The University has a system of governance to integrate sustainability into decision-making, planning and continuous improvement. This ensures transparency in how we deliver on sustainability commitments made in our Strategic Plan 2017-2022 and Sustainability Strategy 2017-2022.

This mechanism includes allocated responsibilities and clear reporting lines, helping us to progressively embed sustainability into organisational culture and practice. The aim is to ensure that sustainability is considered at the highest levels of decision-making and key stakeholders are kept informed about new developments and on professional responsibilities in their area. This approach means that:

  • Overall responsibility for sustainability remains with the Vice-Chancellor
  • University Council receive regular updates and provide input on sustainability
  • The Director of Sustainability directly informs the executive group (UEC)
  • The senior management team (UMG) is involved in all relevant discussions

Sustainability Committee

The University’s Sustainability Committee (SC) meets twice a year and advises on institutional development, policies, resourcing and implementation of sustainability. It is a formal executive-level committee of the University, reporting directly to the University Executive Committee (UEC).

SC membership has widened since its inception, to include representatives from professional services departments, academic schools, Students’ Union, Trades Unions, student representatives and university caterers.

SC plays a key role in maintaining our ISO 14001 accreditation and supports the process of annual reporting on sustainability across the University. It acts as an expert forum, taking perspective from all parts of the institution on cross-cutting sustainability issues and advising on policy and practice, as well as encouraging participation and action across the organisation.

ISO 14001

Our sustainability governance arrangements and the operation of our environmental management system (EMS) are accredited through ISO 14001. In November 2017 we completed our registration to the new 2015 standard.

The scope of our EMS covers the whole University estate – our 4 campuses at Park, Francis Close Hall, Hardwick and Oxstalls – plus all areas of business, both campus operations and academic activities.

This also provides external oversight of how we deliver against our key policies and plans relevant to sustainability.

Key Roles & Responsibilities

Council Representation – Vice-Chair of University Council

The Vice-Chair currently holds portfolio responsibility for sustainability on the University Council and is also a member of the Sustainability Committee (SC). She provides regular updates to Council, ensures that sustainability concerns receive due consideration in Council decision-making processes and also feeds back to the SC on relevant matters from Council.

Executive Oversight – Dean of Academic Development

The Dean of Academic Development currently acts as the executive line manager for the Sustainability Team and ensures that the University Executive Committee (UEC) is advised of relevant issues in sustainability and that the Vice-Chancellor is regularly briefed on matters raised by the Director of Sustainability.

Senior Management – Director of Sustainability

The Director of Sustainability is a senior manager and member of the University Management Group (UMG), responsible for sustainability KPIs in the Operating Plan and delivery of the Sustainability Strategy, plus associated annual reporting duties. She also serves as Chair of the Sustainability Committee and reports on risks, compliances and reputation in sustainability.