Annual Report 2016/17

I am delighted with the progress we have made in 2016/17. We have made an impressive reduction in our carbon dioxide emissions of around 2,000 tonnes this year through our carbon reduction programme.  We have also taken positive steps to consider the carbon emissions associated with our energy supply contracts and our investment policies.  In Spring 2017, the electricity contract for the University was reviewed and a decision was made to buy into a Green Energy contract.  Our electricity supplier (EDF) can now certify that the University of Exeter has 100% of its electricity from a certified supply of wind, solar or hydro sources demonstrating our commitment to reduce the environmental impact of our electricity supply.  We reviewed and updated our Investment Policy in December 2016 and now devote a portion of the University's endowment portfolio to socially responsible investment funds, including renewable technologies.

We published our revised Environmental Policy in May 2017, which strengthens our commitments for all areas of sustainability across our campuses, and we have developed our Environmental Management Standard which translates this Policy into the action required by managers and staff at a local level.
Our engagement programmes for staff and students go from strength to strength. We have successfully completed the pilot phase of Green Exeter for staff, with a total of nine departments participating in the scheme. Our Business School and Psychology department have both demonstrated strong leadership by being the first teams to be awarded Exemplar and Essentials status respectively.  Our students have also worked hard to reduce their carbon footprint through the “Student Switch Off" Campaign, with over 1,100 students signing up to the campaign.

Our sustainability endeavours continue to be recognised nationally through our position in the People and Planet “Green” League and the award of Green Flag and Fairtrade status.  At an international level we were delighted that the innovative Green Consultants programme was awarded the Re-Imagine Education Award for Sustainability.

We are extremely proud of our achievements which continue to grow each year but recognise that there is much to do in order to ensure we meet our environment commitments and the challenging targets we have set for ourselves.  We will continue work with both the University and the local and wider communities over the coming years, to ensure we reduce our environmental impact and make a positive contribution at a local, national and international level.

Mike Shore Nye, Registrar and Secretary