I’m sad to say that today will be my last day with the Sustainability Service, as I am moving on to start a PhD. I’ve worked with the service for three and a half years now, and thought this was a good opportunity to reflect on how we’ve changed and all that we’ve accomplished whilst I have had the privilege of working here.
When I first started working in the Sustainability service there was only 3 permanent members of staff, and we worked in the Central Boiler House (Which was about as glamorous as it sounds!). Since then, the University has invested so much in Sustainability, firstly by employing Louise Ellis to lead us as our own service within the Facilities Directorate and then supporting us to expand to a team of 12, not including the new student sustainability architects which will be recruited this year.
For me, one of the most amazing things we have achieved is to have developed a fully integrated strategy which cuts across teaching, operations, innovation and research, as well as an action plan which holds us to account. I was lucky enough to be a part of the eighteen month engagement and consultation process that lead up to the development of the strategy, and it was amazing to hear so many different and inspirational takes on what sustainability means to such a diverse range of people.
This has to be one of the most varied jobs imaginable, from transporting huge inflatable red balls across campus for an energy campaign, to presenting alone at the World Symposium on Sustainability in Higher Education, it’s safe to say there is never a dull day in sustainability!
I’ve had the pleasure of working with student interns who bring new levels of enthusiasm and creativity to the service every year, as well as incredibly passionate permanent members of staff who have taught me so much over the past few years. Working so closely with Louise has given me a real insight into leadership and how to make positive change, which I will utilise throughout my career.
Thanks to everyone who has made my time at the University such a great experience!