From introducing plastic bag charges, high recycling rates, becoming one of the first countries in the world to have sustainability written into law and plans to become net zero by 2050, Wales may be a small country – but it has big and bold plans for a sustainable future.
Innovative solutions to complex problems
From Aberystwyth University’s creation of a solar panel farm with 4,500 panels stretching across 3.8 hectares of land, to Wrexham Glyndwr rolling out a new fleet of electric vehicles and Cardiff Met topping the green league for sustainability, across Wales, each university is adopting their own strategy to go green.
We are lucky that Wales is a land full of natural resources – from the mountains of Snowdonia to the coastal ports in Pembrokeshire. And universities such as Bangor, in North Wales, is harnessing that power, providing 100 per cent of its electricity from guaranteed renewable sources and leading on pioneering research into nuclear reactors.
Innovative and pioneering research is being undertaken by academics at Welsh universities up and down the country. More is becoming known about how the restoration of the UK’s seagrass will help fight climate change at Swansea University, and there are ambitious plans at University of South Wales to help decarbonise industry in South Wales (the second largest industrial emitter of carbon dioxide in the UK).
Welsh Higher Education is playing its part in the fight against climate change.
The path to Net Zero
All of Wales’ universities have signed up to six commitments on climate change in a report published by Universities UK in October 2021, titled ‘Confronting the climate emergency: a commitment from UK universities’.
Not only is every university committed to achieving a 100 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, but many have also elected to exceed legal requirements and lead by example in decarbonising their estates.
From declaring a climate emergency and investing in sustainable infrastructure to renewable energy procurement and fossil fuel divestment, Net Zero is a priority for every university in Wales. You’ll find details of the carbon management plans and sustainability strategies in place on each university website (scroll to the bottom of this article for more information), demonstrating each university’s promise to delivering sustainability through strategy, research, education and student experience.
A career in sustainability
With more than 60,000 green jobs set to be created within the Welsh economy by the end of 2022, and more businesses hiring sustainability officers and employers looking for green skills in their graduates, green jobs are growing.
Students and future employers care about tackling climate change – and our universities offer a wide range of courses to provide the future workforce with the skills needed to help protect our planet.
From a BSc in Environment, Sustainability and Climate Change at University of Wales Trinity Saint David which teaches you how to preserve the environment from its Swansea campus, nestled between the Brecon Beacon mountain range and the Gower Peninsula, to a three-year degree in Environmental Sustainability Science at Cardiff University, exploring clean water, land degradation and climate action, there are plenty of degrees to choose from to carve out a long-term career in sustainability.
Ground-breaking research, innovative strategies and policies and equipping more students with the skills required to conserve our environment is now more important than ever. If you’re looking for a career in sustainability and a way to make a difference in the fight against climate change, choose to study in Wales.
This is your future. This is our future. This is Wales.
Sustainability starts here.
Further reading on carbon management and wider sustainability planning in HE institutions in Wales:
Cardiff Metropolitan University
University of Wales Trinity St David