The University is involved in a wide range of activities which incorporate sustainability principles
Making a ‘Green Impact’ in the Classroom
Academic staff and students at the Royal Agricultural University have been working on several projects this year, through the NUS’ Green Impact Scheme, which are helping to support RAU students in developing their skills and knowledge in delivering sustainable development.
A team of 10 members of academic staff from different departments across the RAU worked with two student project assistants as part of the 2017 RAU Green Impact scheme. Green Impact is an NUS-led scheme which aims to support staff and students in creating positive sustainability changes through a workbook of sustainability actions leading to bronze, silver and gold level awards which are evaluated by student auditors who are trained through the scheme. This year, for the first time, academic staff at the RAU were able to participate in an education for sustainable development workbook which supported and encouraged them to consider how they might enhance their teaching and learning practice to further support the development of sustainability literacy amongst their students. As well as receiving professional development training and support in education for sustainable development, the team were also able to share existing good practice, and participating in the scheme led to a number of positive actions, with the team successfully reaching the bronze level.
One team member, for example, successfully worked with the RAU Sustainability Team to develop a project for first year students on two entrepreneurship modules. The project was designed to build on the RAU’s award-winning Enterprise programme by setting the students a task which asked them to use the RAU as a Living Lab. in order to devise innovative solutions to waste management on campus - thereby supporting students in developing practical real-life business solutions to sustainable development issues. The students presented their ideas to the RAU Sustainability Team, developing their communication skills and their abilities to adapt their ideas to address the real-life demands of an organization. First year BSc (Hons) International Business Management students were also set a piece of coursework this year which involved them carrying out research into the RAU’s Environmental Management System and presenting their findings to the rest of the group.
Katharine Foot, Academic Lead for Sustainability at the RAU, said: “It has been fantastic to see academic staff from across the whole of the RAU working together as part of the Green Impact Scheme to share and develop good practice across their different disciplines – and also to see it translated into the classroom with students developing their skills in delivering real-life sustainable development by using the RAU as a Living Lab.”