Distributed Leadership for the Long Game
The University of Gloucestershire (UoG) has an enviable track record on sustainability for its small size and resource base. It is well known that embedding sustainability into the university environment requires the ‘long game’ and the kind of distributed leadership that can persist and evolve through periods of feast, famine and rapid sector change.
We earned our reputation for an approach grounded in whole systems thinking and learning innovation principles. Our leadership is dynamic and collaborative, ensuring tangible results and ongoing evolution over more than 10 years. The net effect is the growth of an active, agile community creating change for sustainability that is steered by students, Council, Sustainability Team, management, academic and professional staff, suppliers and partners.
This distributed leadership system has enabled this ‘small but mighty’ University to achieve close alignment with corporate plans, deliver results and meet targets and add value to our governance and profile, supported by our league table position and balanced reporting. Our Education for Sustainability work has supported teaching and research innovation, attracted new business partners and improved student experiences within and beyond their courses. None of this would be possible without our diverse and dynamic team across the University who keep sustainability at the core of our mission to improve the world through education.
Top 3 learnings:
1. We keep our focus on the ultimate goal of achieving quality and relevance in student experiences.
2. We actively involve stakeholders and listen to their advice to ensure alignment with core mission.
3. We keep our strategic aims firm but actions flexible to flow with changes in the institution and sector.
CO2t savings 2017/2018: 1,752 tonnes Estimated
CO2t savings 2018/2019: 1,617 tonnes Estimated
CO2t savings over the life cycle of the project: 46% Co2 saved against 2005 baseline (reporting data 16-17)