Leeds Arts University recognises the importance of embedding sustainability within our practices, both operationally and educationally. We are committed to establishing the highest possible standards of sustainability across all our core activities.

We are a member of The Alliance for Sustainability Leadership in Education (EAUC). The EAUC is a not for profit member-based charity supporting sustainability in universities and colleges. They aim to inspire, promote and support change towards best practice sustainability within the operations, curriculum and research of the UK tertiary education sector.

We have committed to reporting annually on the progress in contributing to the achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

We are signatory of the SDG Accord which aims to inspire, celebrate and advance the critical role of education along with a commitment to embed the SDGs into our education, research, operations, and engagement. Reports from all signatory institutions are collated to provide a summary report of how both the Higher and Further Education sectors are contributing to the SDGs globally which is presented each year to the UN High Level Political Forum. Click here to view the latest SDG Accord report.

People & Planet University League 2024/25

People & Planet’s University League is a league table of UK universities ranked by environmental and ethical performance. It is compiled annually by the student campaigning network, People & Planet. The ranking is assessed by People & Planet in the summer and published at the end of the year. Click here to view Leeds Arts University’s sustainability activity in relation to People & Planet criteria.

Our Sustainability Framework

We operate within a Sustainability Framework that guides how we engage with and advance our sustainability practices, and through which we aim to educate and encourage our staff and students to consider sustainability more consciously.

Our Sustainability Committee comprises staff and student representation, and is chaired by the Vice-Chancellor. The Sustainability Committee meets regularly to plan, support and monitor the University’s sustainability activity and how it adheres to the University’s Sustainability Framework.

Reducing emissions

We recognise our role in contributing to local and national initiatives regarding carbon reduction and the climate emergency. Progressing from our previous Carbon Management Plan 2012-2020, we have developed our Estate Sustainability Plan which sets out our target to achieve net zero carbon emissions for the Leeds Arts University Estate by 2035. Delivering on this will require dedicated internal resource, significant long-term planning and collaboration with our partners and suppliers.

Sustainability in the curriculum

We recognise the role of education in enabling students to develop the knowledge, skills, values and behaviours needed for sustainable development, ensuring they are equipped to meet the complex and rapidly-changing demands of the creative industries and wider world.

We work to meaningfully embed sustainability into our curriculum, through teaching and learning opportunities so that students leave Leeds Arts University with an awareness of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and knowledge & understanding of what sustainability means in the context of their discipline.

This enables our graduates and creatives of the future to be more conscious of their impact of on the planet, be solutions-focused and to seek opportunities to positively contribute to sustainability. Furthermore, our approach to sustainability in the curriculum also ensures that students have the sustainability knowledge and skills to meet the needs of industry and to act as change agents; to challenge, innovate and transform to contribute to a better world.

Each of our courses engage with sustainability in a variety of ways, including through live briefs, Visiting Professionals, working with communities, field trips and exploring sustainable materials and techniques.

Annual Student Sustainability Award

Our Annual Student Sustainability Award recognises innovative and outstanding student work that addresses environmental, social and ethical issues, with sustainability running clearly through the thinking and approach.

Each year students at the University are invited to submit a piece work of any genre or discipline based on their interpretation of sustainability, that reflects the aims identified in the University Sustainability Framework and aligns to one or more of the SDGs.

The full brief, timescales and submission details for students interested in entering the Annual Student Sustainability Award 2023/24 can be found on the Leeds Arts University Careers Portal.

How students can get involved

The University works closely with Leeds Arts Union on sustainability initiatives including Sustainability week.

The Sustainability Officer role is part of the Student Executive. This role leads Conscious Creatives, the dedicated sustainability society which has the aim of educating, promoting and celebrating sustainable and social responsibility amongst students throughout the University. So far, Conscious Creatives has brought students together through workshops, exhibitions, action days and collaborative projects.

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