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Season 2 Episode 1 – Sustainability

25 March 2021

Accommodation Matters

Season 2: Episode 1 – Sustainability

Sustainability is key priority for our investors and higher education partners and it’s among the top concerns for our student customers. As a business, we operate sustainably because it reflects our values. It is the right thing to do, but also makes good business sense.

In the past, ‘sustainability’ was sometimes used as a term that exclusively referred to environmental issues. However, it is a far wider term which spans economics, social justice movements, health and beyond – and indeed at Unite Students, our new Sustainability Strategy includes environmental, wellbeing and diversity commitments among others. We’ll be looking further at some of those topics in future episodes of this podcast.

In this episode we are talking about sustainability in its original context. Host Darren Ellis, our Higher Education Engagement Director, is joined by three guests:

  • Andy Nolan, Development and Sustainability Director at the University of Nottingham
  • Jade Monroe, Interim Director of Education at SOS UK, which is the National Union of Students’ sustainability charity, representing 7 million students in higher and further education
  • James Tiernan, Head of Energy and Environment at Unite Students

James Tiernan, head of energy and environment at Unite Students, describes Unite Students’ approach. He said: “We’ve really recognised that we need to do a lot more, a lot faster. I think this is reflected in our new Sustainability Strategy which is targeting net-zero carbon by 2030.”

Jade Monroe, interim director of education at SOS UK, talks about the importance of the topic for students. She said: “We are now seeing students think about environmental issues in a much more holistic, broader manner. They are thinking about the climate crisis and the impact it has on people, on justice, on health, on local communities – this is an area that affects so many people.”

Andy Nolan, development and sustainability director at the University of Nottingham, describes where his institution is at with becoming more sustainable. He said: “We know we’ve got to give up our obsession with gas. We are not going to achieve our carbon reduction targets if we stick to it. So, we’re going to have to look at new technology.”

Listen to the podcast here: