Writtle University College and ARU have merged. Writtle’s full range of college, degree, postgraduate and short courses will still be delivered on the Writtle campus. See our guide to finding Writtle information on this site.

Earth Day at ARU

Earth Day is an annual event held on 22 April that aims to inspire appreciation for our environment and raise awareness of the need to protect Earth’s natural resources for future generations.

Illustration of planet Earth with a caption encouraging a reduction in the use of fossil fuels

Although Earth Day plays a vital part in raising awareness for one day about the need for environmental protection, at ARU, every day is an Earth Day. We have a sustainability mission statement that is 'to give our students and staff the understanding and ability to make their lives and the life of the world sustainable'.

We've pledged to incorporate sustainability into every aspect of ARU’s conduct and administration and we are working towards 17 Sustainable Development Goals that were adopted by the United Nations in 2015. These goals range from ‘Good health and wellbeing’ to ‘Reduced inequalities’ and ‘Responsible consumption and production’.

Our work and research on topics such as homelessness, landscaping, energy-efficiency and food waste is evidence of our progress towards these goals and our ongoing commitment to sustainability.

Did you know...?

  • We've reduced our carbon footprint by 43% since 2006, and we aim to become zero carbon by 2045.
  • 20% of our electricity comes from windfarms in Scotland and Wales.
  • We have recently installed an additional 348 kW of solar PV panels on our rooftops, taking our total to 490 kW.
  • All our waste is either reused, recycled or used to create ‘refuse derived fuel’. We don't send any waste materials to landfill sites, and our aim is to increase our recycling rate to 60% by 2026.
  • Our RE:FIT project is introducing energy-saving measures across our campuses. Those installed so far, including 2,000 LEDs and 850 solar panels, will save 272 tonnes of CO2 annually.
  • ARU researchers led an investigation into the impact of extreme weather events on food shortages in the UK.
  • In 2023, a food security expert at ARU helped to shape a major report published by the House of Commons’ Environmental Audit Committee.
  • Our Ruskin Modules allow students to develop new skills by taking a module outside their core subject. Ruskin Modules are all aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Read more

Professor Saul Humphrey recently won a national sustainability honour, in recognition of his work in sustainable construction.

Dr Zaheer Allam, a graduate of ARU and an urban strategist, writes about how we can all help to protect our planet's resources.

Former ARU student Katie Goldsborough now works as a woodland officer. She talks about the importance of environmental awareness and the role of nature in wellbeing.

Our Education for Sustainability programme helps to make sustainability a part of all our courses, and gives students an opportunity to get involved in events and community projects outside of their studies, too.

Many of our students are promoting sustainability and encouraging change, and you can read some of their stories here.