At UAL, sustainability is central to everything we do. That means it’s important that our staff and students are given the opportunity to engage with, and provide oversight on our vision and are empowered to deliver a sustainable environment and education for all.
There are lots of opportunities to play an integral part of our Sustainability journey, whether that’s by getting involved in our Sustainability Working Group, Sustainability Interns programme, Green Week, Climate assemblies and discussion groups or some of the events put on by UAL and Arts SU.
Our students are represented at all levels of decision making and we have dedicated student positions on our Sustainability Advisory Panel which includes our Deputy Vice-Chancellor. There are more examples of student oversight in our Sustainability Staff and Student Engagement Strategy.
The University’s Staff & Student Engagement strategy (PDF 987KB) compliments the work of the Climate & Environment Action Group (C&EAG) and behavioural change programmes that promote positive interventions by individuals. The UAL Sustainability Manifesto has morphed from covering issues such as health and wellbeing, a curriculum hack for sustainability to be included into the curriculum, etc. into the inclusive themes of carbon reduction, sustainable business operations, sustainable communities, sustainable learning, teaching and research, innovation and influence. More information can also be found in section 6.2 of the Carbon Management Plan.
Our ’Big Survey’ measures engagement will take place again next year. It shows an increase in awareness of environmental stewardship and social responsibility 2017 Staff Survey (PDF 71KB).
The engagement strategy is implemented by Ian Lane (Associate Director of Sustainable Operations) who also chairs the Working Group. The UAL Carbon Dashboard is updated by Rebecca Smart (Energy Projects Support Officer).
Climate Emergency Network
The UAL Climate Emergency Network is a growing community of staff and students that launched during lockdown as an extension of the Climate Assemblies that took place at Central Saint Martins, Camberwell and Chelsea in 2019 and early 2020. The Network is open to staff and students at UAL.
Their focus for 2021 is to develop a creative response to the COP26 climate summit in November. The network will be working in partnership with Glasgow School of Art and other cultural and educational organisations and will build on the Five Days. Ten Years. One Planet conference with an ambitious festival programme and campaign demonstrating the unique role of culture and education in imagining more just and eco-centric futures.
You can read more about the network, what else it's been up to and find information on how to join on the Climate Communities webpage.
Sustainability Interns as Eco-champions
In 2019 UAL welcomed the first cohort of Sustainability Interns. This programme provides funding and opportunities for 8 students to join the Sustainability team as staff and to then work as eco-champions on sustainability projects across the university. 2019’s interns are all current UAL students, with a mixture of first years and post-graduates. This programme is unique as all interns co-create their own job roles with the Sustainability team.
These roles give students professional responsibility in paid positions and as UAL Arts Temps, were paid above the London Living Wage.
Projects included the expansion of the Sustainability Working Groups, creation of an e-pledge board, a university wide sustainability survey, and developing guidance for our Learning, Teaching and Research ISO.
Student representation and the Students' Union
There is student representation on strategic decision-making bodies, including the Climate & Environment Action Group (see UAL Carbon Management Plan section 6.2 for more details). The group also includes the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, the Director of Estates and the Head of Sustainability. The Sustainability Manifesto provides topics of discussion and suggests where to act. Members of the group decide what action to take which is then approved by the Executive Board.
The Climate & Environment Action Group is chaired by Prof. Jeremy Till (Pro Vice Chancellor, Central Saint Martins) and Prof. Dilys Williams (Research Director, Centre for Sustainable Fashion) - the current membership list is:
- Ian Lane (Associate Director - Sustainable Operations)
- Carole Collet (Director CSM LCMH Sustainable Innovation)
- Prof. Dr Nicky Ryan (LCC Dean of Design)
- Revolving, Currently Yasmeen Thantrey - (Student Union Campaigns Officer)
- David Cross (Reader)
- Jane Penty (Sustainable Design Leader)
- Margot Bannerman (Tutor, Fine Art)
- Laura Baker (Technical Coordinator, Print)
- Kate Pelen (Creative Producer)
- Billie Coxhead (Materials and Products Co-ordinator)
- Ella Britton (Course Leader in Design for Social Innovation and Sustainable Future Branding and Design Innovation)
- Catherine Smith (Senior Educational Developer)
- Sarah Temple (Co-ordinator Diploma in Professional)
- Kathleen Ridley (Lecturer - Costume for Theatre)
- Helen Elder (Academic Support Lecturer)
- Danielle Tran (Interim Dean of Learning & Teaching)
- Helen Storey (Professor in Fashion Science)
- Becky Earley (Research Centre Co-Director)
- Abigail Fletcher (Lecturer in Textile Design)
Students attend regular meetings with the College Deans to discuss improvements and decide actions. The Students' Union is signed up to ‘Green Impact Students’ Unions’. Students are encouraged to join the Climate Emergency Network and contribute to discussions on climate and sustainability at the university.
We have student Societies dedicated to furthering green issues at UAL, including the Green Roof Society who have created a green growing space where edibles such as strawberries and herbs are grown.
Sustainability is a key part of the staff and student induction process at UAL with the Sustainability Coordinator presenting at both. The induction centres on UAL’s approach to sustainability, offering practical sustainability advice and the various ways to get involved. This includes events and campaigns. For example - beekeeping, gardening, the Sustainability Projects Fund and the Sustainability Working Group. Take a look at our Induction Presentation (PDF 6MB) .
New staff members are also required to complete our Carbon Literacy Training module, which introduces 5 key chapters to staff. This covers climate emergency – the facts, carbon positive, waste and circularity, buying with a conscious, and sustainable learning teaching and research.
Following our climate emergency statement, sustainability and climate learning outcomes have been introduced into every course, and our Climate Emergency Network have rolled out the award winning Climate Emergency Interactive – an introduction video for staff and students.
Take a look at our ‘Contacts and how to get involved’ page for information on events, campaigns and funding available for sustainability projects