De Montfort University (DMU), partnered with De Montfort Students’ Union (DSU), are now 1 of only 15 Responsible Futures Accredited institutions.
Responsible Futures is a project ran by the NUS which focusses on embedding sustainability and social responsibility across a universities formal and informal curriculum. The programme enables universities to develop and be audited on their efforts towards the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
Responsible Futures measures a wide range of areas including baselines and benchmarks, partnership and planning, leadership and strategy, policy and commitment, interventions, impacts and outcomes, outreach, and a self-defined criteria.
DMU’s audit was undertaken on the 20th-21st March 2019 by a group of student volunteers, trained by the NUS. The students scored our evidence against a set of criteria and hosted 3 interviews with DMU and DSU representatives. The audit also involved 2 focus groups with DMU students who have previously taken part in sustainability initiatives and those who have not.
Following the audit, one of the student volunteers said: “Before the audit process I was not entirely sure about how the institution has engaged with sustainability. After these two days, it has been made clear that the institution is committed to sustainability and this has been achieved through a number of ways including the formal curriculum alongside the informal curriculum.”
Meanwhile, another student auditor said: “I’ve been surprised by the amount of initiatives going on behind the scenes that us, as students, are unaware of. The efforts and drive for DMU to be more sustainable is mostly behind the scenes, so I was very surprised to see discussions of what can be done to improve sustainability by those in higher positions. I was also surprised, in a more personal way, to see other students as engaged with and devoted to sustainability as I have not experienced this with any other people at university. It has been a very refreshing and positive experience.”
There was huge success throughout the whole audit, but the university performed particularly well in the leadership and strategy section, in which they scored full marks for every criteria.
It’s a huge achievement to have been awarded the Responsible Futures Accreditation, it demonstrates how hard DMU have been working to ensure that their students graduate with the skills and knowledge to live and work in a sustainable way.
The University’s responsible Future’s journey is not over yet. There are many plans for the future to further embed Education for Sustainable Development into the curriculum and to develop the institution as a whole.
Karl Letten, Environment and Sustainability Officer: email@example.com