research at Bucks through the WATERSPOUTT partnership is giving more people access to safe drinking water in Africa;
- The University is committed to widening participation in higher education, with one third of its students coming from areas with higher levels of deprivation.
Professor Nick Braisby Vice-Chancellor at Bucks New University said:
“Being a responsible corporate citizen is very important to us at Bucks. This award recognises the positive impact our staff and students make to the environment; in the community and across our campuses.
”Everyone at Bucks is thrilled to receive the Gold Accreditation and we’re proud to be the first University to do so. We will continue working in partnership with Bucks Students’ Union to build on our achievements, and enhance further our staff and students’ impact.”
A tree has been planted in the University’s name in recognition of its achievement as part of the Green Earth Appeal.
Lauren O’Shea, President of Bucks Students’ Union said:
“It’s rewarding to see the work of the union, but more importantly the commitment and endeavour of our members, recognised as such a significant part of this submission. The university fully deserves this accreditation and we hope to use it as a springboard for more impactful projects within our local community and beyond.”
CSRA’s independent assessment panel is comprised of an experienced group of experts which is representative of a wide range of business sectors.
Photo caption: Students join SU and University staff to launch Student Volunteering Week.