UCU calls for greater staff involvement in university climate efforts

3 July 2008 | last updated: 14 December 2015

UCU today congratulated universities doing the most to combat climate change but urged all universities to step up the involvement of staff and students in their efforts.

The union called for a carbon reduction strategy on every campus based on university consultation with staff unions and student representatives.

UCU was responding to the Green League table published today by the student campaigning organisation People and Planet.

UCU represents lecturers and researchers in all subjects, including climate and environmental science, and believes that the involvement of the whole campus community is vital if higher education is to set an example to others on how to develop low-carbon ways of operating.

Roger Kline, head of employment rights at UCU said: 'People and Planet and its student activists are to be congratulated for their continuing pressure on higher education to improve environmental performance. Many universities are responding and UCU congratulates them, but progress is patchy.

'To create a carbon reduction strategy on every campus the support of the workforce and students is essential. The greatest progress will come from strategies developed with the input of staff and students, and where there is a sense of shared ownership of the process and proposed actions.

'People & Planet are calling for full support from all the sector's stakeholders, and UCU echoes this: we are keen to play our role in encouraging colleagues to act on climate change.  Our local representatives want to engage with employers to explore ideas for greener ways of working and travelling to work. We also want to bring climate awareness into every corner of the curriculum.

'Universities can lead the way on tackling climate change if they involve all the talents available to them.'

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