Sustainable Campus

There are a number of interrelated elements which need to be addressed to start to deliver a sustainable campus. This pages provides details to the different elements, and supporting information, that DMU use to deliver a sustainable campus.

Policy, Strategy and Targets

The University's environmental policy, strategy and targets contain the institution's overarching commitments to environmental management and performance. To find out more on the policy, strategy and targets, as well as the DMU annual sustainability reports, click here

Meet the team

DMU is committed to successfully shaping a sustainable world by combining research excellence, innovative thinking and ambitious plans for our estates. Working across a wide range of roles, meet the team working towards delivering these sustainability ambitions at De Montfort University by clicking here

Environmental Management System

In order to co-ordinate activity and progress against the objectives and targets the university has an environmental management system (EMS). The EMS has been implemented according to the British Standard for EMS which is known as BS8555. Our EMS is externally verified on an annual basis against the requirements of the BS8555 standard. Details of our EMS can be found here.

Ethical Investment and Banking

As well as adopting sustainable development principles in the management of the campus, the university also extends this to how it invests its funds. The university has a robust investment policy that commits ethical investments and the screening out of specific harmful sectors. Further details on the policy and investment committees are here.

Ethical Careers and Recruitment 

DMU is committed to ethical careers, placements and recruitment. Strong sustainability and ethical considerations are given to the involvement our DMU Works Careers and Placements team have with all third-party organisations.

DMU also has a dedicated team responsible for helping students and graduates with their career; DMU Works Careers and Placements. This team is not part of any combined careers services. Meet the team working to help our students make the most of themselves by clicking here

Carbon Management

The university measures and reports carbon emissions from a variety of sources, not just its energy use. The sources include waste, water, business travel, student and staff commuting, student travel to study at DMU, halls of residences and supply chain (procurement) emissions. DMU is committed to buying 100% of its electricity from renewable sources. Details of this work can be found here.

Workers' Rights

De Montfort University was first awarded the Fairtrade University status in 2010 and is proud to support Fairtrade’s mission of providing fair deal to the producers from across the world that grow, make and produce the products we all enjoy. The university is currently preparing work towards receiving a further year of accreditation in 2022 for the Fairtrade University and College Award programme. Our Fairtrade policy can be accessed here.

DMU are also proud to support the 'Can't Buy My Silence', signing the pledge to the initiavtive that aims to create legislative and regulatory change that will make NDAs unenforceable for anything other than their original purpose – the prevention of sharing confidential business information (“intellectual property”) and trade secrets.

Sustainable Food

The Sustainability Team worked closely with the Head of Campus Services to include sustainable food sourcing criteria when the catering provision was renewed several years ago. The tender documentation for the contract clearly stated that the objective of the contract is ‘to support the university’s Sustainable Food Policy and Action Plan’ which includes commitments around ethical and sustainable food sourcing. Copies of the university’s Fairtrade policy and Environmental policy were included within the tender documentation which was provided to all prospective suppliers. Furthermore, the compliance of the new contractor with relevant DMU policies, such as: Fairtrade Policy, Sustainable Food Policy and Environmental Policy, has been included as part of the Service Level Agreement within the contract. Requirements around sustainability have also been included in the vending contract for the university. An extract of the contract for external food providers can be accessed here

The university works closely with Chartwells to embed sustainability into its food offering across campus and through its hospitality service. These commitments are contained within the Sustainable Food Policy and highlighted on our hospitality webpage and in our hospitality brochure. As part of our commitment to sustainable produce, DMU also grows food on campus in the Trinity Herb Garden which is then used by Chartwell chefs in their cooking. Read more here.

In addition to serving more sustainably and ethically sourced produce, De Montfort University is also tackling single-use plastic through the 'Choose to Reuse' campaign and through the installation of a large number of water fountains and 'refill points' on campus which provide free drinking water for staff and students. A full list of the water fountains and refill points can be found here.

The 2020/21 academic year saw the funding of a DMU student allotment, right next to the idyllic settings of Trinity House. In the 2021/22 academic year, the allotment officially opened, allowing students to grow a variety of fruits, vegetables and plants. The aim of the allotment is to offer the produce to students, the local community, and through the DMU venues. Check out the pictures from the opening day of the allotment on our Instagram account and read the full story here.

Food For Life Served Here by the Soil Association

De Montfort University Leicester’s (DMU) Riverside Café has been recognised for its high standards of ethics and sustainability. The university’s catering partner Chartwells was awarded the ‘Food for Life Served Here’ standard for the café by national charity the Soil Association. Further details on this accreditation can be accessed here.

Staff and Student Engagement

Becoming a sustainable university will only happen if staff and students are engaged in this agenda. It is for this reason that the university has created the ‘DMU Sustainability Engagement Plan’, to set our objectives, set engagement targets and keep track of our progress in engagement around sustainability. Further information and a link to the Staff and Student Engagement Plan can be accessed here

Education for Sustainable Development

Our biggest impact on sustainable development is through our teaching and research. DMU has committed to embed Education for Sustainable Development into its formal, informal and hidden curriculum. Details of this work can be found on our teaching page.

De Montfort University is also working to widen participation and provide equal access to education for all through initiatives such as the Article 26 Scholarship. A scholarship that provides a full fee waiver and a contribution towards living costs to people seeking asylum and those with other forms of leave to remain in the UK. 

Waste Reduction 

We understand the importance to recycle as much waste as possible on campus. As a result of this, we have set highly ambitious recyling targets at DMU. These targets can be accessed here

De Montfort University is also commited to reduce the amount of waste on campus, in particular plastic waste. To do this, we have set up dozens of water fountains on campus to provide staff and students a viable alternative to bottled water. The locations can be found here

Water Management

DMU has a comprehensive monitoring system in place which records water consumption in our buildings across the campus. The system is used by the DMU Energy Team to monitor trends in consumption, identify water leaks on campus and to encourage greater water efficiency in our buildings. The University has water reduction targets that it is working towards and progress against these targets is reported annually to the senior leadership team.

Our waste water is treated through the local sewage system and we have a number of management practices and training programs in place to ensure that our waste water discharges are in line with the requirements of our sewage provider Severn Trent. These practices include an environmental management system which is external assessed on an annual basis to ensure that the university is compliant with environmental legislation including waste water discharges and Health & Safety policies to manage practices in labs.