Sustainability Updates


Take a look at our sustainability updates to learn more about how we're tackling climate change problems, both internally and with our external partners.

Climate Innovations highlights include: rainwater harvesting, solar panels, electric vans & wildflower meadows


8th June 2023

Dr Diana J Pritchard and Dr Sibel Kaya attended the Scholars’ Education Trust Student Climate Change & Sustainability Conference on 9 June 2023. More than 100 students from across the Scholars’ Education Trust met at Rothamsted Conference Centre for inspirational talks, presentations and interactive workshops throughout the day.Dr Diana J Pritchard introduced En-ROADS which is a global climate simulator that allows users to explore the impact that dozens of policies—such as electrifying transport, pricing carbon, and improving agricultural practices—have on hundreds of factors like energy prices, temperature, air quality, and sea level rise. Throughout the session, students shared their solutions to reduce the effects of climate change and observed the impacts through the simulator.
Scholars’ Education Trust Student Climate Change & Sustainability Conference on 9 June

Please contact the University of Bedfordshire Academy for Learning & Teaching Excellence (ALTE) at for a discussion about sustainability initiatives or other opportunities.

24th May 2023

UoB UN SDG event Banner

We held another interdisciplinary University-wide event Planetary & Human Health and Connections to explore ways to embed the UN Sustainable Development Goals at Bedfordshire in our learning, teaching and research. This took place on Wednesday 24th May, organised by the University of Bedfordshire’s Sustainability Forum and sponsored by Academy for Learning & Teaching Excellence.

Please download the slides in PDF format.

The event enabled us to highlight the University’s in-house research and teaching expertise from across the disciplines relating to Climate action (SDG 13) and Good health and well-being (SDG 3).  It also served to explore the connections and impacts on climate on health and to identify relevant education, research and employment opportunities and action to mitigate the impacts. 

The event was opened by the PVC Education and Student Experience, Dr Julie Brunton, and PVC for Research and Innovation, Prof Andrew Church.  Amongst the 55 participants were 25 academics, 8 professional staff, 9 local council officials, 4 practitioners, and 4 students.  During interactive sessions, this rich mix of people shared were able to valuable insights and develop understandings about relevant challenges, solutions and responses.    

Attendees reported that the event enabled them to gain a greater understanding of the SDGs, find ideas for curriculum change and assessments that address local and global challenges, and identify themes for student and academic research.  For academics, networking with local employers and representatives of civic initiatives has provided links for closer future work and collaborations.

Look out for our next event which will focus on Climate Action (SDG 13) and Sustainable Communities and Cities (SDG 11) and will take place in 2024! 

Please contact the University of Bedfordshire Academy for Learning & Teaching Excellence (ALTE) at for a discussion about sustainability initiatives or opportunities to get involved with.   

26th April 2023

In the run up to the mayoral elections in Bedford, the University hosted a climate change hustings at its Polihill campus. It was attended by all five of the mayoral candidates.  It was chaired by Professor Andrew Church, PVC of Research and Innovations and Chair of the Sustainability Steering Group. He said, “This is precisely the sort of thing that the University can do as an anchor institution which can facilitate conversations and debate about vitally important issues affecting society”.  The level of community interest was evident amongst the 85 people who attended.   

By all accounts, including the mayoral candidates, the event was a success in enabling the audience to hear, compare and understand differences between the political parties.  It was coordinated by Dr Diana Pritchard who has a dual role as leading the University’s Sustainability Forum as well as being on the committee of the citizen Bedfordshire Climate Change Forum.  She stressed how decisions about the curation of the event ensured inclusivity.  Attendees had an opportunity to put questions to the candidates by presenting their questions in writing before the start of the event.  Similarly, it was organised with equity in mind, such that all mayoral candidates had precisely the same time to respond to those questions.   

Climate Husting at UoB

July 2022

The University of Bedfordshire's Dr James Bishop, in collaboration with  Kat Wysocka, Head of Climate Change at Luton Borough Council has been hugely successful in securing research funding as part of the Local Government Association and UCL’s Net Zero Innovation Programme.

The project, titled; ‘Energetic Lifestyles’: Engaging young people in the development and implementation of carbon reduction initiatives, aims to enhance understanding of perceptions towards, and barriers to, the adoption of energy-efficient behaviors.

The UoB research team supported the Youth Climate Conference 2022 in Luton, an event run and facilitated by the Youth Network organization. Over the course of two days, the event engaged with a range of different communities from the local area to participate in discussions and activities around climate change. The team provided training for 13 Youth Network Ambassadors, to enable them to run two workshops at the conference, specifically focused on housing, energy and the impact on climate change (action).

Dr James Bishop and the construction teaching team continue to engage with key local stakeholders and organisations, and in recent months have jointly signed collaborative ‘letters of intent’ with both Luton Borough Council and leading UK construction and infrastructure services company Kier, in support of teaching, learning and research at UOB. These specifically focus on aspects of sustainable development and growth, with James also currently participating as a member of a Social Steering Group for Kier’s £92.8M Luton and Dunstable University Hospital project.

Academic works with Luton Borough Council to capture youth views in carbon reduction

20th June 2022

An online conversation café was held on 20th June to present key elements of the emergent Sustainability Strategy 2022-26.  Coordinated by Pro-VC Professor Andrew Church, with breakout sessions facilitated by academics from the Sustainability Forum.


10th June 2022

At least two fees-funded PhDs focusing on research for sustainability will be supported by the University’s Research and Innovation Service from 2022. Already approved are ‘The impact of responsible management education on management practices’ and 'Outdoor physical activity among adolescent girls: improving engagement for human and planetary health benefits'. These will be advertised from October 2022. These will be co-supervised, respectively, by Sustainability Forum coordinator, Dr Diana Pritchard (together with Dr Christina Schwabenland from the University of Bedfordshire Business School) and Dr Julia Zakrzewski-Fruer with a colleague from the Institute for Sport and Physical Activity Research.

30th April 2022

By signing up to PRME, the University of Bedfordshire Business School (UBBS) aims to raise the profile of sustainability by developing tools and approaches to achieve the UN SGD. The first Principle of PRME is the pledge to “develop the capabilities of students to be future generators of sustainable value for business and society at large and to work for an inclusive and sustainable global economy.” Dr Mohamed Saeudy, who will lead on this from the UBBS, claims this will involve the University’s business school developing the educational frameworks, materials and environments to enable effective learning experiences for responsible leadership.

20th April 2023

Responding to an invitation of the Clinton Global Foundation, Dr Diana Pritchard, based in the Academy for Learning and Teaching Excellence and Coordinator of the Sustainability Forum, took part in a round table event in Rome.

The event brought together experts (in person and online) from countries across the globe, from the private and public sectors. It focused on exploring key challenges, innovative approaches and mechanisms to fund Regenerative Agriculture and Nature-Based Solutions to our sustainability, food security and health crisis.  Diana’s contributions, based on concepts of inter-generational justice and the need to decolonise scientific approaches in recognising the value and diversity of local knowledge, focused on the need to engage with and support youth from diverse communities. 

The event, was co-hosted by the UN agency, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and took place at their headquarters.

Clinton Global Foundation invites University’s Sustainability Forum Coordinator to round table

22nd February 2022

A taught MSc student is undertaking a placement with Bedford Borough Council Sustainable Transport Team. This will involve delivering sessions on active travel and sugar control at local schools, and a PhD student is examining the relationship between active travel, breakfast and glycaemia in adolescents.

The students are supervised by Dr. Zakrzewski-Fruer, who is Senior Lecturer Health Nutrition and Exercise at the School of Sport Science and Physical Activity, and member of Institute for Sport and Physical Activity Research (ISPAR). Julia is a member of the British Association for Sport and Exercise Science Climate Change Action Team and involved in climate change within her academic role.

2nd December 2021

A University-Luton Borough Council (LBC) research project, ‘Energetic Lifestyles’: Engaging young people in the development and implementation of carbon reduction initiatives, was awarded £25,000 from the joint Local Government Association and UCL’s Net Zero Innovation Programme. The project aims to enhance understanding of perceptions towards, and barriers to, the adoption of energy efficient behaviours. The lead is Dr James Bishop, Senior Lecturer in Construction and active member of the Sustainability Forum, who is coordinating a research team to generate key recommendations to LBC who need to know how best to design and roll-out its planned energy efficiency/zero carbon initiatives.

15th November 2021

For Dr Diana Pritchard, coordinator of the University’s Sustainability Forum, engaging with wider sector discussions about higher education practices that develop learning about and action for future challenges is an essential part of its mission to promote and enhance effective approaches. Having honed in on key features of the learning and teaching practices that the Sustainability Forum has developed with colleagues from across the academic discipline spectrum, its case study is now part of a collection of practice guides to support Education for Sustainable Development in Higher Education curated by Advance HE and QAA.

21st October 2021

While officials meet at the CoP26 held in Glasgow’s during 1-12 November 2021 to focus on respective measures that governments are willing to implement to meet agreed targets, global attention is also on the actual and potential role of higher education to nurture learning about and action for climate change.

Responding to the need to showcase good practice, the UK University Climate Network offered case studies to illustrate effective climate change education practices. The case of the Sustainability Forum is included in the collection. It was authored by Bedfordshire’s Dr Diana Pritchard and former colleague, Dr Nicholas Worsfold who now works at Brunel University.

16-18 June 2021

The University’s Sustainability Forum coordinator and Principal Curriculum Developer, Dr Diana Pritchard, was invited by British Council to design and facilitate a workshop at its highly prestigious Going Global Conference was held online.

These annual events are designed for vice-chancellors and pro-vice chancellors and government ministers, from countries in the global North and South. At the workshop, Higher education practices for our threatened world, Diana presented for discussion the key findings from work she lead on relating to higher education practices which aim to prepare students with capabilities to address key local and global challenges. That research was funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Overseas Office.

To support her workshop, Diana brought together an international team of experts including Prof Daniella Tilbury (HM Commissioner for Sustainable Development and Future Generations, Government of Gibraltar, Joseph Nkandu (ASHOKA Fellow and Executive of the Uganda National Union of Coffee Agribusinesses and Farm Enterprises) and Prof Violeta Orlovic (Dept Pedagogy, University of Belgrade, Serbia).

UN conference

The University of Bedfordshire brought to life the buzz of high pressure negotiations when it hosted a Model UN conference on climate change.

Some 28 people, including University staff, pre-university students and members of Bedfordshire Climate Change Forum and the United Nations Association took part in the event at the Bedford campus

The debrief plenary session served to reflect on reactions and learning. Some felt that, far from hopeless, the event made them feel ‘connected’.

From left to right: Front bench: UG student Joana Andrade; Heather Mitchell (BCCF) and Dr Yongmei Bentley; middle row: Glenor Roberts (BCCF) and Ben McShane (Biddenham school student); back row: Lucy Bywater (BCCF) and UG student Breanna Banar.

Further information about the conference can be found in the news section.

Please contact the University of Bedfordshire Academy for Learning & Teaching Excellence (ALTE) at for a discussion about sustainability initiatives or other opportunities.

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