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    What is the University doing to be sustainable?

    There are various initiatives across Harper Adams University to encourage staff and students to think about sustainability across their interactions with our campus.

    Sustainable Travel

    Our unique rural location makes alternatives to the private vehicle difficult but we’re still committed to implementing initiatives and incentives to facilitate sustainable travel.  Anyone travelling is encouraged to follow the sustainable travel hierarchy, whether it is part of your daily commute, for a business/study trip or for leisure.  

    Our Sustainable Travel Plan outlines our policy and plans for improved travel and transport options. 


    The cycle to work scheme allows staff to make substantial savings on the cost of a bike, safety equipment and accessories.

    View our campus map for locations of cycle parking and shower/change facilities across the University.

    Plan your journey with CycleStreets, a UK-wide cycle journey planner system, which lets you plan routes from A to B by bike.


    Our rural location provides an excellent opportunity to get out there and experience the beautiful countryside and local surroundings. Explore local walks to Edgmond and Newport along with suggested routes for physical activity.

    Public Transport 

    The campus is served by the Arriva 521 service (Newport to Shrewsbury). The Arriva Bus app gives real time bus information. The nearest rail stations are Shrewsbury and Telford served by the Arriva 

    Find further travel information for students including the Ultimate Taxis shuttle bus service (Campus to Newport town, 7 days a week) and the cycle hire scheme.


    With over 1,400 parking spaces, car drivers may not always be able to park in their preferred choice of car park, but there should never be an issue with parking. All car park users including visitors must be registered to use the car parks. Find out more about visitor parking.

    Car park users are encouraged to: 

    • Allow a little more time to find a space, and park on the South side of campus, there are always spaces and it will be quicker than circling other car parks looking for a space 
    • Park only in designated parking bays/areas/car park(s) that are available to you  
    • Park only in the car parks NOT on the roads / pavements around campus 
    • Do NOT move your vehicle between sites (North and South).  Walk and use this as an opportunity to reduce local air pollution and increase your daily exercise. 
    • NHS England recommends brisk walking as one way towards your recommended 150 minutes of weekly exercise  
    • Where possible, car share with others to reduce traffic on campus 
    • Make use of the Ultimate Taxis minibus service between Newport and Campus 

    Staff are encouraged to ask whether they need to travel for work and where possible, utilise remote working technologies such as Microsoft Teams for business meetings. If a face to face meeting is necessary, any journey over 100 miles should be done in a University contract hire car. Alternatively, favour public transport, where possible.

    Sustainable Food

    With our own commercial farm, world-class academic research and industry-leading Agritech collaborations, our catering department must be at the forefront of promoting sustainable food. The team are working hard to implement change ensuring that we work in Food Metres, not Miles, sourcing produce directly from the University farm. Where this isn’t possible, we favour MSC fish, Red Tractor and Fairtrade. View our Sustainable Food Policy.

    Food Metres, Not Miles 

    Since 2007, we have introduced more local food sourcing to reduce food miles and support local food businesses. We have sourced native apples from 1 mile away and tomatoes from 4 miles away from (ex) staff-based farm enterprises.  On its doorstep, the University’s own farm provides pedigree Lleyn lamb, reared predominantly on grass in sites of high conservation value and pork from the farm’s White Cross 'Pietrain' Belgium breed pigs. This meat is prepared by our very own butcher.  Many of our dairy based products are locally sourced including milk supplied from Wells Farm Dairy located is Bradley near Stafford, 13 miles away from campus and cheese products from Mr Moydens, only 7 miles away.


    By choosing Fairtrade, farmers and workers in developing countries are given a better chance to work their way out of poverty, through fairer wages, safer conditions at work, and extra income to invest in bringing about changes and improving life for their whole communities. Fairtrade products are sold in our Kaldi Café and Fairtrade coffee is used in the Kaldi Café, Graze Café, QMH dining room and for hospitality service.

    Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) 

    We are MSC certified for the Queen Mother Hall dining hall and Graze café catering provision through our contract catering arrangements with The University Catering Organisation (TUCO).  This guarantees that the fish we serve is from sustainable fisheries.

    Sustainable Procurement

    Where possible the University encourages staff and students to avoid all unnecessary purchases.

    Where a purchase is made, staff and students are encouraged to consider the following: 

    • Is the existing product/appliance upgradeable? 
    • Does the product have any recycled content? 
    • Is the product made from a material that can be recycled after use? 
    • Is the product made in the UK? 
    • How energy and water-efficient is the product (energy label)
    • Can I avoid excessive packaging; will the supplier take back old items or waste packaging? 
    • Is the product easy to dismantle (separating materials is essential for successful recycling)? 
    • What are the disposal costs likely to be for the product? 
    • Can I track the supply chain to make sure there are strong ethical and environmental practices throughout the creation of the product? 

    The University also introduced 100% recycled content paper and are working hard to reduce print volumes with our Ricoh Multi-Function Devices.  

    Sustainable Waste Management

    Waste reduction and recycling is an area where you can easily contribute to reducing negative environmental impacts, as almost all of our waste could be recycled. At Harper Adams, the following items are widely recycled:

    For any item that can’t re-used, every effort is made to see if it can be recycled rather than thrown away. At Harper Adams, the following items are widely recycled:

    • Paper, card, cardboard
    • Mixed Recycling including glass, tin, plastics
    • Food / Catering waste
    • Confidential waste
    • Batteries
    • Toner cartridges
    • Waste electronic and electrical equipment (WEEE), by contacting the Estates Help Desk.

    Our current waste contractor operates a Zero Waste to Landfill. Waste that isn’t separated at the University or at the contractors processing facility for recycling is turned into a fuel for energy recovery incineration.

    Cup Deposit scheme

    We’re working hard to reduce single-use items and introduced the Cup Deposit scheme across the campus in September 2019, the first campus in the UK to remove all single use disposable coffee cups from its outlets. 

    Following a trial which involved working with the Shrewsbury Cup Scheme, a circular economy deposit scheme providing reusable coffee cups, the scheme launched in September 2019.  

    Rather than be given a disposable cup, hot drinks on the go are served in orange reusable cups charged at a £1. Whilst the lids are not reusable, they are made of vegware and can be composted. We estimate a saving of 46,404 disposable cups each year.

    Water Refill scheme 

    There are many free water stations across the campus. Staff, students and visitors can fill up for free, reduce plastic waste and enjoy the Harper Adams water. We extract and treat our own potable water from our own boreholes. Visit Refill or download the Refill app and search Graze café to find our official Refill station.

    Food waste 

    Our waste contractor supplies us with management information on our prep and plate food waste that we segregate for energy recovery (anaerobic digestion). These figures (kgs and meals equivalent) are communicated weekly and as we cater for over 350 residential students a day, students are encouraged to only take what they can eat.

    Nothing goes to waste though, as our leftover food scheme allows students to take away for free surplus food at the end of each dinner service.

    Packaging waste 

    Plastic cups have been replaced with glasses in the main dining room and the Graze Café to reduce plastic waste. There is a 20p charge for disposable takeaway boxes. The majority of our takeaway boxes are compostable/biodegradable as are the Honest Crust branded sandwiches; we have a bin in Graze Cafe for customers to return the compostable takeaway boxes.

    Sustainability in the Curriculum

    Sustainability is at the heart of our curriculum and we are committed to offering Education for Sustainable Development to all of our students, and make this public in our Strategic Plan 2020-2025 (pp. 13.), with two specific strategic aims: Securing the Skills needed by our Industries and Professions and Turning the Climate Change Debate into Action.

    Through these strategic aims, we are producing future leaders to tackle global challenges: food security, creating sustainable technologies, and managing natural resources. Our Agriculture graduates will be at the forefront of managing the changing emphasis on land use and issues such as security of food security, reconnecting the food chain, protecting the environment, sustainability and biofuels.   

    Our Environment, Sustainability and Wildlife graduates are equipped to ensure that changes in land management and land use have minimal environmental impacts - and ideally lead to a net gain - whilst contributing to the UK’s economic prosperity. These courses are accredited by professional bodies and reflect the growing need from industry to respond to government initiatives such as the Agriculture Bill, the 25-year Environment Plan and our international commitments to tackle climate change.

    This learning doesn’t just take part in the classroom - the entire university estate, including a commercial farm, is 660 hectares of living lab and a great way to see land management and conservation in action.

    Curriculum Review

    A review of the 2020/21 course offering at Undergraduate level (Bsc/(Hons), Meng, FdSC, BEng/(Hons)) reveals that throughout course completion:

    • 34 UG courses have at least 1 sustainability-themed module (15 credits)

    9 UG courses have at least 1 sustainability-themed module (15 credits) each academic year:

    • Applied Zoology
    • Wildlife Conservation and Environmental Management
    • Zoology with Environmental Management
    • Environmental Land Management
    • Agriculture
    • Agriculture with Animal Science
    • Agriculture with Crop Management
    • Agriculture with Farm Business Management
    • Agriculture with Mechanisation

    At Postgraduate Taught level, dependant on progression route (Grad Cert / PgC / PgD / MSc  / MRes), there are:

    • 13 courses with sustainability-themed modules (15 credits) with a total of 14 core and optional modules

    Biodiversity and Land Management

    Hedgehog Friendly Campus Initiative

    In October 2020, the Hedgehog Friendly Campus Campaign (HFC) was launched at Harper Adams University. Funded by the British Hedgehog Preservation Society, Universities are challenged to implement a number of different initiatives to help preserve and protect natural habitats and connected green spaces for hedgehogs whilst helping to raise awareness of the plight of the species. At Harper Adams, our HFC team is a collaboration of staff from the Sustainability team and Veterinary Health and Animal Sciences Department, with many of our campaigns open to student involvement, these being led by Lauren James (second year, Applied Zoology). To date the HFC team have:

    • Promoted campaigns and petitions for better hedgehog protection whilst raising general awareness of the plight of the hedgehog through the creation of an Instagram account - @hedgehogs_atharperadams)
    • Helped rescue Harry the Hedgehog after he was found on campus grounds in poor health being very underweight
    • Built Harry a new hedgehog house located on campus as part of his reintroduction to the local environment following a successful rehabilitation at a local animal rescue centre
    • Raised awareness of the dangers hedgehogs can face during bonfire week through the circulation of awareness material and an on campus cake sale with donations going to The British Hedgehog Preservation Society
    • Received hedgehog ecology, land management and first aid training for the University grounds team, who have also installed ‘precaution’ stickers on all relevant ground maintenance machinery that could harm hedgehogs e.g. strimmers and mowers.

    The next steps and opportunities for involvement include:

    • Undertaking a hedgehog survey on the campus grounds with training provided by the HFC charity
    • Staff and students litter picks around the campus and local area
    • Fundraising events in aid of Hedgehog Awareness Week (May 2021)

    If you would like to get involved or have any questions, please contact our HFC team using or message the Instagram page (@hedgehogs_atharperadams), managed by Lauren, the student ambassador for the HFC at Harper.

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