Staff and Student Engagement

In 2020, the University awarded small amounts of money to staff and student groups in order to carry out small projects. 

This led to the creation of ‘WildStaffs’, a group which carried out measures to improve biodiversity including planting trees and hedgerows and working to create a hedgehog friendly campus at Stoke.  A second project resulted in a piece of work which was written up as the ’15 minute campus’ report which has been published as an academic paper.

We ran a Sustainability week in 2022 during which staff and students were encouraged to undertake various challenges in order to win prizes designed to help them reduce their consumption and to act more sustainably.

This plan is lead by:

  • Helen Rutherford, Head of Sustainable Campus Operations

The plan is enabled by:

All staff and students have the opportunity to engage with a wide range of issues relating to environmental sustainability.  The University works with the Students’ Union on joint initiatives.



Targets and progress


The University will run at least one major sustainability campaign each semester, for example, Sustainability week


Progress status: GREEN

There have been initiatives involving staff and students in each of 2021 (opportunity to pitch for funding for Sustainability Projects) and 2022 (Sustainability Week challenges).

The Students’ Union is a key partner for the University – and they were awarded ‘Excellent’ in the SOS-UK 2021-22 Green Impact awards for sustainability (an initiative open to all students unions).

Operational priorities for 2023/24

  • Work closely with the Students’ Union – recognising the work that they do – and run engagement activities as a joint activity wherever possible
  • Run a ‘single use plastic challenge’, asking staff and students to bring forward items of single use plastic which their team or department uses and asking them if they could remove, recycle or replace this item with a better alternative. This would generate a certain amount of social media publicity, making people aware not only of the cost of these items in financial terms, but also in terms of the emissions in making it, bringing it to site and disposing of it
  • Run the staff and student travel surveys again, and follow up with focus groups to discuss the barriers to more sustainable travel
  • Promote the ‘bike user’ group
  • Promote the SOS-UK (student organisation) UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) teach in in March 2024
  • Incorporate guidance on responsible consumption and sustainability into student welcome activities September 2023 and January 2024
  • Incorporate information about our commitment and progress to date in Open Days for prospective students
  • Run a series of open engagement sessions for students on topics such as ‘how to make a difference’, ‘how to engage with employers on sustainability and responsible investment’ 
in the UK for Quality Education

Sustainable Development Goal 4, Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2023

for Career Prospects

Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023

for Facilities

Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023

for Social Inclusion

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023

of Research Impact is ‘Outstanding’ or ‘Very Considerable’

Research Excellence Framework 2021

of Research is “Internationally Excellent” or “World Leading”

Research Excellence Framework 2021

Four Star Rating

QS Star Ratings 2021