Engaging the university community on environmental and sustainability issues is key to ensuring that the organisation is able to make continual improvements in its sustainability performance.
The university has made a number of strategic commitments through its Environmental Policy, sustainability strategy and carbon management plan to communicate and engage with the university community on sustainability issues and to report annual progress on these issues publicly through its website. A number of engagement targets have also been adopted.
The university has committed to engage its community on sustainability issues in a number of different ways.
Sustainable Development Task Force
As part of its terms of reference the Sustainable Development Task Force is charged with developing the communication of information concerning sustainable development across the university with both staff and students.
This is achieved through the makeup of the group which includes representatives from the student body i.e. the DSU and representatives from across the different faculties and directorates.
This is also achieved through the annual reporting of sustainability performance through social media and through the annual report to the SDTF and through the regular review of policies and procedures which relate to sustainability by the SDTF. All policies are available through the university’s webpages which also provides an opportunity for staff and students to further engage.
Annual Performance Report
The annual environmental performance report contains details of the university’s current environmental performance across a range of environmental and sustainability topics. The report is presented to the SDTF once a year for approval before being submitted for final approval by the Executive Board. Both of these bodies have representatives of the student body on them.
Details of the annual Environment Reports can be found on our sustainability strategy pages. There is also an opportunity through these pages to provide feedback on the content and format of the reports.
Carbon Management Plan
The university has a key role to play in reducing carbon (greenhouse gas) emissions not only through the management of its estate and operations but also through the engagement and education of its students and staff. The university has produced a carbon management plan (CMP) which sets out the action that DMU will take to reduce its carbon emissions. The CMP has been produced through consultation with staff and students at DMU. The consultation process has included workshops with staff and students and direct contact with individual stakeholders and experts within the university.
As part of the CMP the university has committed to report progress on an annual basis and provide opportunities for staff and students to comment and feedback on the progress of the CMP. This annual reporting is through the annual Environment Report.
Staff and student induction
DMU staff and students are made aware of the university’s sustainability work through the induction processes. For staff this is through the Essential DMU induction process which includes an environmental induction as well as background about the different sustainability projects which are run by DMU. For DMU students this is achieved through the e-induction process. This process provides information on the university’s sustainability work and performance as well as how students can get involved in projects at DMU.
The sustainability team at DMU use a number of different social media platforms to communicate current sustainability initiatives. These include sustainableDMU Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. These platforms are used to communicate current and forthcoming initiatives such as green week, Fairtrade Fortnight and Green Impact.
One of the keys ways of improving our environmental performance is through engaging with our university community and encouraging greener behaviours. As such the university has set itself targets for running behaviour change projects with its staff and students. These targets are to:-
- Deliver at least one environmental behaviour change project per year in halls of residence for students (Student Switch Off) to 2016/17
- Deliver at least one environmental behaviour change project per year for staff (Green Impact or similar) to 2016/17
Progress against these targets, and progress on engaging the university community is reported through the university’s annual Environmental Report and discussed at the SDTF on a regular basis. The sustainability team are responsible for gathering the information and producing the annual reports.