Staff and Student Engagement
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.
Staff and students can keep up to date with sustainability news and events by subscribite to our mailing list.
DMU Sustainability Engagement Plan
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. The commitments made in the aforementioned policies and strategies shaped the ‘DMU Sustainability Engagement Plan’, a document that sets out engagement strategies that not only provides a platform to communicate the university’s own sustainability message, but also empowers the DMU community to have their say on the matter. As well as being a road map to achieving the university’s engagement objectives in sustainability, the DMU Sustainability Engagement Plan is also a mechanism of reporting progress towards these targets, with the use of baselines as a foundation to build upon.
All staff and student inductions include information about sustainable development and areas for engagement in sustainability. The student e-induction contains a module on campus sustainability, including volunteering opportunities and the University’s sustainability policy, strategy and targets. The sustainability team also attend all the welcome events for new staff to talk about sustainability and how staff can get involved.
A Sustainability Calendar
Throughout the year, we try and provide as many opportunities as possible for engagement in sustainability.
In the Winter Term - We head out onto campus for our sustainability roadshows, meeting staff and students in a range of different spaces, from student accomodation to the Food Village. It is here that we promote a series of sustainability events, including Hedgehog Friendly Campus, Carbon Literacy Project, Sustainability Advocates and so much more! The roadshows also offers staff and students the opportunity to share their thoughts and ideas on sustainability.
In the Spring Term - Students Organising for Sustainability (SOS) projects are in full swing, programmes such as the Responsible Futures and Green Impact. These sustainable development projects aim to incorporate sustainable developement into the university experience, encouraging staff and student participants to promote engagement activity such as the SDG - Teach-in, the SeeDs Grants and Hedgehog Friendly Campus.
In the Summer Term - The academic year is winding down but the sustainability engagement continues to go strong. The sustainability team, Marketing and Communication and the Leicester City Council join forces to promote The Daria Project, a sustainable transport initiative that offers free adult biking sessions to staff and students. The DMU community will also be offered free and accredited climate change training in the Carbon Literacy Project. Students are invited to become Green Impact Auditors to assist participating teams receive their awards.
Funding Staff and Student Projects
The university is proud to offer funds for sustainability projects through the SeeD Grants. The funding was set up to provide funding to kickstart small-scale sustainability projects at DMU and in the surrounding community. The funding is open to DMU staff, students and alumni and funds projects that have a focus on sustainable development and has direct link to one or more of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Funding from the SeeD Grants has introduced a number of exciting projects onto campus, including that of the DMU Allotment, which was opened in 2022 and is still open for use today! Staff and students who would like to grow their own fruit and vegatables in the 2023/24 academic year can register their interest by emailing email@example.com.
Trade Unions and Student Voice
Invitations are extended to recognised Trade Union representatives and students by way of membership of the University's Sustainability Committee, to which the sustainability strategy, carbon management plan and other relevant strategic areas of sustainable development are reported. Trade union and student participation in this university leadership committee offers a mechanism for both Trades Union input for sustainability issues and decision-making and the platform for further sustainability achievements. Details of memberships can be accessed on our Sustainability Strategy page.
Staff and Students Led Evaluation
The university conduct student and staff-led tracking exercises of sustainability performance through the Students Organsising for Sustaianbility (SOS) programmes Responsible Futures and Green Impact.
Staff and students were also involved in the creation and ongoing oversight of key areas such as the Carbon Management Plan, Environmental Policy and Sustainability Strategy through the Sustainable Development Task Force (SDTF) which co-ordinated sustainability activity at DMU until 2018. The SDTF comprised of staff and students from across the institution. Since this date progress on these documents are also reported to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal committee, where staff and student representatives have the opportunity to provide feedback that can shape the university’s sustainable objectives. Progress is also reported to the University Leadership Board and the Board of Governors, which include staff and student representation. The feedback from students at the university studying Corporate Social Responsibility and attending Carbon Literacy training also plays a key role in shaping DMU’s sustainability targets and actions.
Make a difference to sustainability this year at DMU – become a Sustainability Advocate. As an Advocate, your role is to be a champion at DMU for issues you feel passionate about, whether this is climate action, social justice, caring for nature or otherwise. Through the scheme you will be supported to Learn, Network, Contribute and get Recognition for your efforts.
Check out more details of the Sustainability Advocates.
DMU in the Community
DMU is an institution committed to the public good - and its public engagement work through DMU Local is an important part of that commitment. DMU Local organises volunteering for both students and staff, who worked on more than 101 projects contributing 20,465 hours of work predominately in the communities of Leicester.
Katie Normington became Vice-Chancellor of the university in the 2020/21 academic year. When joining the university, the Vice-Chancellor made a commitment to create a new strategic plan for the university, in a process called ‘Shape our Future’. A fundamental part of shaping the new strategic plan was to make sure that students had their say on the direction in which the university is going. As a result, DMU students were able to share their thoughts on our new strategy through a number of channels including:
- Live workshops;
- Self-managed small group discussions;
- Microsoft Teams spaces;
- Online forms for you to submit your comments. Please note, to access the online forms you must be logged into your DMU account on the DMU network.
The university works closely with the De Montfort Students' Union (DSU) to engage students in the sustainability agenda. The DSU have launched a GoGreen campaign to raise awareness of sustainability on campus and to engage students on this issues. The DSU have also taken part in sustainability campaigns around Period Poverty, sustainable shopping, and supporting student's mental wellbeing.