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Student Opportunities for Sustainability

Our Environmental Sustainability Policy includes our aim to:

“Raise awareness of sustainability among staff, students and the communities in which we work, and develop their skills and knowledge to support sustainability.”

(Targets and examples of recent activity in support of this commitment can be found in our Sustainability Annual Report).


There are a brilliant range of opportunities for Northumbria students to make a difference: develop your knowledge on the Sustainability Ambassadors programme, share your voice through our forums and groups, and get involved with events and volunteering opportunities.

Details of some opportunities are available below. Details of some opportunities are available below. These are supported by our Sustainability Engagement Plan. Contact the Sustainability Manager to find out more.

Join the Student Sustainability Mailing List

Join the Student Sustainability Mailing List to stay up to date with all the latest news and opportunities relating to sustainability.

Sustainability Training & Inductions

Your induction to Northumbria includes our ‘Sustainability, Northumbria and You’ training course. This is a short introduction to sustainability, what we are doing at Northumbria and the ways that you can make a positive difference. Looking to refresh yourself? You can access the course here.

Become a Sustainability Ambassador!

Become a Sustainability Ambassador! Our new Sustainability Ambassadors Programme helps you learn, practise and share simple but impactful sustainability action. This is a fantastic way to make a positive difference (and great for your CV too!).
Hosted on Blackboard you can work through the programme at your own pace to achieve the Bronze, Silver and/or Gold awards. Timings may vary depending on your experience but estimated time requirements are as below.
  • Bronze Level: Find out more about sustainability with our short training module, simply calculate your carbon footprint and consider how sustainability relates to you. (2 hours).
  • Silver Level: Choose from a range of challenges to explore ways that you can support sustainability within your own routine. (7 hours).
  • Gold Level: Use your sustainability expertise to encourage others to make a positive difference (7 hours).
Open to all students and no prior knowledge required. Each level includes an assessment which will include evidencing activities completed, reflecting on what you have learned.

Climate Change Think Tank (CCTT)

The Climate Change Think Tank brings together students and staff with sustainability interests to explore and address a diverse range of sustainability challenges. These might be specific to Northumbria and/or the local area or may be national or global topics. The group aims to help influence and develop policies that explore how we can be more sustainable and tackle climate change issues.
Throughout each academic year the group organise events and projects, including guest speakers, responding to consultations, research projects, and pressing sustainability challenges.
If you are interested in sustainability and climate change issues, this forum is the place for you! To join, please drop us an email.

University Sustainability Management Group (USMG)

Chaired by Professor George Marston (Pro-Vice Chancellor, Research & Innovation), the USMG oversees the University’s strategic commitment to supporting the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals through our research, teaching, campus and operations. It oversees the Environmental Sustainability Policy (including the Carbon Management Plan) as well as the University’s Environmental Management System.
We encourage students and staff to share their views and ideas with the USMG, which includes representation from the Students’ Union. Students are welcomed to input by contacting the NSU President or the Sustainability Manager. You can also join the Climate Change Think Tank which provides a forum for student debate around sustainability. Any identified actions or requests will be relayed to the USMG.

Education and Research for Sustainability

We offer a wide range sustainability-focused courses and we are working hard to ensure all graduate have the skills and knowledge needed for sustainable development. There are many ways that you could further develop your own sustainability skills and impact, often sought by employers:
  • Doing a placement? Why not look for opportunities in a role or company relating to sustainability?
  • Completing a research project? You could focus on a real-world sustainability challenge with an organisation who can implement your research recommendations.
  • Use Northumbria as a Living Lab! Use our campus and activities as the focus of your sustainability research so we can continue to make sustainable improvements - from habitat surveys to engagement strategies, there is something for everyone! We have a list of ideas but welcome yours too. Contact your Academic Supervisor and/or Sustainability Manager to find out more.
  • Help embed sustainability in your academic programme. We are working to ensure all programme build student understanding and skills regarding sustainability. If you want to support this within your own programmes, contact the Sustainability Manager.

Hedgehog Friendly Campus

Northumbria is a Hedgehog Friendly Campus and there are so many ways that you can get involved to help support our endangered, prickly friends! Volunteers could help run the social media account, undertake hedgehog surveys, support fundraising, attend litter picks… To find out more about Hedgehog Friendly Campus at Northumbria (and top tips for supporting hedgehogs) visit our Hedgehog Friendly Campus pages.

You can sign up to the Northumbria Hedgehog Friendly Campus mailing list here.


Are you a keen cyclist or just getting back on the saddle? Be sure to join our Bicycle User Group mailing list and to take advantage of our Cycle2Campus programme of activities. These include:

  • Regular free Dr Bike cycle maintenance checks at City and Coach Lane campus.
  • Free secure cycle parking on campus.
  • Access to shower facilities and lockers.
  • Training opportunities and events.
  • Our Cycle Scheme and local discounts enable you to save on the cost of a bike and accessories.

Find out more on our Cycle2Campus web pages.


We have a fantastic range of societies for students with a sustainability interest. These include our Green Zone garden scheme, EasyEco Society, Busy Bees Student Society and more. Explore the full list here.


We are committed to working closely with the community to help support social, economic and environmental sustainability. This is captured in our Collaborative Newcastle Universities Agreement We have multiple schemes in place including regular litter picks, volunteering opportunities, Northumbria ENACTUS, our Student Law Office and so much more… Log into your Target Connect portal to find local volunteering opportunities or visit the SU volunteering pages.


In addition to the groups and programmes mentioned, we also have a busy schedule of events taking place throughout the year. These include an annual Sustainability Week, such as our recent Responsible Consumption Week, monthly litter picks, talks and seminars, reuse workshops, allotment sessions and more. To keep up to date with the latest events, join the Sustainability Teams group.


Got an idea?

If you have an idea, please contact the Sustainability Manager to discuss the support available. You might even be able to access support from the sustainability budget. Recent projects given funding support include:

  • Cameras for our volunteer-led hedgehog monitoring for Hedgehog Friendly Campus.
  • Materials for use in the student allotment area (Green Zone).
  • Artist reuse workshops Cooking classes with tips on how to reduce food waste.
  • Planting to support pollinators.

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