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.
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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.
DMU Sustainability Engagement Strategy
Staff and Students – Shaping sustainability at DMU
Staff and students were 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.
Join kickstart meeting on 10th November to learn about the scheme and to get involved!
Further details can be accessed here: Sustainability Advocates
All staff and student inductions include information about sustainable development. 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.
De Montfort University ran a series of online and in-person events in October and November 2021 linked to the COP26 climate change talks, which are being hosted by the UK in Glasgow in the first two weeks of November. Our event series drew on the teaching, research and community projects that DMU staff and students are involved with, and offered a wide range of ways to get involved in anything related to sustainability and climate action. Full details of the activities can be accessed here:-https://esdg.our.dmu.ac.uk/2021/10/07/oct-nov-2021-dmus-cop26-climate-change-event-series-get-involved/
The events included a session called 26 ideas for COP26 where students and staff were encouraged to suggest 26 ideas which were taken to COP26 and presented to attendees
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.
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).
Trade union representatives are included on key committees such as the Green Travel Plan group and the Sustainable Development Task Force. The university also has a network of Environmental Champions to promote and communicate sustainability across the campus.
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 (click here for a how-to-guide to explain how to join and use these forums). Please note, to access the online forums you must be logged into your DMU account on the DMU network.
- 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.