We’d like to say a huge well done to all our Blueprint teams, who have been working extra hard to deliver on sustainability over the past year.
As part of our regular case studies on Blueprint teams, this month we’d like to welcome three new teams to the community and recognise the work that they’ve been doing whilst many of their staff are working from home, or even seconded to support the University in other areas.
For those who aren’t familiar, the Blueprint programme allows Schools and Services to work closely with the Sustainability Service to develop a bespoke strategic five-year action plan. This plan works towards a long-term sustainability vision; delivering on the University Sustainability Strategy and Climate Principles, whilst also supporting the School or Service to drive change in their chosen areas of impact. Through Blueprint, we can recognise, measure and celebrate the work that teams have been doing as part of their action plan – but also the work that they continue to do every day which continues to build a collaborative, engaged, innovative and knowledgeable University community.
Find out more on our Blueprint webpage.
We currently have 12 active Blueprint teams, with a further 24 in development, and are excited to spotlight them all in the coming months. For now, though, let’s welcome our three newest teams:
Sport & Physical Activity
The Sport & Physical Activity Service (SPA) at the University is responsible for leading the University’s sport and physical activity strategy, Do What Moves You, and overall service provision which includes coach and leadership development and volunteering, Gryphon sports clubs and teams in conjunction with Leeds University Union (LUU), and community, and staff and student development programmes, including Get Out, Get Active (GOGA). They also manage facilities including The Edge, Gryphon Sports Centre, and Sports Park Weetwood.
Through this wide array of programmes, the Service aims to make physical activity easy, accessible, and rewarding for staff, students, and the local community, and has continued doing so despite working through COVID-19-related facility closures and complex re-entry processes, and whilst delivering the high-capacity student lateral flow testing centres.
Throughout lockdown, GOGA has held regular virtual events for staff and students, including relay races and step challenges, and The Edge has converted its group exercise classes to virtual recorded and live classes for all to access; supporting the physical and mental wellbeing of the University community.
To continue working on their Blueprint, SPA are currently developing an impact report for their strategy to monitor progress and map activity against the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which are central to the plan. They have also taken on a second Staff Sustainability Architect at Sports Park Weetwood. The Architect will work with the wider SPA team to facilitate the delivery of the Blueprint programme at their Weetwood and Bodington sites, highlighting and strengthening SPA’s commitment to embed sustainability across all of their many facilities and operations.
Student Lifecycle Programme
The Student Lifecycle Programme (SLP) is a transformational change programme that will improve the processes, systems, and ways of working across the University that support the administration of students – from an initial enquiry to the University, through to graduation. The programme itself makes great progress towards sustainability in process and resource use: end results will include a greater ability to administer a student applicant and manage the curriculum; improvements in efficiency; and enhancement of both the student and staff experience.
By engaging with Blueprint, the Sustainability Service can recognise SLP for their core operations, which are integral to creating a wholly sustainable institution. Like all of our Blueprint teams, their work will be audited and rewarded annually at our Sustainability Awards.
In the meantime, their entire team working from home has not deterred SLP, but inspired their first Blueprint action. The service created a Microsoft TEAMS channel to share wellbeing ideas, hints and tips, helping each other to work from home and stay happy and healthy throughout the latest lockdown. This helps to support staff wellbeing, but also provides a platform for sharing content from across the University – supporting collaboration across the community, even whilst we’re not on campus.
Leeds University Business School
Leeds University Business School (LUBS) is a huge part of the University, delivering undergraduate, masters, MBA, PhD, executive and professional education and online study, to over 5000 students from around 100 countries.
LUBS became a live Blueprint team in December 2020 but had been working on sustainability initiatives for some time already. Every year, their MSc Organizational Psychology students taking the Commercial and Professional Skills module have had the opportunity to undertake consultancy-style tasks with the Sustainability Service, investigating topics such as student attitudes towards the University’s Plastic Pledge.
More recently, Staff Sustainability Architects within LUBS have begun working with the wider events network to draft sustainable events guidance for organisers, whilst Student Sustainability Architects are working on best ways to engage the student community at LUBS, including a series of webinars on eliminating food waste. Another programme of events is the Lunch Bag Seminar Series where staff members present to one another for 30 minutes on UN Sustainable Development Goals related research findings.
These actions contribute to the School’s Blueprint plan, which aims to build knowledge and capacity of students and staff through extra-curricular events, teaching, and research. To ensure this continues in the long-term, the School has also developed a process to ensure sustainability is embedded across their student curriculum. This includes a module review process, and a sustainability marking rubric to assess learning outcomes.
To ensure these ambitious plans are supported and embedded in all parts of the School, LUBS have established a team of 10 Blueprint champions across the School to govern sustainability progress.
If you are a staff member or student and would like to know if your School or Service has a Blueprint, to find out more about the programme, or are interested in creating a Blueprint; you can find out more at our Blueprint webpage or email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keep up to date on the latest news
United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
We use the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a framework to guide our activity. Our work on Blueprint is linked to the following SDGs:
- Goal 3: Good health and wellbeing
- Goal 4: Quality education
- Goal 11: Sustainable cities and communities
- Goal 12: Responsible consumption and production
- Goal 13: Climate action
- Goal 16: Peace, justice and strong institutions
Find out more about our impact on the SDGs.