Energy is a key theme within the University of Salford’s Industry Collaboration Zones (ICZs), with extensive research through the Energy House and impact areas such as fuel poverty and retrofit technologies. The University has reinforced this on campus by reducing their carbon emissions by over 40% since 2005.
My role has been to engage staff and students with sustainability to help reduce our carbon emissions even further and manage impacts in other areas such as waste, travel and procurement. I worked with the University as a Sustainability Projects Assistant (SPA), managing the Green Impact programme and other engagement activities such as Blackout and Go Green Salford.
Change Agents UK have aided my role as a SPA, delivering useful training courses where I networked with people in similar roles, providing online resources and holding monthly catch-ups.
My main responsibility was to manage Green Impact, which included developing the toolkit, recruiting staff teams and students, providing support via newsletters, meetings and events, delivering training sessions and presentations and organising the launch and awards events. As well as coordinating engagement activities I also provided support for areas such as sustainable procurement, travel policies and waste and energy management.
I have developed skills in a variety of areas such as project management, presentation and communication skills. The opportunity has provided me with a greater knowledge of behaviour change techniques as well as how sustainability is managed at a University at various levels.
12 teams gained awards, including 5 gold and 1 platinum. 509 staff members were engaged with the programme and completed 530 actions, which saved at least 60,300 kgCO2 and approximately £20,808. The programme provided 34 students with training and development opportunities in their roles as auditors and project assistants.
Teams could work on projects as part of the toolkit and this led to some great work across campus, including the self-assessment tool that the HR and Finance team made which won the National Green Impact Innovation for Engagement award.