Sustainable Essex programme

Square 3

The Sustainable Essex Awards is an environmental accreditation internal programme run by the Sustainability Team. It brings staff and students in a department together in a team and provides them with a tangible framework to make their department more sustainable whether that is in the office or at home.

How it works

The programme runs each academic year. Each team is provided with a workbook which is accessed through Moodle. The workbooks provide achievable, easy to follow and fun actions directly linked to the themes of the University’s Sustainability Policies. Each team decides whether to compete for a Bronze, Silver or Gold award.

Student volunteers will receive training from the Sustainability team to be Sustainable Essex Auditors to check that teams have completed all of the necessary actions.

An annual awards ceremony is held every year to recognise the achievements of staff and students who take part. This may be in person or online.  

Benefits of participating

Participating in the Sustainable Essex Awards allows departments with the opportunity to save resources, demonstrate an environmental commitment to staff and students, and actively encourage collaborative working,

In addition to the impact on the wider department, there are many opportunities for staff and students to develop new skills and engage with a broader range of stakeholders.

Benefits for students

  • Gain practical skills and experience by leading Sustainable Essex audits
  • Gain experience in project managing sustainability behaviour change during an entire academic year
  • Learn how large organisations deal with sustainability challenges and implement change
  • Develop key transferable skills including communication, team-work and time-management skills

Benefits for staff

  • Contribute directly to the University's net zero emissions goal from our new Sustainability Sub-Strategy (.pdf).

  • Learn more about environmental issues

  • Build professional and personal skills
  • Have an impact on department operations
  • Achieve and gain recognition for your team contribution
  • Encourage colleagues to think about sustainability
  • Work with others from across the University
  • Meet new people within the department

How to participate


Sustainable Essex Project Assistant

Project assistants are recruited and trained in October/November and assigned to teams. Volunteering hours are flexible and vary depending on the needs of the teams, as well as personal workloads. The role includes:

  • motivating teams to achieve higher awards
  • explaining how Sustainable Essex works and how to complete criteria
  • completing actions
  • communicating and promoting Sustainable Essex

To apply:

Email Rebecca Moss (Sustainability Engagement Officer)

Sustainable Essex Auditor

During the summer term, we look for volunteer auditors to visit the teams and conduct audits. Each auditor receives training on the skills and content of auditing required. Auditors then complete assigned audits, putting their newly developed skills into practice. An audit takes a day and these will be done online. Auditors then complete assigned audits, putting their newly developed skills into practice. An audit takes between one and two hours to complete depending on the size of the department. The role provides:

  • experience and skills associated with auditing
  • opportunity to make a positive impact to the local community
  • opportunity to enhance employability skills and CV
  • enhanced knowledge of sustainability issues

To apply:

Email Rebecca Moss (Sustainability Engagement Officer)


Email Rebecca Moss (Sustainability Engagement Officer)

Get in touch
Get in touch
Sustainability team
Telephone: 01206 872950