Become a Climate Ambassador

21st May 2024

Call for sustainability experts to volunteer as part of national education scheme

The EAUC is looking for individuals or organisations with sustainability expertise to support nurseries, schools and colleges in England become greener and more sustainable.

The appeal is part of the Climate Ambassador Scheme, a project funded by the Department for Education, and led by EAUC and the University of Reading with support from STEM Learning. Its goal is to help all education settings in England have a climate action plan in place by 2025. 

Individuals and organisations with sustainability expertise are being called on to volunteer and to help make this happen.

Opportunities for individuals

Experts can make a critical difference to the ability of early years settings, schools and colleges to reduce their carbon emissions, improve biodiversity and young people’s connection with nature, while also helping them adapt to climate risks and provide a world-leading education in sustainability and climate change critical for their future lives. 

Laura Tobin, ITV weather presenter and Climate Ambassador champion said: “If you have a great knowledge of climate change, biodiversity or sustainability, Climate Ambassadors is perfect for you. Young children have a lot of questions -- they want to learn so much more about the world around us. If you want to go into schools and colleges to give talks, if you want to help education settings learn more about places they can find great resources, or you want to help the places and people in our education system become greener and more sustainable, become a Climate Ambassador.”  

Climate Ambassadors will get free training and support to find opportunities to work with a nursery, school or college that need help to turn their climate ambitions into action. Volunteers will also be supported by a national network of regional hubs, based at organisations with a strong commitment to sustainability and the majority of which are members of EAUC. 

These Hubs are:
  • Manchester Metropolitan University (North West) 
  • University of Newcastle (North East) 
  • University of Leeds (Yorkshire & the Humber) 
  • Keele University (West Midlands) 
  • Universities for Nottingham (East Midlands) 
  • University of East Anglia (East of England) 
  • Met Office (South West) 
  • University of Reading (South East) 
  • University College London (London) 
Anyone interested in becoming a Climate Ambassador can sign up to the scheme on the STEM Learning website or contact their nearest regional hub for more information. Individuals who are already STEM Ambassadors can express an interest in the scheme by choosing “climate ambassador” on their STEM Learning Profile. 

We’re also keen to have individuals whose skills in areas such as a project management, change delivery or non-STEM subjects could help education settings turn their sustainability plans into action.

Additionally, Ambassadors don’t need to be experts and skilled in all areas of climate action and sustainability to apply, as training will be provided.

Opportunities for post-16 educational organisations

Colleges and universities can get involved by Climate Ambassador scheme by sharing this opportunity with their staff and students, incorporating it into their professional development programmes and signing up as partners of the programme. By becoming a partner, institutions will have access to a structured, relevant and meaningful volunteer option for their employees, while also supporting the institution’s community engagement and social value goals.

Charlotte Bonner, Chief Executive of EAUC and co-lead of the Climate Ambassador Scheme, said: 

“We’re very proud to have eight EAUC members involved in this project already as Regional Hubs, supporting and matching volunteers to local education settings. By signing up as partners, other EAUC members can ensure that their sustainability knowledge and learning is shared across education settings in their wider communities too. The programme is also a unique opportunity for staff and students to develop their climate knowledge further and inspire the next generation of leaders.”   

Organisations can sign up as partners on the STEM Learning website.

EAUC member institutions in England that are looking for additional support with their climate action plans can also request a Climate Ambassador.

More information  

The Climate Ambassador Scheme was originally launched in April 2022, by the University of Reading and STEM Learning, with support from UKRI. In December 2023, the Department for Education partnered with the University and EAUC to expand the Scheme to all 30,000 education settings across England. A key aim of the extended programme, as part of the Department for Education’s Sustainability and Climate Change Strategy, is for all education settings to have a climate action plan in place by 2025. 

The Climate Ambassador scheme links with other parts of the Department for Education’s Climate Change and Sustainability Strategy and it’s funded initiatives: including the National Education Nature Park which sees young people leading the way in forming a vast network of green spaces across England to improve their schools, colleges and nurseries for people and wildlife; and the Sustainability Support for Education platform which will provide access to support for education settings to get started or prioritise next steps on their sustainability journey. Climate Ambassadors work in partnership with the team of Let’s Go Zero Climate Action Advisors, who also provide free tailored support to schools looking to become zero carbon.  
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