Introducing the Sustainability Programme Team

Posted on: 21 September 2022 in Issue 3

Given the complexity – and importance – of delivering the University’s Sustainability Strategy, it’s vital that we have the right people in the right roles to turn this ambitious vision into measurable change. Sally Shaw, Sustainability Programme Manager explains.

The University’s Sustainability Strategy was approved in 2021, with a Sustainability Board and working groups established alongside it to deliver key objectives and targets. Following a period of planning by these committees, Strategic Change were commissioned to provide project management oversight and coordination of action plans that had been developed.

Initially, a Project Manager and Project Support Officer were appointed to undertake this work, but following an extensive review of governance and with a better understanding of the scope, challenges and complex interdependencies involved, a wider programme team has now been formed.

Sally Shaw is now dedicating the majority of her time to the Sustainability Programme in her role as Programme Manager, with the refocused team consisting of Sian Fairhurst, Net Zero 2035 Project Manager and Clare Hay, Education for Sustainable Development Project Manager. Recruitment is underway for a new Project Support Officer to help deliver activities across the Programme.

While the Sustainability Programme Team is relatively small given the scale of the work required, Sally stresses that they work very closely with the Environmental Sustainability team in FRCS and with academic and professional services colleagues and teams across the University. Recruitment is also underway in FRCS and the procurement team in central finance for a number of key sustainability-related roles.

In addition, Sally is continuing to support the Asset Management Project, which is closely aligned to the delivery of the University’s Sustainability Strategy, and achieving our net zero carbon target. This Project is helping the University generate more accurate energy and sustainability data reports, incorporate sustainability standards in new building designs and retrofit projects, and measure the carbon impact of University buildings.

As Sustainability Programme Manager, Sally will continue to work very closely with Nicola Davies, Executive Lead for Sustainability and the University’s Finance Director. “Delivering our sustainability strategy will require major investment, and a lot of work needs to be done to our estate,” she adds. “In order to secure the right level of financial backing, we need ‘buy-in’ from Council, Senate and senior leaders. Our goal is to make sustainability part of our everyday operations. So I am working with senior leaders to better understand their local priorities. Then we can identify and manage interlinkages and inter-dependencies right across the Programme and the University.”

Short-term, the University has engaged the services of Dr Louise Ellis to help take forward work on our Net Zero Carbon Plan.  Louise has over 25 years’ experience leading organisational and culture change in the UK and internationally, specialising in realising organisational purpose and environmental and social equity.

The Net Zero Plan is scheduled for launch at the Leadership Forum Away Day in November.