Midlands Sustainable Education Network

Introduction

The Midlands Sustainable Education Network, being run across the West and East Midlands in partnership with The Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges (EAUC), brings together colleagues focusing on sustainability and others working in the Higher and Further Education sector (Universities and Colleges) to:

  • Engage and collaborate with other sectors using SWM’s existing networks and outreach to influence business and other audiences.
  • Obtain leadership, mentoring and support for the education sector in topics related to sustainability.
  • Share good practice relating to sustainability occurring within Universities and Colleges and those organisations that they seek to influence.
  • Where there is a gap in knowledge or a new solution required, then help work with network members to develop bids for funding and deliver new projects.
  • Provide a profile and platform to share good practice through case studies and resources on our websites, through our other networks and at both SWM’s and EAUC’s annual conferences.
  • Lever in funding and support to help develop projects related to the Network’s aims and our priorities.

The themes of the network are not limited to the following:

  • Embedding sustainability across the curriculum to widen awareness.
  • Improving energy management strategies across University and College estates to reduce costs and save carbon.
  • Improving University and College resilience to climate change impacts.
  • Strengthen student preparedness for the low carbon jobs sector.
  • Building links between the FE/HE sectors and other sectors.
  • Promoting low carbon innovation and research within Universities and Colleges to help attract jobs to the Midlands.
  • Minimising waste and increasing recycling on University and College estates, as well as encouraging food production.
  • Using green infrastructure and other sustainable practices to improve staff and student mental and physical health.
  • Encouraging behaviour change across campuses working with both staff and students.
  • Levering in funding and research opportunities, and support for local sustainable University and College projects.
  • Developing skills and providing support to other representatives of the sector.

We will draw on a combination of EAUC’s expertise in this sector and SWM’s knowledge of running networks, some of which already contain representatives from West Midlands educational institutes, to provide a useful forum on which to achieve the aims outlined above.

Why run this network?

Launched: Thursday 14 July 2016Picture1

Click here for outputs from the launch event.

We have a huge knowledge base in our region where educational institutions are already taking the lead on running very successful carbon management, behaviour change or renewable energy programmes and we want to build on this by sharing good practice and bringing together organisations to collaborate on projects wherever practical. We also know that there will be opportunities for Universities and Colleges located within the Midlands Engine geography, which this network will cover,  to work together to lever in funding to develop low carbon skills, strengthen research and reduce the collective environmental footprint of our education sector.

The development of the Network will build on the existing network and support provided by EAUC and SWM’s role will be to help the sector to make additional connections with other partners from the public and private sector, as well as provide administrative support and expertise when running events.

Audience

Primarily, this Network will draw on the existing portfolio of contacts developed over time by EAUC from across the West and East Midlands’ Higher and Further Education Establishments, as well as existing SWM contacts.  These will be from energy management, sustainability and estates teams within education institutes, as well as researchers in sustainability and business development managers.

Chair of the Network

We are delighted that Katy Boom, Director of Sustainability at the University of Worcester, will Chair this network.  The University’s work on sustainability is hugely impressive and this portfolio, led by Katy, has been recognised by many, such as being recently awarded the accolade of the second greenest University by the People and Planet University league.  You can find out more about Katy here.

Interested in joining?

If you’d like to join this exciting network, please contact SWM or EAUC initially.

Also, please have a browse through our Events and News pages for any other relevant information and workshops coming up, and do interrogate our Resources page to find any resources from SWM or elsewhere, including events we have previously run that were of relevant to the education sector.  For each of these, you can filter results using the relevant tags, e.g. ‘carbon reduction.’

Interested in sponsoring?

Download our network sponsorship offer.

We have many sponsorship opportunities for organisations to help them raise their profile and become an integral part of the running of this Network.  This could include sponsorship of an individual event or the Network as a whole.  If this is of interest, please contact enquiries@swm.org.uk or 0121 237 5890 initially and check out the above flyer.

Key Resources and Tools

Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges – network partners

Sustainability Exchange – Key resource for sustainability in UK education
Green Gown Awards
– recognising exceptional sustainabiltiy good practice in HE/FE sector
People & Planet University League – how sustainable is your University?
Carbon Trust
– for all public sector carbon management ideas
Carbon Conversion Factors – for carbon management reporting
BEIS – for reports and legislation
Wrap – for life cycle analysis and waste minimisation
Transport for West Midlands – West Midlands local transport provider