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Estates & Facilities

Our Projects

With over 20,000 students and around 2,500 staff the University of Salford's operations have a significant impact on the environment. See Our Performance for more information on our specific impacts. 

We are constantly looking at how we can reduce our negative impacts and increase our positive impacts in different areas, including those shown below. Explore the different areas to find out what we have done, are doing and are planning to do.

In 2010 as part of our Carbon Management Plan we committed to reducing scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions by 43% from the 2005/6 baseline (nearly 20,000 tonnes) by September 2020. Our interim milestone was to reduce emissions by 30% by September 2015.

Scope 1 emissions are those released from fuel used directly by the University, so fuel in university vehicles and gas. Scope 2 emissions are those released indirectly by the university from electricity consumption, i.e. the emissions from the power station. 

By the end of 2015/16 we have reduced our scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions by 45% since 2005/6, meeting our target of 43% early, saving over 30,000 tonnes of carbon and £7.5m compared to our business as usual predictions. 

We recognise our challenge is going to be maintaining and building on this reduction and are currently in the process of developing Phase 2 of the Carbon Management Plan.

Detailed here are just a few of the projects we have or are in the process of implementing on our campuses to improve our efficiency in energy and water consumption.

For more information on any of these projects, please contact

To find out what more you can do as a member of staff or a student have a look at our Quick Tips

Lighting Awareness

As part of the University’s Carbon Management Plan there is a programme of lighting change across the campus to replace the old, energy inefficient light fittings with new energy efficient LED lighting, along with associated lighting controls. It is estimated lighting accounts for around 25% of electricity and 30% of the University’s Carbon Footprint, so it makes sense for this area to be heavily targeted. The new light fittings don’t suffer from flicker and therefore give a more relaxing environment to those susceptible to this phenomenon. These new lights will also save the University money and generally have a payback of less than 3 years (on 24-hour applications the payback is less than 2 years!). Some of the projects already carried out include:

  • Replacing all the corridor lights in Technology House with a mixture of LED tubes and LED flat panels.
  • Mary Seacole lights in corridors and lecture theatres have been fitted with PIRs (Passive Infra Red) sensors that detect movement to turn the lights on, automatically switching lights off if no movement is detected after a set amount of time, and Lux sensors, which detect the levels of natural light and switch the lights off if a certain natural light intensity is reached.
  • Maxwell canteen, reception and shop area lighting has been changed to a mixture of LED panels, downlights and 2D lights.
  • Allerton corridors and staircases have had their inefficient T8 and T12 tubes replaced by LED lights. So far we estimate on overall saving of 106,869kg CO2/yr, but there are many more projects in the pipeline, including both light replacements and lighting controls installed.

What can you do?

If you notice any lights in your buildings which are GU10 lights or filament lights please email

Please report any flickering lights to the Estate Helpdesk on 54444.

Draught Proofing

The University is embarking on a programme of draught proofing some of its worst offending buildings. Currently Crescent House has been fully completed and work has started on Maxwell Building. Gaps in walls and around window and door space can lead to a building losing as much as 50% of its heat, with up to 20% lost through walls and 30% through windows and doors. Excess heat loss from a building means its heating system has to work harder to maintain a comfortable temperature. This results in higher fuel and maintenance costs.

How it Works

The buildings were thermally assessed to see where proofing was needed as it shows the greatest differences between the cold air seeping into the building and the hot air being pushed out. It is important to ensure that the building is still adequately ventilated to allow the flow for fresh air into the building, and allow the removal of moist air and burnt fuel from appliances. Sealant is applied to metal, wood, aluminium, PVC and glass effectively blocking any unwanted gaps especially around window and door frames while still allowing the windows and doors to open to aid ventilation.


  • Faster warming times
  • Better heat retention
  • Possible 25% energy saving as per the BRE report
  • Outside noise reduction
  • Increased comfort levels
  • Pay Backs

Crescent house and Maxwell are notoriously prone to heavy draughts. The cost and predicted paybacks are predicted to be as follows:

CRESCENT – Cost of install = £14,500, Savings = £4,250 & 22.5t/CO2/yr, Payback = 3.8yrs

MAXWELL – Cost of install = £37,400, Savings = £9,950/yr & 52.2t/CO2/yr, Payback = 3.8yrs

The University has facilities to recycle a number of different wastes and also has composting facilities for food waste. We are aiming to minimise the amount of waste sent to landfill and the amount of waste we produce in the first place. For information on how to reduce, reuse, recycle and dispose of your waste responsibly see here.

The University has a detailed Travel Plan and you can view a summary of this document here

You can find advice on how you can travel to the University sustainably here.

Purchasing has a key role to play in implementing sustainable development by using purchasing power to influence technology and best practice to create a greener, more ethical market place and reduce consumption of materials. Implementation of a Sustainable Procurement Strategy will also have benefits for the organisation as well as the environment including ensuring compliance with legislation, cost savings, protecting reputation and building image, rationalising the supplier base, ensuring security of supply and managing risk.

See our Sustainable Procurement Policy Statement here

We are currently developing our Sustainable Procurement Strategy to determine how to achieve our aims of meeting the requirements of Level 4 in all areas of the UK Government Flexible Framework, a self-assessment mechanism to allow organisations to measure and monitor their progress on sustainable progress over time. We are working with NETpositive Futures to develop our engagement with suppliers.

The University recognises the value of designing and constructing sustainable buildings and is committed to managing construction, refurbishment and post completion occupancy of its buildings in order to reduce environmental impact, enhance the wellbeing of staff and student users of the building and minimise operating costs. In delivering this commitment, all projects will be assessed under the Building Research Establishments BREEAM methodology. A target for all new buildings and major refurbishments to achieve an “Excellent” BREEAM rating with a minimum of “Very Good” only where there are justifiable reasons why excellent cannot be achieved.

View our Sustainable Construction Policy.

How does BREEAM work?

BREEAM (Building Research Eestablishment Environmental Assessment Method) is the leading and most widely used environmental assessment method for buildings. It sets the standard for best practice in sustainable design and has become the de facto measure used to describe a building's environmental performance.

BREEAM assesses the performance of buildings in the following areas:

  • Management: overall policy, commissioning, site management and procedures
  • Energy use: operation energy and carbon dioxide issues
  • Health and well-being: indoor and external issues affecting health and well-being
  • Pollution: air and water pollution issues
  • Transport: transport-related carbon emissions and location-related factors
  • Land use: greenfield and brownfield sites
  • Ecology: ecological value conservation and enhancement of the site
  • Materials: environmental implication of building materials, including life-cycle impacts
  • Water: consumption and water efficiency

Developers and designers are encouraged to consider these issues at the earliest opportunity to ensure sustainability is embedded into the design of the building.

Some examples in practice

New Adelphi Case Study

What is biodiversity?

Biodiversity, or biological diversity, is the variety of life! This includes variety in habitats (e.g. grassland and woodland) as well as diversity in species and the ecosystems in which they occur. Biodiversity is important because of the essential contribution that it makes to the functioning of our planet and because of all the benefits that it provides, from foods and medicine to climate regulation. Contact with biodiversity and the natural world has also been linked to improvements in health and emotional well-being.

Biodiversity on campus

Despite being just a mile and a half from the City of Manchester, the main site of the University of Salford is a leafy, riverside campus adjacent to Peel Park and the River Irwell. The habitats on the University campuses include lawned areas, memorial gardens, wildflower areas and woodlands. The Grounds Team have moved from greenhouse bought in plants to wildflower seeds in some areas of the University. Particularly on Peel Park campus there are a large variety of trees including Sycamore, Birch, Willow, Whitebeam (and other Sorbus species), Cherry, Poplar, Norway Maple, Crab Apple, Ash, Oak, Lime, Hawthorn, Southern Beech and Beech. 

Many common British wildlife can be found on the campus and surrounding areas such as Peel Park and the River Irwell, as well as some not so common! To find out some of the wildlife that have been spotted around the University of Salford see this Google map set up by some of our students.  

As part of our commitment to biodiversity across our estate we have been investigating further into exactly what biodiversity share the campus with us and how we can enhance the environment to encourage numbers to increase and entice new wildlife to the campus. We have been using the Biodiversity Index as developed by University of Northampton to create a baseline of habitat areas; view the summary of our baseline and report from a Biodiversity Student Placement commissioned in 2014.

Landscape Management Plan

We have produced a Landscape Management Plan as part of our application for a Green Flag Award for the University and to improve our management of the outside spaces on campus. The plan can be viewed here.

As part of this we have established a Green Campus Group,which is open to staff, students and the local community. The purpose of the group is to share information and engage with the University community about the current and future/potential use of outside spaces at the University of Salford and how they will and could be developed and enhanced. You can find out more in the Terms of Reference. We have set up an Office 365 'Teams' group, which you can join using this link.

Get Involved!

Bee Fact Sheet

Let us know what wildlife you have seen on campus

Tree Walk

Wild Food Recipes

Healthy and Sustainable Food Policy

Our Environmental Sustainability Policy Statement outlines our commitments to playing our part in making the world a more sustainable and equitable place. Healthier, ethically sourced, more sustainable food may help to encourage lifestyle changes both in and outside the University, leading to a positive impact on health and wellbeing, as well as the environment. We also recognise the benefits for our local, national and international communities.

This policy supports the University’s Strategic Plan Our Salford 2014-18 mission; transforming lives, stimulating discovery, realising potential. The Plan has four themes our culture, our community, our partners and our impact and identifies Sustainability as the enabler underpinning all activities within the strategy. This policy also links to the University’s Carbon Management Programme, and contributes to this programme in a number of ways, including reducing waste and water usage, as well as in energy efficiency.

To view our Sustainable Food Policy click here

To view our Sustainable Food Action Plan click here

Food for Life accrediation

SALFOOD has achieved the Soil Association’s Bronze Food for Life Catering Mark for serving fresh and healthy meals in Allerton and Maxwell Restaurants. You can find out more on our blog

Mary Seacole

In the courtyard at Mary Seacole Building there are planters containing a variety of edible plants including chives, strawberries, sage, rosemary and fennel. These edibles can be harvested and used by anybody associated with the University, including in University catering. 

The Users and Carers’ edible garden was opened in 2013 by the then Vice-Chancellor Professor Martin Hall. Staff, schoolchildren and partners from the business community got together at the end of April 2017 to work in the garden, giving the planters some maintenance and planting new edibles. 

The ‘Sow and Grow’ event was organised by colleagues from the School of Health and Society in conjunction with Bec Bennett from our Environmental Sustainability team, the Users and Carers’ Group and Incredible Edible Education.

More than 20 year 12 and 13 students from Oakwood Academy in Irlams o’ th’ Height took part planting vegetables and flowers in specially-designed boxes. It’s part of the practical experience they need studying for their Open Awards Entry Level 2 in Horticulture which also sees them working on local allotments. You can read more about the event here.

Dementia Hub

The Good-life club meets fortnightly at the Dementia Hub and is a living well group for people affected by dementia. Since the Hub was launched in May during Dementia awareness week, the focus has been on gardening, maintaining the new outdoor space at the hub and finding spaces to grow edibles. With the help of the gardening team at the University and support from Incredible Education the group have planted seeds for herbs, beetroot, spinach, potatoes and bought young tomatoes, strawberry and other edible plants that have been planted up in baskets and tubs.  

There are always some jobs to do; for those who are not interested in gardening they can use the Hub space to chat, read, engage in craft activity or relax in the pergola in the centre of the garden which has evolved into being a special space for reflection. As the group develops and new members  join the impact of this work and people’s experience is to be evaluated by researchers at the Institute in order to learn more about the benefit of these activities on living with dementia. 

Dementia Garden

A volunteer chef from “Vegetarian for Life” will be joining the group at the Hub to demonstrate how to use the edible produce in the garden and prepare a healthy meal that the group will enjoy together.

Sylvia, wife and care-partner for her husband Cliff who is living with dementia says “It’s’s homely and it makes us feel relaxed. We feel part of a family!” 

For any further information about the Good-life Club please ring Salford Institute for Dementia on 0161 295 2345

We are keen to provide more growing spaces on campus that staff, students and the local community can get involved with, so if there is an area that you think would be suitable for this then please get in touch.

Many definitions exist for Education for Sustainability (EfS), or Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) as it is also known. However, the general principles are to allow for everyone to have the appropriate knowledge, skills, attitudes and values necessary to shape a sustainable future. 

As detailed by the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO);

“Education for Sustainable Development means including key sustainable development issues into teaching and learning; for example, climate change, disaster risk reduction, biodiversity, poverty reduction, and sustainable consumption. It also requires participatory teaching and learning methods that motivate and empower learners to change their behaviour and take action for sustainable development. Education for Sustainable Development consequently promotes competencies like critical thinking, imagining future scenarios and making decisions in a collaborative way.”

To ensure sustainable development, we need to equip our graduates with the necessary skills, capacity, values and knowledge. We have a responsibility to help foster our future leaders, business people and workers as responsible citizens.


Following extensive engagement and consultation, the University of Salford community agreed a new Vision. Arising out of this a single strategic priority was agreed – the creation and development of Industry Collaboration Zones (ICZs). 

The ICZ Programme will act as a focus for collaboration within and across the University with partners in particular industry sectors. The ICZ Programme will provide new space for students, colleagues and industry partners to co-create, experiment and in so doing offer new and unique learning opportunities aimed at providing real world experiences and better preparing our students for life. You can find out more about the ICZ programme here

One of the principles of a curriculum being ICZ ‘ready’ is ‘Education for ethical behaviour’: programmes must be committed to producing ethically aware and socially responsible graduates who possess the relevant skills and values necessary to solve the complex problems of our age. Programmes should integrate relevant ethical issues, issues of sustainable development, and a wider commitment to social justice.

This principle, and in particular the ‘Engineering and Environments’ and ‘Health, wellbeing and society’ ICZs, will provide more opportunities for students to engage with sustainable development, in a way that will allow them to get a real world understanding of sustainability issues and empower learners to change their behaviour and take action for sustainable development.

Presentations and lectures

The Sustainability Team deliver presentations and guest lectures for various courses, aiming to provide students with the appropriate knowledge, skills, attitudes and values necessary to shape a sustainable future.

This includes talking to SoBE students during welcome week about the importance of sustainability in the construction and development industry, particularly the impact that the sector has on carbon emissions and resource depletion, but also how they can have a positive impact.

Lectures have been given on sustainable food to hospitality students, and as part of the Business Ethics and Sustainability module for Salford Business School. This lecture includes details of the University’s Sustainability Strategy and how we manage our environmental impact within the Estates Division. 

Projects and dissertations 

We also provide support for sustainability related coursework, be it a project from our ideas bank or their own idea. Projects students do with us have a real world application and can have a lasting impact on what the University does.  

Annually we submit live briefs for undergraduate and postgraduates in Environment and Life Sciences to tackle as part of their project work in Consultancy modules and as part of their dissertations.

In 2017/17 the Sustainability Team we have acted as the client for three groups of students in their second year of studying Environmental Management, for their consultancy module. Consultancy projects included ‘Reducing energy consumption: an approach to change behaviours within the University of Salford’, ‘Biophilia – can our campuses make staff and students happier?’ and ‘Trash Talkers- What happens to our Waste?’.

Students have also done 3 and 6 month paid placements with us as part of their courses.

This includes Dhiya Arrifin who joined the Sustainability Team in Estates in September 2016 to complete a three month Business Innovation Project as part of her studies for a Masters in Procurement and Logistics in the Business School.

Dhiya reviewed the Sustainable Construction Policy in the context of the New Adelphi Building and Library Refurbishment Projects, helping us to make improvements to the policy. She also analysed University expenditure, and we have used the spend analysis report she produced to contribute to the development of our Sustainable Procurement Strategy.