The Sustainability Action Group hold a register of projects, devised in conjunction with the Carbon Management Plan to ensure energy conversation practices and measures will be implemented to reduce our Carbon Footprint and conserve environmental resources.
The University’s energy team is active around the campus, carrying out specific projects and monitoring our use of energy in all areas.
Our events & projects are designed to get everyone thinking about energy, sustainability and carbon reduction. We also celebrate Fairtrade Fortnight and are right behind the Fairtrade message, simple shopping choices enabling farmers to obtain better deals, allowing them to make their own decisions and control their own futures, leading a dignified life.
Below is a list of ongoing projects as well as those which have been completed and which are already making a difference.
Christmas Switch Off
The previous successful Christmas ‘Switch it off’ campaign produced results over the December/January period of an overall electricity decrease of massive 25,805 kWh’s, which calculated at just over 14 tonnes of CO² emissions.
Staff were again encouraged to switch off lights and unplug equipment during the last Christmas break.
December alone showed an overall electricity decrease of 27,945 kWh’s, which calculates at a saving of 15 and a quarter tonnes of CO² emissions. This is a decrease on last December by 0.4% and an extra saving of over a tonne of CO² emissions.
£35k Lighting Refurbishment in the Edward Llwyd Building, Wrexham. This electricity project consisted of an extensive upgrade to LED and T5 fittings in a library building. The first 12 months saw 173, 000 kWh, 85 tonnes of CO2 and £17k savings.
Insulation of Heating and Hot Water Pipework & Fittings - Wrexham. £30k heating pipework insulation project to ducts and main boiler house. As with the lighting upgrade project, impressive results were achieved. The first 12 months saved 1,080,900 kWh, 200 CO2 tonnes and £24 k.
The projects were managed by Paul, Energy & Maintenance Manager and Fiona, Energy & Sustainability Assistant. This included a Salix loan application process, tender compilation, programme of works, through to completion.
Both projects were showcased in EM (Energy Manager) Magazine.
New lamps have been installed in the Students Union area, the main walkway between the engineering and ‘D’ block buildings, and the Quadrangle/United Kitchen areas. Other areas include the health centre and ‘A’ block buildings, facing the stadium. So far, just under 60 lamp fittings, a mixture of SOX and SON, high and low-pressure sodium discharge lamps, have been replaced with more energy-efficient LED lamps.
The new LED light fittings have a light spectrum, which is a vast improvement in comparison to the previous discharge lamps. They also have a life span of about 50,000 hours, with a very slow decay.
The funding also covers LED lighting for the sports hall, engineering workshop, metrology lab and our main library, bringing environmental benefits along with financial savings. Lighting in the library is in use for many hours throughout the year, hence it was of particular interest for a modernisation programme.
Proposed savings achieved will reduce our library lighting energy costs by 40-60%. In addition, the lighting retrofit project will save on maintenance costs, because the replacement lights are used and their components have a much longer lifecycle than the previous ones. Additional savings will come from daylight sensors, so that lights can automatically turn off when daylight gives sufficient brightness in certain areas.
Wrexham Glyndŵr University is continuing to move forward with environmentally-friendly solutions after securing a £1.6m major capital funding boost.
New electric vehicles have been rolled out as part of a raft of decarbonisation, green economy and digital learning infrastructure projects at the University.
Facilities Manager Dennis Powell said: “This funding is a massive leap forward for our green agenda and has allowed us to replace our entire fleet with more environmentally sustainable vehicles."
“The vehicles and other projects are part of our wider commitment to reduce our carbon footprint and create a more sustainable environment across all our campuses.”
The electric fleet consists of two Vauxhall Vivaro e-life minibuses, two Nissan e-NV200 maintenance vehicles, a pair of Nissan Leaf staff pool cars and a site utility vehicle.
The Students’ Union has been heavily involved in WGU’s Sustainability Action Working Group who discuss green issues, and WGUSU Sustainability Officer Daniel Holmes welcomed the introduction of electric vehicles.
The Welsh Government funding also sees the installation of electric vehicle charging points at Plas Coch visitors car park, charging for minibus/maintenance vehicles next to the Students’ Union building, and another charging point at the Regent Street campus. Also included are fast charging points at Northop and St Asaph campuses.
An ambitious project to boost recycling at Wrexham Glyndŵr University has been rolled out – with the first of a series of new recycling stations across campus arriving on site.
The stations – which are themselves made out of fully-recycled materials – are part of a wider project funded by the Welsh Government’s Circular Economy Fund, which aims to see the amount of recycling Glyndŵr carries out boosted to 50 per cent.
WGU have reduced the amount of general waste bins by taking away individual desk bins, which was received well by staff. Each recycling station takes dry, mixed recycling and general waste as a minimum, with staff and students being encouraged to separate out their waste and do their bit.
Senior Health, Safety and Environment Officer Jenny Thomas said: “When we’ve talked to our staff and students before about our work to boost sustainability, one of the key things they’ve told us is that they want more places where they can recycle."
“That’s where these stations will come in – they are part of a campus-wide drive which helps people to do the right thing, and which we will use to drive our recycling rates up over the next year."
As part of Go Green Week, the Students' Union hosted a Q&A session with Annie Doherty from Veolia and Jenny Thomas ,University SHE Officer, to answer questions and queries about waste. The session was posted across social media. Recycling Q&A with Veolia and WGU.
All the general waste produced at WGU is sent for incineration, which generates electricity as a result of the process. This also means that WGU have sent zero waste to landfill since November 2019.
To date, we have increased the percentage of waste recycled on site by introducing new collection points for wood and metal – contact Estates if you have these materials you need to dispose of. All electrical items, including batteries, are collected by Information Services for recycling.
A new food waste collection has started to recycle the waste food and coffee grounds generated by on site catering facilities. Separate food waste collections will be increased further as occupation on campus starts to increase.
Hedgehog Houses and Bug Hotels
As our new recyclng bins arrived on pallets, WGU are getting creative and making them into Hedgehog Houses to support our Hedgehog Friendly Campus project and Bug Hotels to attract more wildlife onto campus.
Wildflower Turf Donation
As part of the Welsh Government’s Local Places for Nature project, a 30 metre square donation of wildflower turf was given to the University by Keep Wales Tidy.
Wrexham Glyndŵr University, in partnership with Aramark Ltd, has introduced a 20p surcharge to all hot beverages served in disposable cups across its campuses – waived if you bring your own cup. The idea behind introducing the 20p penalty for disposable cups is to encourage staff, students and visitors to adopt a more sustainable approach to waste management, reduce the amount of waste going to landfill and to cut the amount of money the University has to spend on waste management, so that funds can be invested into other resources instead. Wrexham Glyndŵr University Director of Operations, Lynda Powell said: “We’re encouraging all customers of our hot drink outlets to help us reduce and eventually prevent the amount of waste going to landfill by bringing their own reusable cup. Reusable cups are also available for purchase for £1 at all of our cafes."
Insulation of Heating and Hot Water Pipework & Fittings
New boilers have been installed at St Asaph campus.
Thermal insulation to reduce heat loss which in turn will improve the performance of the heating system and reduce gas consumption, thus reducing the University’s carbon emissions.
The supply and installation of thermal insulation of valves, flanges, heat exchangers and pipework within the low/medium temperature hot water heating system (80 - 120°C) and duty hot water system.
In line with the Heating Policy the heating is switched on in mid-October. The monitoring of timetables, optimisation settings and heating set points are altered/reduced in this period alone as the heating system is performing exceptionally well. Data is currently being analysed.
Salix was so impressed by our project that they are currently using it as a case study presenting to Town & Community Councils.