Our work on Goal 3

Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.

Goal 3: Good Health and Wellbeing

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Goal 3: Good Health and Wellbeing

As one of the world’s leading research institutions and the UK’s first university to have social responsibility as a core goal, we’re tackling the SDGs in four inter-related ways: through our research, learning and students, public engagement activity and operations.

Here’s a selection of our work addressing Goal 3.


Removing harmful pollutants from industrial wastewater with innovative technology

Researchers in Chemical Engineering and Analytical Sciences have worked with our spin-out company Arvia Technology to develop an electrochemical process that has dramatically reduced wastewater pollution levels and enabled water recycling across numerous industries.

The Arvia process has reduced pollutant levels from pesticides to match UK drinking water standards; removed 90% of pharmaceutical residues and natural hormones from industrial wastewater; and reduced the release of high microbial wastewaters which can cause anti-microbial resistance.

Arvia Technology has now installed treatment systems in 25 companies across 11 countries, including the UK and China.

Independent Inequalities Commission

An Independent Inequalities Commission involved two experts from the University set out a range of measures for tackling inequality and transforming public policy across Greater Manchester.

The Commission outlined specific, ambitious recommendations for the future of our city-region, covering economic growth, health, wellbeing, jobs, housing, transport, skills and training, which will be embedded within public service delivery at all levels and informs the elected Mayor’s next Greater Manchester Strategy.


Learning and students

Humanising Healthcare

Our Humanising Healthcare initiative embeds community service and engagement within dentistry, pharmacy and optometry programmes.

It supports students to deliver essential healthcare and education to communities as part of the curriculum.

It also encourages global volunteering and the development of civic values and skills in the future health workforce.

Antibiotic guardians

Our Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health has successfully established the Action on Antibiotic Drug Resistance: One Student. One Campus. One World programme.

We’re now working to create a wider student-led network with other universities in the north-west and across Africa.


Public engagement

UK rivers and microplastics

Life below water, in rivers and at sea, is threatened by waste flowing from urban river channels into the oceans.

We’ve been highlighting the effect of microplastics – very small pieces of plastic debris including microbeads, microfibres and plastic fragments – on river systems and marine life through a range of pro-active media coverage, engagement with water companies and input into UK legislation on water management.

Air quality

Our Policy@Manchester publication On Air Quality explores how air pollution affects public health, economic outcomes and acts to widen existing inequalities.

Some of the recommendations include extending projects such as the Manchester Urban Observatory and citizen science projects like Britain Breathing to provide accurate on-the-ground information about poor air quality, which disproportionally affects already-disadvantaged communities.

We’ve also helped create the Clean Air for Schools Framework, which engages and educates the next generation to help them and their families make cleaner air choices.



Biodiversity on campus

The Firs is located on the University’s Fallowfield campus and houses a suite of facilities for environmental research, monitoring and engagement.

Our UNESCO World Heritage site, Jodrell Bank, is another area rich in biodiversity. 

To help promote biodiversity on campus, we’ve developed:

  • an online, interactive campus Tree Trail highlighting 50 of the 1,500 trees across Oxford Road Campus, North Campus and Whitworth Park.
  • a tree plan requiring the planting of two trees for every one removed by our campus developments.
  • UMAPIT (University of Manchester Animal Positions and Information Tracker) – a bespoke app to allows the public to record sightings of urban wildlife species.

We’ve also transformed a former road into Brunswick Park – a pocket park to enhance green space and wellbeing on campus.



Green spaces, health and wellbeing

Our Natural and Cultural Health Service is a programme of outdoor activities run by the Whitworth to promote good physical and mental wellbeing.

Staff, students and the public are also encouraged to use our FIRS botanical gardens to bring gardening, wellbeing and botany to more people.