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2. Human Resources for Sustainability 2017

It has been repeatedly demonstrated that without the expertise and championing of professional staff dedicated to environmental management, sustainability initiatives in universities are unlikely to be systematic, well-coordinated and resourced, or have significant long-term success.

Scores are awarded with recognition that institutions vary in their size, financial resource and approach to human resource management.People & Planet appreciate that a broad range of staff may take on responsibility for sustainability and that for some universities, taking a holistic approach to embedding sustainability is the best cultural fit.


1. Sustainability is included within the portfolio of responsibilities of a member of the university senior management team

Score 20%


  • Sustainability may be described by universities in a number of ways (environmental sustainability, sustainable development, environmental and ethical management or social and environmental responsibility are all acceptable definitions).
  • Senior staff with responsibilities limited to energy, utilities or carbon management will not be accepted.
  • Website shows the name and role of the senior management person responsible for sustainability at the university

Environmental sustainability staff


2. Staff working in dedicated sustainability roles are listed on the university website with the following info:

  • job title / role
  • contact info
  • full or part time
  • specific area of sustainability

Score max of 55%

Sustainability staff could be working in the following areas:

*Sustainability / environment director/manager/coordinator or similar – overseeing the sustainable development of the university *Sustainable travel *Energy/carbon reduction and management *Environmental management systems *Waste reduction and reuse *Paid internships *Assistants, officers, project officers etc *Behaviour change / sustainability comms


Number of students (teaching FTE) No. sustainability staff Score
less than 5000 1 20%
  2 30%
  3 40%
  4 or more 55%
Between 5-10,000 1 10%
  2 to 3 20%
  4 to 5 30%
  6 to 7 40%
  8 or more 55%
Between 10-15,000 1 to 2 10%
  3 to 5 20%
  6 to 7 30%
  8 to 9 40%
  10 or more 55%
Over 15,000 1 to 4 10%
  5 to 6 20%
  7 to 9 30%
  9 to 11 40%
  12 or more 55%

3. Staff are supported with a budget for sustainability

This year People & Planet will be looking for evidence that the university sustainability strategy is resourced financially. As with the Carbon Management Plan, a sustainability strategy will be most effective with an allocated budget to cover the implementation of the strategy and to resource staff implementing the strategy. People & planet will find this in the current sustainability strategy or elsewhere on the university website.

Score 10%

All staff

4. The university support a staff engagement scheme to involve staff in improving the environmental performance of the university eg. departmental eco-champions.

People & Planet will look for recent evidence of this scheme in action on the university website.

Score 15%