EAUC commissioned the research paper ‘Next Generation Sustainability Strategy and Structure’ to help members understand the current sustainability landscape in tertiary education.
This case study is from Kingston University
Structure: Dedicated Department
Highest level of authority: Executive Level
The Sustainability Hub at Kingston University has a strong service orientation, built on the premise of supporting departments to take action themselves, with the aim to embed sustainability in all areas. Consisting of a team of four staff, the hub also involves students though a paid ‘green connectors’ student scheme. The department is part of the Vice Chancellor’s Advisory and Support Directorate, sitting at a senior level directly under the Vice Chancellor. The Sustainability Hub Director reports to the Finance Director, and the Deputy Vice Chancellor for Education in relation to sustainability within the curriculum.
The department has an independent budget which is used to provide a supportive advisory service to all faculties and operational departments. However, further sustainability spending is already embedded within other budgets, for example finance of the Estates department includes dedicated budgets for energy and biodiversity and two specialist staff.
Sustainability is explicitly stated as a core goal of the university, the corporate strategy ‘Led by Learning’ includes several commitments including: ‘respect for individuals, communities and our environment’; to ‘act ethically to minimise our impact on the environment’ and to ‘include issues relating to sustainability and ethics in the curriculum’. With sustainability related KPIs in place, an internal Environmental Management System is used to monitor progress and record continuous improvement.