Sustainable living

Sustainability is at the heart of student accommodation. We are passionate about championing pro-environmental behaviour supporting projects that promote sustainable living to staff and students.

Whilst living at our residences you will become familiar with GREG, the Green initiative that aims to spark action into our students living in halls of residence, so that Recycling and Environmental behaviour becomes the norm- Genius!

This student led initiative promotes sustainability at the residences by engaging with behaviour change through events, initiatives and campaigns.  If you would like to get involved with GREG and enhance your student experience, there are opportunities to volunteer with GREGs Green Army, allowing you to create a real and valuable impact on making the university a greener campus.

Students have access to comprehensive recycling facilities across our three Villages and inhabitants are educated on saving energy and reducing waste.  Students are positively encouraged to take part in our annual end of term charity reuse scheme every summer, which reduces waste and provides vital funds and resources for local charities. Since 2011 we have raised in excess of £80,000 for charity.

Our environmental impact is also considered when undertaking new builds and refurbishing residences, with a large percentage of our accommodation powered by our own combined Heat and Power stations, maximising the production of energy and recuperating heat loss. Other projects include the use of above specification insulation, implementation of LED lighting and the use of light sensors across the residences. 

We are proud to be a Fairtrade university and have held this status for over 10 years. Students and visitors to the university can enjoy Fairtrade teas, coffees, bananas and other sweet treats at our restaurants and cafes.  

Even Vale festival our annual student festival held at the Vale at the end of summer term looks to maximise recycling and promote its sustainable credentials with quirky solar powered stages and generators run on bio fuel.

(in a text box somewhere on the page): You can contact GREG at or check out GREG’s Facebook on you can even follow GREG on Twitter @UoBGREG to discover how far along he is on his mission to reduce carbon emissions!



GREG stands for Green. Reduce. Environment. Genius. Unique to the University of Birmingham, it encourages sustainable student living. Residents benefit from products and activities which help to keep our accommodation a greener place and enhance the student experience.

We can advise you on recycling in University accommodation, the best sustainable actions to take, how to save energy, how to love food and hate waste, what green events and initiatives are happening and how you can get involved in volunteering, charity work, creative thinking and events planning.