DMU has been focusing its efforts on becoming more sustainable; with a large emphasis on meeting the Sustainable Development Goals and ensuring the campus is eco-friendly, DMU are striving towards achieving the NUS ESD (education for sustainable development) accreditation this year.
NUS Responsible Futures is a framework which assists universities in educating staff and students about the responsibilities of living sustainably. Its aim is to ensure students leave higher education with an understanding of how to ‘lead society to a more just and sustainable future’, and helps staff understand how to embed this into their teaching. They aim to establish a stronger relationship between the university and the Students Union, allowing the university to communicate with its staff and students more efficiently.
The NUS, through their Responsible Futures programme, partner with universities who wish to gain accreditation for becoming a more sustainable institution. Each institution will undergo an audit, and if successful they will gain accreditation. Our Responsible Futures frontrunners Charlotte and Kaie are working hard gathering evidence to highlight how De Montfort are including ESD in our formal and informal curriculum for our upcoming audit on the 20th-21st March. The audit shall be conducted by a group of DMU student volunteers and will determine whether the university either gains the accreditation or be given a ‘working towards’ accreditation. Student auditors will be fully trained in auditing by the NUS, which is a valuable skill to have on a CV, will be supported by the NUS throughout the 2 day audit, and will get the hours they spend volunteering for us put into their HEAR report when they graduate!
The NUS Responsible futures organise environmental campaigns such as reusable coffee cups (like our DMU Mugs), Student Switch Off within halls of residence, and ‘The Last Straw’, which tackles replacing plastic straws on campus with cardboard straws. They help ensure that universities such as DMU are doing the absolute maximum in order to help the environment, and we fully support the movement to becoming more ecological.
Charlotte has highlighted how it’s been a pleasure to discover all the different things that De Montfort do regarding education for sustainable development, and how she has felt proud to be working and studying at DMU. Initiatives such as ‘Choose to Reuse’, DMU’s Square Mile, DMU Global and DMU Local are amongst only some of the pieces of evidence that she has rounded up to prove that our university cares about including sustainable development within formal and informal curriculum. Evidences from DMU’s 24 SDG event and their recent trip to the UN is also being audited.
De Montfort has taken sustainability to the heart of everything it does; with the NUS SDG training implemented for staff to include sustainable teaching in the heart of their course, students are able to learn about how to live a sustainable lifestyle and understand that sustainable development is key in any way of life.
DMU is currently recruiting 6-10 students to partake in the audit for Responsible Futures. The auditor’s role involves evidence reviews, interviews and assessment and reflection. The NUS will help prep and support students throughout the audit. If you are interested in taking part in the audit and helping the university gain accreditation, then please e-mail email@example.com for more background details.