De Montfort University and De Montfort SU win sustainability award

A commitment to putting sustainability at the heart of education has won De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) and the De Montfort Students’ Union (DSU) accreditation to the national Responsible Futures scheme.

Responsible Futures is run by the National Union of Students (NUS) and is awarded to universities which are helping students gain skills and experience they need to thrive as global citizens.

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NUS’ aim with Responsible Futures is to see students leave formal education with the knowledge, skills, attributes, and values required to critically challenge the world around them, and a desire and willingness to tackle social, economic, and environmental issues and inequalities.

DMU and DSU have been recognised thanks to projects within the community, such as #DMULocal, learning about and discussing sustainability within the classroom and managing the campus in a greener way.

DMU and DSU are one of just 14 institutions and unions to have achieved the Responsible Futures accreditation.

The accreditation is further recognition for DMU, which has embedded the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals into its strategic plan and been named as a ‘designated hub’ for SDG number 16 – the first university to be chosen as such.

SDG 16 promotes peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, providing access to justice for all and building effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.

Charlotte Lingham, Green Behaviour Change Frontrunner from DMU said: “Everyone at DMU and DSU has put so much work into making the campus as sustainable as possible; including educating students both formally and informally on how to live sustainably. Gaining the Responsible Futures accreditation just goes to show the success of these effort. They have truly paid off.”

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Prof Alasdair Blair, Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor (Academic), said: “We know that the greatest positive impact we can have on the planet is by providing our students and graduates with the skills, competencies and knowledge to make sustainable choices throughout their lives and careers.

“DMU’s commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals means working with our student community to make them realisable. Being accredited by Responsible Futures demonstrates how fundamentally we wish to put this into practice and it is a fantastic achievement.”

Gladys Wakatama from De Montfort Students’ Union added: “What a great opportunity for us all to be more accountable for our actions.

“I am very proud to have been involved in this great achievement. This accreditation allows us as a Union and University to proudly continue the work we have started. I believe it is highly important that we keep the ball rolling to engage not only the students and staff involved in the audit but those who may lack the knowledge to make responsible choices.”

NUS Vice President (Society and Citizenship) Rob Young said: “We need our graduates to meet the challenges of the century ahead of us, not to repeat the mistakes of the decades behind us. That’s why I’m so thrilled that De Montfort University and De Montfort SU have been accredited by Responsible Futures.”

The Responsible Futures programme at DMU has been led by a team of academics, estates staff and students’ union officers working together.

Posted on Tuesday 14th May 2019

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