We pride ourselves on our research, and research associated with the climate emergency is one of our major research themes. Making sure that the types of research we conduct takes the climate and ecological emergency into account, and supports new thinking and development is very important to us, and we have fantastic research taking place across all of our faculties, as well as the cross-faculty Centre for Environment and Society.
However, as part of our Sustainability Sub-Strategy consultation you had lots of suggestions for ways we could better embed sustainability into our programme of research. We have been taking your feedback on board and wanted to update you with information on what’s available and what we have planned.
You said: We should consider the environmental impact our research has.
We offer: Researchers consider the impacts of buying new equipment, travelling and activities.
What we’re working on: We will be developing a framework for delivering sustainable research which embeds climate consciousness at all stages of the planning, costing and delivery process. We want research to be delivered in a carbon neutral way or, when this is not possible, that consideration is given to where carbon offsetting might be possible elsewhere.
You said: You would like an award scheme for research projects that are sustainable.
We offer: The Sustainable Essex programme is an internal accreditation programme run by the Sustainability Team. It brings staff and students in departments across the University together and provides them with a tangible framework to make their department more sustainable.
What we’re working on: We’re revising Sustainable Essex this year. We’ll be asking all departments to tell us what they’re already doing so we can identify current best practice, and encouraging them to think about how they can change any existing processes or to make them even more sustainable.
You said: You want the university to promote current environmental research.
We offer: There are many channels to promote research at the university through Essex Weekly, the blog pages, internal newsletters, website news items, our research showcase pages and social media. including our Research at Essex Twitter account.
What we’re working on: We want to hear from departments who are undertaking research in sustainability. If you are conducting research which includes a sustainability topic please email the team. We will raise the profile of our environmental research at Essex and link the Climate Emergency Group to our Centre for Environment and Society, maximising internal collaborations and delivering a programme of events to enhance interdisciplinary climate research collaborations.
Including sustainability in our research is important to our research community. We know that there are improvements and developments to make and that there are many challenges ahead. However, there is 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. Check out the staff blog page to learn more.
We have a dedicated team, in a broad range of roles, contributing to sustainable development across our campuses. We are committed to the promotion of sustainability to a variety of stakeholders, to conserve the local environment for our students, staff, the wider community and our resident wildlife.