Staff and Student Engagement

We understand that sustainability and stewardship are of major concern to many of our students and staff, which is why we not only encourage behavioural change through university-run initiatives, but also value the impact that staff and students have on environmental and sustainability awareness. See some examples below:

Staff and Student Engagement Plan 2023-24

See below our staff and student engagement plan for 2023-2024.

See our events page and the rest of the staff & student engagement webpages for monitoring engagement.  

Month Event Action Audience Staff/Team Responsible Resource Needed Monitoring Engagement 
Sep Welcome Week Talk Design and present a welcome week induction talk for students to make students aware of AU's sustainability goals and policies Students

Neil Glasser,

Staff time Attendance
Oct  Citizen Science Walk  Take part in the 2023 EuroBioBlitz Event through Penglais Woods Students

Jess Farmer,

Staff time, Student time Attendance
Nov  Sustainability Forum Meeting  Meet up with representatives/sustainability champions from across the university, talk about their sustainability actions and if they require resources for this  Staff

Sustainability Team,

Staff time Attendance
Nov  Tree Planting Volunteer Day Plant 400 saplings of native Welsh tree species around Fferm Penglais Staff and Students  Sustainability Team, Staff time, Student time, Cost of trees/equipment Attendance
Dec Christmas Switch Off Encourage all staff to switch off electronics over the Christmas break Staff  Sustainability Team,      Communications Team,
Staff time Measure kWh saved during the Christmas break 
Feb Sustainability Forum Meeting  Meet up with representatives/sustainability champions from across the university, talk about their sustainability actions and if they require resources for this  Staff Sustainability Team, Staff time Attendance
Feb DGES Talk - Net Zero Hold a talk for DGES regarding the university's net zero aims and current position Staff Dewi Day, Staff time  Attendance
March Million Mile Clean  Take part in SOS' Million-Mile Clean event around Penglais Woods Staff and Students  Sustainability Team, Staff time, Student time Attendance, Distance, Weight of litter 
March Hospitality's Sustainability Month 4-10th March: Offer free keep-cups to incentivise reduction of single-use items and offer a discount with the cup                                                             Staff and Students  Hospitality, Staff time, Cost of materials Number of keep-cups issued
March Hospitality's Sustainability Month 11-17th March: Ethical purchasing week - explaining the palm oil traffic light system  Staff and Students  Hospitality, Staff time, Student time Attendance
March Hospitality's Sustainability Month 18-24th March: Plastic free week - labelling all single use plastics to highlight the issue Staff and Students  Hospitality, Staff time, Cost of materials Measure reduction in sale of single-use plastic
April Release Sustainable Travel Survey  Release sustainable travel survey to monitor staff commuting and engage feedback from staff regarding sustainable travel.  Staff

Sustainability Team,,     Communications Team,

Staff time Response Rate
May No Mow May Take part in No-Mow-May, send out communications  highlighting the significance of supporting No-Mow-May on campus, produce and place signs on wildflower areas  Staff and Students  Grounds Team,    ,                 Sustainability Team, Staff time Feedback
June Bring It, Don't Bin It Campaign  Provide collection points for students moving out to donate items they no longer need/want, so these can be reused/rehomed. Students 

Waste Team, Residences Team,

Staff time, Student time Number of donations 
June Sustainability Forum Meeting Meet up with representatives/sustainability champions from across the university, talk about their sustainability actions and if they require resources for this  Staff Sustainability Team, Staff time Attendance

Staff Inductions

Staff Induction

All new staff are required to undertake an induction course on environmental awareness training, among other subjects, so that sustainability stays integral to all university activities and to provide a baseline of environmental consciousness. 

Carbon Literacy Training

By 2025, we aim to have all senior decision makers receive carbon literacy training. This will ensure carbon emissions and its impacts are considered before any major works are undertaken by the university.

The first round of training has already been completed, with 12 of our executive staff members having completed the training and being Carbon Literacy Certified. 

For information on course content, visit the Carbon Literacy Project.

Student Inductions

Resident's Handbook

All students have access to the Resident's Handbook, an annual induction for new students covering a wide range of topics, including:

  • Waste and Recycling
  • Sustainable Travel to and around Aberystwyth
  • Energy and Water use 

Welcome Week Talk

We also hold a Welcome Week Talk for new students so they are aware of the university's goals, net zero aims and current sustainability activities. 

Sustainability Awareness

In addition, we are sending out our new Sustainability Awareness Poster to students, highlighting actions that individuals can take to help reduce carbon emissions. 

To see what small changes you can make to help, see the poster here: Sustainability Awareness Poster



Ongoing Community and Student Projects

Penglais Community Garden began as a student initiative, supported by Aberystwyth University. The objective is to create a space for people to grow, to learn about growing food, planting in a wildlife friendly manner, and to provide a quiet space for people visiting the university and Arts Centre to just sit and enjoy their lunch! A variety of produce is grown in the garden, and surplus is shared amongst volunteers, sold through the Food CO OP, or donated to the Aber Food Surplus. Home | Penglais Community Garden ( 

Aberystwyth Conservation Volunteers (ACV) is a student union society and practical conservation volunteer group. If you want to get outside more and help the local area, come join us on a Saturday or Wednesday afternoon on task! ACV Conservation Volunteers (

Sustainability Champion of the Year

As part of the SU's Teaching, Learning and Student Experience Awards, a Sustainability Champion of the Year award is given to a student or member of staff who has been nominated due to their initiative in promoting sustainability. 

See the 2023-24 winners here


Social Community Fund

Social Community Fund

We are pleased to announce our 'Social Value Rebate', an annual rebate from suppliers to be spent on a range of social and good causes within Aberystwyth, including student-led sustainability projects.

The exact value varies yearly, and will be determined by the value of applicable contracts. To apply, please contact the procurement office -

Student-Led Evaluations

Student-Led Evaluations

In conjunction with sustainability events, students are involved in the tracking and evaluation of university activity.

The Students Union have achieved the highest Green Impact standard in 2022-23, through initiatives such as promoting the use second-hand clothing/cookware through the Free Hub, environmental awareness training and through setting up an active working group.

Engagement Across the University


Throughout all our decision making, we want all opinions to be heard and considered. See below for information and representation on our committees, forums and oversight groups relating to sustainability, ethical and environmental aspects.

Sustainability Forum

To encourage communication surrounding sustainability across the university, AU has a monthly sustainability forum where representatives from individual departments, student representatives and trade union members (Currently a member of the UCU) can attend, allowing input from all areas of the university in addition to receiving feedback and suggestions. 

Sustainability Committee

The Sustainability Committee meets 3 times annually, and senior decision makers across the university attend to oversee the agreeing of policies, strategies, objectives, key performance indicators and action plans as well as monitoring progress against each for the areas linked to the Universities Target of carbon Neutrality by 2030/31 as well as wider environment and sustainability improvement objectives, including: 

    • Carbon & Utilities 
    • Biodiversity and Conservation 
    • Waste 
    • Single use plastics 
    • Food 
    • Transport 
    • Sustainability in the Curriculum 
    • Procurement 
    • Projects & construction 
    • IT 
    • Pollution Prevention 
    • Staff and student engagement 

Health, Safety and Environment Operational Group

The Health, Safety & Environment operational group meets 5 times annually, with input from 3 Trade Union safety representatives in addition to an elected student union representative.

Topics considered and discussed include:

    • Annual reporting and audits on HS&E
    • Review of the terms of references
    • HS&E guidance, strategies, policy and procedures

See our Health, Safety and Environment Internal Audit Terms of Reference for more information.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) Oversight Group

Meeting 3 times annually with trade union representation, our EDI oversight group discusses, among other topics:

    • EDI statutory obligations
    • Embedding the Equality Act
    • PESD
    • Well-Being of Future Generations Act

See our EDI Terms of Reference for more information.