The University is committed to extending our work in sustainability to the wider community.
A Communications and Community Engagement strategy and annual action plan helps us to raise awareness on current and planned sustainability initiatives and encourage behavioural change among staff, students and all University stakeholders. Students are actively encouraged to support this work including part-time digital creative students.
Community involvement targets
SMART targets for 2019/20
- Increase student participation in Student Switch Off by 10% on 2018/19 levels
- Increase number of Green Impact teams to 22 in 2019-20 across all sites
- Increase the student awareness of the University’s sustainability activities from (baseline year 2016-17 47%) to 65% by 2020
- Increase student sustainability actions from 2016-17 baseline year of 64 % to 75% by 2020
Some examples of how are we going to achieve this target?
- Work closely with and support student societies such as Vegans and Vegetarians, Nature Society to raise awareness on sustainability and social justice issues
- To use press evaluation and Google analytics, Twitter, Instagram reach to measure awareness of the University’s sustainability drive in the local community and within the higher education sector. This research will inform possible target setting for community awareness
- Report on sustainability issues regularly to the University Community Forum
- Promote collaborative working within UW and with Worcestershire and Worcester City Council and other third sector organisations. Coordinate regular meetings and actively seek out initiatives where resources can be shared
Download our full current qualitative and quantitative targets and progress against targets from our Carbon Management & Targets page.
Community involvement projects
A website www.susthingsout.com, whose strapline is "change today protect tomorrow", provides a magazine format and commentary space for all University stakeholders. It links curriculum, campus and community, and students help co-create content as part of their studies. It is used in teaching sustainability and has a virtual learning environment for sustainability students and for teaching the Emerging Leaders programme, and is promoted to all new employees.
Some examples of a whole institution (university and students' union) and the community projects are Recycle League and Go Green Week in the City.
Energize Worcester a collaboration between Worcester Bosch Group, Worcester City Council and the University of Worcester and Students’ Union involves working with landlords and students with the combined aims of; improving energy efficiency in student homes, increasing understanding of student attitude and behaviour with regards to energy management. Bosch installed free Smart Boilers and data loggers into student houses, these are being monitored and the data combined with the findings of survey research.
Students have been instrumental in the data collection and processing aspects of this project, using their computing skills to write bespoke software code to analyse boiler data (over 3 million data points). UK and Worcester Polytechnic Institute USA students completed and analysed 180 in-depth interviews with students and landlords. These have aided; a better understanding of conflicts between students’ real and perceived behaviour, which can be used to focus more effective information campaigns and new insights for global manufacturer Bosch. This has led them to rethink some aspects of design relating to boiler controls and testing.
Go Green Week
Another collaborative project is Go Green Week in Worcester city. Students led a week of awareness-raising activities linking local sustainable businesses. These projects won Silver Green Apple Awards in November 2018.
University Community Forum
The University takes its role within the wider community seriously and is committed to establishing and strengthening partnerships with local business, charities and other organisations.
The University Community Forum tackles issues of mutual concern to local residents, students and the University. The Forum meets three times annually. Its membership includes the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Students) and other senior members of University staff, together with representation from the Students’ Union, Worcestershire County Council and Worcester City Council counsellors, local head teacher and residents. The West Mercia Police are also regularly represented at meetings. Regular reports on sustainability are made to the committee, including a review of community issues raised and dealt with throughout the year.