Sustainability Action Blog


Sabbatical Officer Sustainability Training

By Imogen Dinham-Price |

It is that time of year again, when the ever effective sustainability training of sabbatical officers takes place, and I am pleased to announce every Sabb (bar one- they will be trained in due course!) has ‘passed’ their sustainability training!

The aim of the session was to improve the Sabbs’ existing knowledge and understanding of Sustainability. Altogether promoting sustainability competent ambassadors at the forefront of the student community. Overall (from the feedback) it was a successful afternoon, even if the tea did not arrive on time (insert sad face)…

So here is a snippet taken from the afternoons activities:


Shruti with her pledge to ‘reform assessment to make it more sustainable’.

The Tuesday afternoon begun with an icebreaker to clear everyone’s minds from the day’s activities. However it quickly occurred to me that the icebreaker activity infused the air with intense competition and was not at all relaxing. Yet every Sabb became incredibly inventive in how they would place an elephant on the moon! – Which got them in the mood for thinking more creatively and going for the afternoon session.

We then moved onto thinking about the definition of sustainability and moving our thoughts away from the green environmental illusion that can sometimes be intrinsic when we think of sustainability issues. Instead a more personal approach to the topic was taken in the form of ‘yourself’. As, most of the time, we all know how to ‘sustain’ ourselves through thinking before we do something, eating better, exercising more or perhaps sleeping if we are exhausted. So why not apply these notions to what is around you? By taking time to think before we take action. This moral was approached to the Sabbs in a story, to get them thinking from different stakeholder’s perspectives, even if one Sabb had to think as a duck…

This meant the Sabbs began to think more holistically and look at sustainability from economic, social and environmental angles when they pledged about their commitments for the year. Altogether every Sabb realised that they could make positive changes to the University community through all their actions, in whole this is sustainable development.

Ben pledged ‘to ask the sustainability question in everything I do, especially; campaigns,capital planning, building plans and communications’ – therefore saving money, resources and waste!

Thank you to everyone who took part, it was great to hear all your brilliant ideas and it was really encouraging to learn that people are already thinking in a sustainable mind-set.