By Heather Johnson, Sustainability Unit
Over the summer, the Sustainability Unit has been working on creating a new programme called Climate Action. Climate Action has been designed for Departments across the University to improve their sustainability performance. The actions have been designed so that they are relevant and achievable, regardless of whether the team are working from campus, home or a combination of the two.
Since 2013, Departments have taken part in SOS-UK Green Impact programme. There have been many highlights from the programme; Seaborne Library’s Caring Cups, Student Futures 12 Days of Kindness, Estates and Facilities Swap Shop, these are just a few of the many achievements! When it came to planning for 2020/21, we looked through feedback and discussed the adaptations we would need to make as a result of many of us now working from home. After doing so, we made the decision to take a step back from Green Impact for this year and create our own programme, Climate Action. We wanted to create a new programme that was personal to the University of Chester and reflects the needs of different departments across different campuses, but continue to have something that brings together teams, more so now that teams are physically separated.
How will it work?
Each Climate Action team will be set up with their own channel on Microsoft Teams. From here, they can access their workbook and choose which actions they want to complete. Each action is worth between one to five points and they cover different themes of sustainability: biodiversity, community, education, energy, health and wellbeing, transport, water and waste.
How can students get involved?
Students can volunteer to be involved with the Climate Action programme throughout the year. As this is a new programme, we will be running mid-year reviews in January/February 2021. Students can volunteer to attend a short training session, during which they will find out more about the programme and how it is run, before talking to different teams and seeing how they are getting on with the programme and if they have any feedback. More formal audits will then take place later in the academic year, once workbooks have been submitted. There will be an opportunity for students to take part in an auditor training session before auditing teams. This will include going through their workbooks and looking at which actions they have completed as well as looking through any evidence they have uploaded. Once the workbooks have been reviewed, you will talk with teams about the actions you have completed and ask any questions. Students can also volunteer to help teams run the programme in their Department. This may be assisting with uploading evidence or coming up with ideas for how you may implement certain actions.
If you would like to find out more about Climate Action and how you can get involved, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.