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An interview with James Willmoth

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Staff Sustainability Architect James Willmoth, Human Resources Officer in the Faculty of Medicine and Health.

What was it that made you want to become a Staff Sustainability Architect?

I was lucky enough to be involved with an initial meeting with the Sustainability team when they were first promoting the role back in 2017. I was really impressed by their passion and professionalism and straight away thought the Sustainability Architect role would be a fantastic opportunity to spend some dedicated time looking at how I could ensure our service makes a positive impact on the Universities Sustainability Strategy. My Head of HR encouraged me to take up the role and colleagues have been really supportive of the activities I have undertaken to date.

What are a few of your high priority objectives?

Due to the service I work in, one of my main challenges is inevitably on how we can try and reduce the amount of paper we use. However, the focus has been much broader than this, looking at recruitment, induction, our approach to meetings, awareness raising and behaviour and culture change more generally.

What has been your biggest achievement so far?

Following consultation in the Faculty of Medicine and Health HR team, we changed our practice so that all internal letters were sent electronically. The Faculty of Medicine and Health is a big area of the University and the HR team produces a large number of letters to staff on a weekly basis. The effect of this change on reducing paper and postage has therefore been significant. The next step is to look at this on a much broader scale across the University.

What has been your biggest challenge?

Finding time to effect change whilst undertaking a full time role with competing priorities has been extremely challenging. Going forward and to help overcome this major challenge, I am looking to work more closely with other colleagues in the HR Service on Sustainability projects so that we can reach our shared goals more quickly.

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United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

We use the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a framework to guide our activity. Our work with Staff Sustainability Architects is linked to all of the SDGs.
Find out more about our impact on the SDGs.