Get Involved

Use this page to see what events are going on throughout the University, learn more about what we do to get our communities involved in climate action, or to sign up for specific training or groups. We look forward to seeing you!

Two young children having fun doing arts and crafts at a table covered in coloured paper, glue, scissors and other crafting items

There are many different ways to get involved with sustainability at various levels at the University. We have everything from formal training programmes to one-off events; everyone is welcome, from our staff and students to our local community across the City of Birmingham. Find out more about specific initiatives here, or get in touch with the Sustainability Team at the University or in the Guild.

Shape our Sustainable Future - vote for your favourite project

The sustainability team are looking to support individuals and sustainability on campus at a community level. A number of projects were proposed and the top four ideas have been collated so that students and staff can vote for their favourite. The project that receives the most votes will be explored by the Sustainability Steering Group, who will then see if the project can be implemented over the next 12 months. Votes can be placed, once logged into a university account, via Microsoft Forms.

Green Impact

Green Impact is a national programme that supports universities with practical steps to improve environmental sustainability in work and in curriculum. Our University currently has 40 teams signed up to this initiative. Visit the Green Impact website for more information (they also provide programmes for other institutions outside of Higher Education), or staff and students can join our Teams Page to find a team in your Department!

Reducing your energy consumption

We are working together with colleagues and students to ensure our campus operates as efficiently as possible. There are simple actions and changes we all can take to contribute to a more sustainable campus environment. Some of these top tips could also help you save energy at home.

These actions include the following:

  • Switch off lights when you leave the room. Avoid turning on artificial lighting if it is bright outside.
  • Switch appliances off at the wall when they are not in use. 
  • Spot any stray incandescent lamps on campus? Let Estates know so they can be changed to energy-saving alternatives!
  • If there are adjustable thermostats in your area, make sure heating is not set higher than 20 deg C. Each degree higher will increase energy use by around 10%.
  • If you have control over a time clock for heating and hot water, make sure it is set to timed, never constant. Also check that the clock is set correctly as they do not always update automatically when the clocks go back / forward.
  • Keep windows closed when the heating is on, and avoid using portable heaters!
  • Did you know that WiFi can lead to a significant reduction in energy consumption compared to mobile data? When on campus, please use WiFi instead of mobile data.
  • A toilet with water constantly running could be wasting 500 litres of water per day! Log a call for repair with Estates as quickly as possible.
  • A dripping tap could waste around 60 cubic meters of water per year; that’s around five-and-a-half times the capacity of a concrete mixer truck! If you see a badly dripping tap, place a call for repair.

Student Community

Our student community has so many ways you can get involved with sustainability. The Guild of Students has an Ethical and Environmental Officer and a range of societies focussed on sustainability. The community wardens also work on sustainability through projects such as JunkBusters. Have a look at the jobs and volunteering opportunities that allow you to make a difference in the community.

We are also developing a network of student sustainability reps who will work closely with sustainability leads in their schools/departments and colleges to support engagement with sustainability. More information about how to become a sustainability rep will be made available here soon.

There will also be an opportunity to get involved in various events during the summer term- see the ‘Develop your Sustainability Knowledge’ section. 


All staff are eligible for a volunteering allowance of 1 day a year. One major volunteering project is Birmingham In Action, a programme that aims to make education more accessible and turn research into action. We are always looking for students, staff and public partners to support these projects, find out how you can today!

Become a Sustainability Ambassador

Sign up to become one of the University's Sustainability Champions by filling out the attached online form

Reimagine Our Future (Undergraduate student competition)

Through our partnership with the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign we are pleased to be able to offer students the opportunity to take part in the Reimagine Our Future competition. You will develop an innovative plan or solution that promotes one or more of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), while taking a cross-disciplinary approach to consider the other relevant SDGs. Your particular sustainability problem or challenges could be at a local, regional, national or international level anywhere in the world.

Students can take part in a team or as an individual. If you would like to be part of team, but are unsure how to go about finding like-minded individuals please email Julia Myatt ( by the 27 September.

The first step is to register your team and your priority SDGs by Friday 6 October. There will then be deadlines on 22 Oct 22 and 19 Nov. Successful finalists will be notified on 25 Nov, before preparing a presentation for 26 Nov - 1 Dec. For more details and information please ensure you read all elements of the competition website. If you are considering submitting an application, please inform Prof Julia Myatt ( as she will be able to support with finding specialists on campus and with the process.

This is a fantastic opportunity to develop your collaborative skills, be creative and tackle some real-world challenges, as well as engage with like-minded students from around the globe. 

Undergraduate sustainability internships and projects

Summer 2023, we ran a successful summer sustainability internship programme and we hope to be able to offer similar opportunities this coming year. These projects enable you to gain experience with one of our globally leading research groups seeking ways to transform health, the environment and society. Example projects this year included ‘building sustainable global value supply chains’, ‘chemical recycling of sustainable plastics’ and ‘genetic modification for resilient wheat’. One of our interns said the following about their internship within the College of Arts and Law:

‘The internship has helped me learn a lot more about sustainability in the TV and film industry, particularly in the education and production areas!’ 

More information about these opportunities will be made available early 2024. NOTE- Priority is given to Birmingham Scholar students, but applications are invited from all non-finalist undergraduate students. 

Developing students' sustainability and climate action knowledge

Sustainability is a huge area, touching on everything we do and, for students, every discipline you study. Below are some examples of ways in which you can engage with learning around some of the key topics in sustainable development and climate awareness.

  1. Library resources: ‘Sustainability and Green Impact’ resource list. This is a list that includes relevant books and links to video resources available to enhance your knowledge and understanding of sustainability and climate action.

Coming soon:

  1. One Planet, One Future: Climate Change, Biodiversity and Sustainability. A new online short-course is currently under development for 2024.
  2. Summer Term Activities: students will be able to hear from sustainability research experts on campus and develop their biodiversity survey skills to contribute to a campus-wide data set to support our biodiversity action plan. 

There are so many different ways to get involved with sustainability at various levels at the University. From formal training programmes to open forums and one-off events, we welcome everyone, including our staff, students and local community members across Birmingham.

Florie Craddock, Guild of Students Sports Officer

Get in touch

If you ever want to know more information about sustainability at the University and how to get involved, whether you are a student, staff, a business, or a member of the public, please use to get in touch.

Alternatively, students can email the Guild of Students Ethical and Environmental Officer and staff can email the Birmingham University and College Union (UCU)'s Environmental Officer.