Our approach to sustainability

Here at ARU, we believe in making informed decisions, and taking responsibility for the impact of our actions on current and future generations. And so we've pledged to incorporate sustainability into every aspect of University life.

Shadows of the letters ARU on a wall, with pink flowers in the foreground

Sustainability policy and strategy

Our Sustainability Policy (PDF) sets out four goal areas: our students, our research and innovation, underpinning operations, and our community.

  1. We encourage our students to be the change. All our courses include sustainability as a learning outcome, which is supported by our Education for Sustainability team and monitored by our Academic Registry.
  2. We take a distinctive approach to our research – focusing not only on its academic quality, but also on its real-world impact. It's been shortlisted for numerous business awards and recognised for its impact.
  3. We strive, through our operations, to continually improve the environmental performance of our campuses, and the sustainability of our business processes. We've reduced our carbon emissions per floor space by 44% since 2005 by investing in our buildings, new heating, cooling, lighting and computing technologies, and engaging our staff and students to adopt greener behaviours.
  4. We continue to make positive contributions to our communities, both within the University and in the wider area, through partnership and collaboration.

All these areas are interconnected, and inform every aspect of what we do.

Our Sustainability Strategy 2020-26 (PDF) details how and when these goals will be delivered and their success measured.

Through our strategy, we make sure that sustainability is woven into our formal and informal curriculum, our research work, and the very fabric of our campuses. We also encourage and support student initiatives.

With Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) across the four goals, the strategy builds on its predecessor and gives us a clear path towards a more sustainable University.

Our current Strategy builds on our Sustainability Strategy 2016-2020 (PDF).

ISO 14001

We have been certified to the international environmental management standard ISO 14001 since 2009 to ensure we comply with environmental laws and continually improve our sustainability performance.

We use our ISO 14001 management system to deliver our sustainability policy and strategy and gain independent verification of how well we do this.

ARU staff and students can view our ISO 14001 documentation on the Heron.

Latest sustainability news and initiatives

We also publish the annual So What? magazine to highlight the latest trends and developments in sustainability.