The Sustainability department works to increase the awareness of sustainability and social responsibility with students, staff and members of our communities and contributes to sustainable development in all areas of the University.

Sustainability department


The Sustainability department acts as a focal point for all aspects of sustainability within the University and works to develop local, regional, national and international networks to further the sustainability agenda. 

The Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive is a member of university executive and sponsor for sustainability. The University established a Sustainability Strategy Committee in 2005, which includes student representation, chaired by the Pro Vice Chancellor Research and advises the University Executive Board on all sustainability matters, relating to the campus, community, research and curriculum. The Academic Lead for Sustainability is Dr Heather Barrett. Students are key to our sustainability work and the new joint SU and University Student Sustainability Hub attests to this. 

The Director of Sustainability acts as a focal point for all aspects of sustainability within the University and is also:

  • Sustainability West Midlands Green Leader
  • Chair of EAUC Midlands region
  • EAUC inaugural Fellow
  • On several regional and national committees in the sustainability field and a Trustee of Change Agents UK. 


Sustainability staff

Katy Boom

Director of Sustainability
Full time

01905 855243 

Professor John-Paul Wilson

Chair of the Sustainability Strategy Group and Portfolio Holder for Sustainability

Pro Vice Chancellor Research

01905 542196

Dr Heather Barrett

Academic Lead for Sustainability
Principal Lecturer

01905 855191 

Phil Mole

Waste Supervisor and EcoCampus lead
Full time

01905 855317

Jess Tasney

Carbon Reduction and Sustainability Manager
Full time

01905 542472

Penny Kitchener

Executive Assistant to the Director of Sustainability
Part time

Dr Kate Ashbrook

Chair of the Strategic Biodiversity Management Group
Senior Lecturer in Biology

01905 542372

Professor Nick Evans

Professor of Rural Geography

01905 855187

Kathy Preece

Head of Procurement
Chair of the Sustainability Working Group 
Full time

01905 855114

EcoHousing Co-ordinator – Project on hold

Please contact Penny Kitchener if you are interested in this role

Part-time students

15 Green Impact Project Assistants

6 Digital Creative Assistants 


3 Learning for Responsible Futures Research Assistants

10 Carbon Literacy Training Assistants


Sustainability roles

Many colleagues have key roles in supporting sustainability and all must enhance environmental sustainability within their job roles. All new staff have a mandatory induction into sustainability, which includes, for example, learning about our 10 Golden Rules for living sustainability. There is a Sway presentation in addition which is promoted to all staff and students. Residential students get mandatory induction in sustainability including details of projects and programmes of support. All members of the University community can be involved to further embed sustainability. A video from the Vice Chancellor Professor David Green, encourages participation. We have 3 ISO 14001 trained auditors and have begun an ambitious training program and offer accredited Carbon Literacy Training for all staff and students, co-delivered by our students, see the staff development pages for the timetable for when the sessions run, both in person and online options available.      

We have full-time sustainability and carbon reduction and waste manager posts supporting the sustainability department. All sustainability department posts are full time, the Director takes the strategic lead, and the Executive Assistant leads on student and staff behaviour change. The sustainability and carbon reduction manager leads on calculating the University’s carbon data and managing energy reduction projects – this post has a separate budget.

The department employs 40 student part-time posts, as Carbon Literacy Training Assistants, Digital Creative Assistants, Green Impact Project Assistants and Learning for Responsible Futures Research Assistants. We work with the Residential Life Team students to implement behavioural change such as Student Switch Off for first years living in Halls or University managed accommodation. They induct all new students on how to live and study sustainably. There’s an annual budget of £50,000 which includes funding for student-led projects.

Priorities or projects are decided by the Sustainability Strategy Committee, and all students and staff are encouraged to put forward ideas to help embed sustainability throughout the campus, community and curriculum. Details of current projects can be found within these web pages, many led by students.    

Staff and Student Engagement

See our community involvement

Get in touch

Katy Boom
Director of Sustainability