Environmental Strategy

Releases to Atmosphere and Water

The University does not operate any polluting processes that would need to be regulated by the Environment Agency under the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations (2007) other than a very small amount of research work using radioactive nuclides.


The main local releases to atmosphere from the University are combustion gases from our non-electric space heating systems in the Academic and Residential buildings. There are some other very small scale releases (such as those arising from laboratory fume cupboards) which have a negligible impact on the environment.


The main release from the University to Controlled Waters is rainwater runoff from buildings and car parks. The other significant aqueous release is foul water to the sewerage system. Part of the latter will include very small amounts of permitted chemicals from laboratories.

Radioactive Nuclides

The university is authorised to accumulate and dispose of radioactive waste to foul sewer and atmosphere under the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations (2007). This activity is strictly controlled by the Environment Agency. The university policy is to reduce such releases to the environment wherever possible. For example, if a researcher requests authorisation to use radionuclides then they have to justify the use, including a demonstration that there are no alternative methodologies which could eliminate such use. It is not possible to set numerical targets for reduction as the materials are obtained in only the quantities required to undertake the experiments dictated by the authorised research programmes. However, for the period 2001 to 2010 there has been a 66% reduction in radionuclide usage at the university.