Keywords: sustainable development, higher education, environmental management systems, EMS, sustainability, UK universities, United Kingdom, environmental policy, institutional pathways, staff engagement, student engagement, obstacles, progress
What does a sustainability manager do? Sustainable development at the University of Leeds
This paper discusses a large UK university's sustainable development programme and provides a framework for replication in other educational organisations. The development and implementation of its environmental management system centred on a review of environmental activities, adoption of an environmental policy, creation of new resources, staff and student awareness programmes and measurement of performance. This has extended into a wider sustainable development programme. Engagement with staff, students and stakeholders was crucial to success. Progress made including awards for environmental improvement is summarised, together with the transition to a second phase that includes social and economic criteria. Details of institutional pathways, staff and student engagement, obstacles and progress are included to present an organisational perspective. Educational organisations will be at various stages of implementing sustainable development programmes. The experience gained at one of the UK's largest universities provides practical advice, relevance and value.