Behaviour changers

Every strategy is only as good as the people who decide to implement it. If we want to achieve the goals set out in this strategy every member of staff and students at our University will need to pull together and do things differently.

By collectively showing a commitment to positive behaviour change and an increase in volunteering activity, together we can reach the tipping point – not the tipping point of climate disaster, but the tipping point of reaching net zero, of preventing mass extinction, and of increased equality, diversity, inclusion and social justice.

There is only one goal in this section of the strategy. That is to engage every member of staff, students – and, where appropriate, community members – in bringing our sustainability vision and strategy to life. We will do a number of things to support this goal.

Our dedicated sustainability communication and engagement officer will support our staff and students to consciously make more sustainable choices on campus through new web pages and a programme of communications activities, including a stall at our Freshers Fairs.

We will also create a network of sustainability champions in every academic school and professional service area. These champions will help to implement the strategy and drive behaviour change from the bottom up in the areas where they work and study.

Our sustainability champions will not be passive onlookers, they will be partners who get their hands dirty supporting us in practical audits of our waste. They will help to clean up our beaches. They will redistribute food and they will develop sustainability improvement plans in their Schools, offices and accommodation blocks.

We have previously used an external programme called Green Impact, to set environmental challenges for our staff. However, we suspended our Green Impact subscription during the pandemic because of the lack of staff on campus. We want to establish whether Green Impact continues to be the optimum tool for engaging our staff in implementing the vision within our strategy or if we should create our own environmental challenges for staff. So, we will have focus groups in Summer 2021 with former Green Impact Teams to identify whether we continue with this service or create our own from August 2021 onwards.

We will also extend our approach of integrating sustainability throughout the entire organisation into our operational processes and procedures.

Ultimately, this strategy needs to be a living, breathing vision powered by our staff and students. Our success will rest on our ability to galvanise everyone on campus and beyond to pull together to use our unique talents and realise our vision of being one the most sustainable universities in the world.