Keele achieves sustainability re-accreditation success

Keele University and Keele Students’ Union have achieved their second re-accreditation through the Responsible Futures programme for embedding sustainability and social responsibility into the curriculum and wider student experience.

The University and Keele Students' Union have received the award in recognition of achieving a wide range of criteria that relate to work in embedding sustainability into students' educational experiences.

Responsible Futures is a programme run by Students Organising for Sustainability, formerly National Union of Students Sustainability, and is an externally assessed accreditation mark for a whole-institution approach to sustainability and social responsibility, spanning the formal and informal curriculum.

Keele was part of the pilot cohort of Responsible Futures institutions in 2014 and has this year received its second reaccreditation. To achieve re-accreditation, the University submitted evidence for each of the criteria, and recruited student auditors to assist with processing and evaluating evidence and explanations of how the University met the criteria.

For 2019-20, Keele has also been a host partner and supported and mentored other institutions' partnerships, and hosted a half day online support day, delivering two sessions exploring learning from failure, and sharing student voices on how the core curriculum informs co-curricular learning.

Sarah Briggs, Sustainability Project Officer, said: “Being part of Responsible Futures gives the University and SU Partnership opportunities to reflect on how we're embedding sustainability into the curriculum and wider student experience.

“Engaging students in the re-accreditation process offers unique opportunities for them to see the work that goes on in the 'background' to embed sustainability genuinely into all we do. Although this opportunity enables students to develop skills, many comment about the impressive breadth of sustainability work Keele is doing, and how valuable it was to be involved in the auditing."

Sarah Ellis, CEO of Keele University Students’ Union, said: “Being involved in Responsible Futures and able to work on sustainability as a truly joint approach between the University and students is wonderful. It ensures that sustainability is embedded in all areas of the student experience whether that is within the curriculum from an academic perspective, or simply with the type of containers used to takeout food from our outlets. By embedding sustainability as we have been means we are working considerably towards this behaviour becoming the norm.”