At Coventry University we know that our students and staff are our most important assets: it is through them that the majority of our positive environmental impacts occur, but they also have many opportunities to help us reduce our negative impacts.
Each year Coventry University holds a Green Week which is run in partnership with the University of Warwick, Coventry City Council, and a variety of internal and external groups. Green Week allows students, staff and the community to participate in events and allows the University to promote positive sustainable behaviour both on campus and in day-to-day life alongside celebrating the environment and raising awareness of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In 2023, 33 events were held across the Green Week partnership.
Student representation is very important at Coventry University and Your Students' Union elected officers sit on committees such as Ethical Investment Working Group and the University Health and Safety Committee. In addition, 2022 has seen Your Students' Union enable students to develop sustainability projects through societies, and raise matters through faculty ‘Student Voice Working Groups'. For 2023 Your Students' Union will look to launch an online feedback platform as we continue to look for more sustainable ways of delivering our services.
In addition, Your Students’ Union has a Sustainability Society that provides a safe space to learn, share, and develop sustainable practices. During the 2022/23 academic year, the society engaged in social, health and wellbeing, and informative events. Key events included Upcycling and Tie-dye events which were organised in collaboration with Your Students’ Union’s Craft and Art Societies, respectively.
All staff members across Coventry University have the opportunity to become a part of our Staff Champion network. Champions can join the Staff Champion Yammer Group (internal access only) where good ideas and practices can be shared across the University. As part of this network we are continually improving staff access to procedures and toolbox talk training through the Sharepoint site including sustainability resources which can accessed and used by all staff across the university. In 2022 and 2023 Staff Champions have been able to access Carbon Literacy training which is being rolled out across the group.
Supporting student learning and projects
We actively encourage students to gain hands on experience in sustainability through interacting with the campus and sustainability activities taking place at the University. Examples include the Engineering and Computing Building (ECB) acting as a ‘living lab’ with exposed services and renewable technologies to act as demonstrators. Other projects have included Energy MSc Students reviewing energy utilisation and reduction opportunities, Environmental Management students auditing the university, student teams reviewing our contribution to Sustainable Development Goals. We also recruit student ambassadors to gain experience in sustainability communications and events throughout the year.
Induction and welcome
The Environment team present the Introduction to Sustainability at Coventry University video to all new staff during staff induction, which covers how staff can participate in Sustainability activities and shares key information including our policy and strategy.
Students receive a welcome pack which includes our leaflet Sustainability at Coventry University as well as access to our Introduction to Sustainability at Coventry University video.
Sustainable Student Scheme
Coventry University in 2020/ 2021 launched the Sustainable Student Scheme. The scheme supports students living in accommodation to live more sustainably by promoting three key messages: Switch Off, Reduce Your Use and Reuse and Recycle. These are promoted through different competitions. The scheme provides a way for students to engage with the sustainability performance of their accommodation block.
A Green Lab Committee has been set up by technical and academic teams working in the Alison Gingell building to improve the sustainability of our laboratories. Following feedback from students and staff, the group was formed in March 2021 and is working on identifying ways to make the laboratories within the building operate more sustainably. This work has also led to Alison Gingell’s Lab+ winning awards in the International Freezer Challenge in both 2021 and 2022.
Local Community Projects
At the university, we know we have a huge impact on the success of our city. With that comes a responsibility to maximise our positive impact on society (whether economic, social, environmental or cultural) and continue to support the development of sustainable cities and communities. We engage with the public through community-based research, events and lectures, student and staff volunteering and community-facing programmes specifically developed to meet a local need or knowledge gap. Projects include:
- Fab Lab: a community hub boosting local employability,
- Our City Year UK partnership supporting Coventry school pupils,
- Mi Friendly Cities – Evolve Social Enterprise Training.
For further information visit our Corporate Social Responsibility pages.