If we’re serious about tackling the climate and ecological emergency, it is crucial that we make sure our students and staff are receiving all the teaching and training they need. We want to empower them to be part of the change that is necessary to protect our world.

We'll normalise sustainability, emphasise environmentally conscious behaviours and empower students, staff, alumni and partners to think sustainably and integrate sustainability into their lives.

As part of our Sustainability Sub-Strategy consultation,  you had lots of suggestions for ways we could better embed sustainability in our education. We have been taking your feedback on board and wanted to update you with information on what’s available and what we have planned.

In the curriculum

You said: You wanted topics relating to the climate, ecology and sustainability to be added into the curriculum of what’s taught at Essex.

We offer: The university already offers a number of modules that cover the environment and related themes. We also carry out an annual curriculum audit to review and report on the progress we’re making on integrating sustainable development into the curriculum.

What we’re working on: We will be including content on sustainable education in the Educator Development Framework and Researcher Development Framework. This will include the formats of workshops, resources, or networks as required. We will also be incorporating sustainable education in CADENZA pathways to fellowship, and will be developing a webinar series on the climate and ecological emergency as part of our Welcome events for new and returning students.

Staff training

You said: More can be done to educate staff about sustainability.

We offer: We use a number of channels to engage with staff (and students) about sustainable topics. We post the latest sustainability news through Essex Weekly, Essex Spirit, our social media platforms and our sustainability newsletter. Every year, we organize an environment week; on campus and this year the theme is ‘our community’. We’re encouraging all departments to get involved. Staff can also find out more about sustainability from our Moodle course ,and we have created a number of resources for departments to use. Sustainability is also incorporated into staff inductions and the How We Work At Essex Annual Booster.

What we’re working on: We’re incorporating sustainability, carbon literacy and the environment into our essential training requirements for all staff. We’re also developing the information we provide for new staff on our sustainability policy, sustainability strategy and the different ways staff can engage, which new starters receive during their staff inductions.

Our commitment for ongoing change

We know that including sustainability in our curriculum is important to help our students build the knowledge and skills they need to shape a sustainable future. We know that there is always more to do, and we are always exploring opportunities. We are on a journey of improvement and development; there are many challenges ahead, but also a lot of exciting opportunities. To learn more about our ambitions and progress, visit the sustainability webpages. We will be providing updates on our response to your feedback to the consultation in a series of blogs – please check back regularly to learn more.