Head of Sustainability - UOB

Head of Sustainability Candidate Information Pack

Welcome Letter

We are delighted to offer the opportunity to join the University of Birmingham as our professional Head of Sustainability. The University has a strong commitment to sustainability starting from the top, and our work in this area has real momentum. With strong academic leadership, expert professional colleagues, and a team of committed sustainability champions, we have made big strides forward in the last year. We are ranked 35th in the world in the QS Global Sustainability rankings, reflecting our long record of substantial contributions to issues of sustainability research, education, and operational activities. The Head of Sustainability is a senior role in our Professional Services with a wide-ranging remit to lead and coordinate delivery of the sustainability goals and priorities across the University, as set out in our Birmingham 2030 Strategic Framework. Working alongside our Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Sustainability), as well as members of the University Executive Board, senior academics who teach and research in sustainability, the Directors of Estates, Campus Services, Finance and their teams, and staff and students across the institution, you will support the University to deliver our sustainability ambitions. There is much more to do, though, which is why this role is so important to us. You will work collaboratively across the organisation to develop plans to deliver our ambitious sustainability targets, provide expertise and positive challenge to ensure we achieve our targets, grow our external profile and reputation in this area, and ensure we are collecting and monitoring the data we need to track our progress. You will work with our whole staff and student community to build a culture where everybody contributes to sustainability and reduces our environmental impact. Above all, you will make things happen. Based within the Executive Support Division, you will be in the heart of the University and close to the senior leadership who are committed to achieving the University’s ambitious sustainability targets. You will have a passion for, and in-depth understanding of, the key issues for sustainability, allied with a strong empathy for what makes a university tick. You will be a skilled operator in large, complex organisations, with an ability to influence at all levels. Your senior leadership and relationship skills will mean you play a key part in facilitating teams from across the University to deliver a coordinated plan. Confidence in working with, analysing and presenting data is vital.

If this sounds like you, then I look forward to receiving your application and meeting you.

Mark Senior Chief of Staff

The Head of Sustainability is a vital role for the University and I am really looking forward to working with the successful candidate. As you can see on this page, we have made considerable progress already – but there is so much more to do. This role is essential in working across our institution to bring together subject experts and sustainability professionals to make a significant difference to the University’s sustainability agenda. “

Our Commitment to Sustainability You will be joining an whose activity in this area is wide-ranging, and includes: • Significant impact in climate-related research and practice which is highly embedded across all five Colleges of the University. Highlights include: Tyseley Energy Park, which is central to initiatives to decarbonise energy across the city of Birmingham; the Birmingham Institute for Forest Research, our unique study of how temperate forests manage high levels of carbon dioxide; partnering with business to investigate and develop innovative solutions to achieve responsible business success. studies of gender inequality, legislation and accounting. • Strong engagement with COP28 in Dubai, where the University has a campus, and where we launched our report Adaptation and Building Resilience in a Changing World. • Targets to reach net zero carbon for scope 1 and 2 by 2035 and scope 3 by 2045, with work well advanced on developing and prioritising pathways to achieve these targets.

• A senior academic working to embed sustainability in all our educational programmes. • The Birmingham Institute for Sustainability and Climate Action, which brings together expertise from across the University to identify real-world solutions to major global challenges. • A vibrant community of staff and students, including our Guild of Students, championing sustainability on our campuses. • A responsible investment strategy devised to deliver the principles of environmental, social and governance investing, supported by regular reporting on the areas of investment. • The University is a member of the UN Global Compact, a signatory to the Race to Zero for universities and colleges, and a joint founder of the World Alliance of Universities on Carbon Neutrality, which brings together 28 global universities aiming to boost their contribution to fighting climate change and achieving net zero targets.

In this role you will be working closely with the University’s executive lead for sustainability, David Hannah. David is listed in the Reuters Top 1000 world’s top climate scientists. He is Professor of Hydrology, UNESCO Chair in Water Sciences, and Director of the Birmingham Institute for Sustainability and Climate Action. In 2019, he became a Royal Society Wolfson Fellow and a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union in 2023.

Professor David Hannah Deputy-Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Sustainability)

About the University The University of Birmingham was founded on the vision of Joseph Chamberlain in 1900 to provide a university for the people of Birmingham, ‘a great school of universal instruction… taking all knowledge in its province’. This philosophy has defined and shaped us as an institution for our city ever since, founded on equality of opportunity for all. We are proud to continue to find new expressions for these civic roots. The University is now a global institution, with our doors open, welcoming the best to Birmingham and taking the best of Birmingham to the world. Our heritage as the original ‘redbrick’ is combined with an ambitious agenda to continue the transformation of the University. In recent years, we have significantly increased our recruitment of leading academics, and have undertaken a £1 billion renewal of the campus estate. Ranked within the top 100 universities globally, Birmingham is a member of the Russell Group and a founding member of the Universitas 21 global network of research universities. Numerous staff have received the most prestigious recognition within their fields, including Nobel Prizes. The quality of our research has grown significantly, as demonstrated in the 2021 Research Excellence Framework results, where we ranked 10th, having enjoyed the biggest rise of any institution in the Russell Group. This success is continuing, with academics at Birmingham attracting in excess of £250m in research awards in the last academic year. It is consistently amongst the most targeted universities by graduate employers. We have our own non-selective secondary school and sixth form serving the diverse communities of Birmingham, and have a major campus in Dubai. We take our role seriously as an anchor institution for the UK’s diverse, youthful, and dynamic second city, and are one of the largest employers in the region. We played a central role in the success of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, and value our partnerships with local organisations including through our Civic University Agreement signed with Birmingham City Council and the West Midlands Combined Authority. Through The Exchange we have a city centre base from which to work with partners. We are currently working with Bruntwood SciTech and NHS partners to develop the Birmingham Health Innovation Campus which will open in 2024.

Our University Community At Birmingham, we teach and research across the full breadth of academic disciplines, creating a vibrant community with multidisciplinary opportunities for research and education. We are a truly international community, comprising more than 8,000 staff, 38,000 students, and over 350,000 alumni. Our student community is not only one of the largest of any UK university, but also highly diverse, with 86% of our home undergraduate students from state schools, 43% from black, Asian or other minority ethnic backgrounds, and 36% in the first generation of their family to attend university. We have a diverse staff community: over one-third of our academic staff are from overseas, around 22% of our staff are from black, Asian or other minority ethnic backgrounds, and 5% have a declared disability. Our most recent staff survey indicates levels of engagement and pride which most employers would be pleased to achieve, and we are committed to building on this through the inclusion of ‘people and culture’ as a core pillar of the Birmingham 2030 Strategic Framework. We support academics at all stages of their career through our recently reformed Birmingham Academic Career Framework, with the aim of supporting colleagues to develop and maintain an academic culture of intellectual stimulation and high achievement, whilst fostering a deep affinity with the institution.

We value our diversity and aim to provide a welcoming and inclusive environment for all members of the University community. We believe our diversity is a source of strength that underpins the exchange of ideas, innovation and debate at the heart of our academic mission. We hold a Bronze Race Equality Charter Award and a

Bronze Athena SWAN Charter Award at institutional level, with many school- level awards at both silver and bronze.

Research & Innovation The University is one of the UK’s most successful institutions in terms of research. In the latest Research Excellence Framework, we were placed 10th in terms of GPA, with the highest rise in position of any Russell Group university, and with significant improvements across the breadth of our disciplines – a genuine University-wide achievement. Our areas of research excellence are unusually comprehensive for a UK university, with a submission to 28 of a possible 34 Units of Assessment in the REF2021. The total value of research funding won by the University has grown rapidly in recent years, and we now have a portfolio of over 2,800 live projects with an award value to the University of over £900m. Our academic community achieves remarkable things. We have been integral to some of the greatest scientific discoveries of recent times, such as the discovery of the Higgs boson particle and the detection of gravitational waves. We enjoy world-class expertise in areas as diverse as mental health, Shakespeare studies, global maternal health, formulation engineering, quantum technology, psychology, water science, air pollution, corpus linguistics, inter-faith understanding, and character education. Our robust industrial partnerships support enterprise and innovation across several sectors, working with companies as diverse as Siemens, AstraZeneca and the Royal Shakespeare Company, and drawing on our innovation assets such as the Birmingham Health Innovation Campus and the Manufacturing Technology Centre in Ansty, near Coventry. Our Railway Engineering group, which was awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize in 2017, has extensive collaborations with industry, including securing £92m investment through the Research Partnership Investment Fund. Our world-leading High Temperature Research Centre is built on a £60m investment from Rolls-Royce and this collaboration won the 2023 Queen’s Anniversary prize. We run one of the four national quantum technology hubs, an £80m initiative that focuses on technology transfer from fundamental science to application. We support academics to engage with policy makers, and through the work of University of Birmingham Enterprise, manage the University’s extensive technology transfer and academic consultancy business, IP protection and spinout portfolio.

Birmingham 2030 Through our Birmingham 2030 Strategic Framework we have set an aspiration to become a top 50 global institution. We recognise this is a genuinely challenging aim, which will require a vibrant, intellectually exciting, and diverse University community for research and education, as well as working closely with our partners in Birmingham and around the world. With world-class research and outstanding global education as our core mission, we will strive to increase the volume and quality of our research to make an even greater difference to the world around us. We will be the UK’s exemplary civic University, remaining firmly committed to our foundations in the highly diverse communities, people, and economy of the city of Birmingham and the West Midlands. A link to the Birmingham 2030 Strategic Framework can be found here. Birmingham 2030 strengthens our commitment to sustainability as one of the core pillars of our activity. This includes using our research and education to make a major global contribution to the UN Sustainable Development Goals, a headline aim to be net zero carbon for scope 1 and 2 by 2035 and overall by 2045. We are active partners in Birmingham’s Tyseley Energy Park developing new technologies to contribute to Birmingham’s net zero ambitions.

Professional Services The University’s Professional Services are led by the Registrar and Secretary. We aim for high quality Professional Services in support of the University’s academic mission. Across all of our Professional Services, we recognise that it is our people who are the heart of what we do, and so we are focussed on creating a culture for them to thrive and we have a sector-leading staff development programme: The Birmingham Professional, supported by a long- standing Graduate Management Trainee programme. Many of our senior leaders are also closely involved with professional sector networks and representative bodies. Executive Support Division This role is based at the heart of the University as part of the Executive Support Division, which is led by the Chief of Staff. The Division exists to help the University meet its global top 50 aspiration by providing high-quality, flexible and intelligent support from the heart of the organisation, and by using our convening power to bring people together to deliver the University’s priorities. Our teams help to develop the University’s future plans, ensure robust and effective decision-making, safeguard regulatory and legislative compliance, are experts in the external policy and political environment, provide vital insight into the University’s performance, and deliver significant projects that make a positive difference. Teams in the division are involved in many aspects of the University’s work, and you will be able to draw on the advice and expertise of colleagues who understand and work with many parts of the institution.

Job Description Strategy, Policy and Planning • Work closely with the Deputy Pro-Vice- Chancellor (Sustainability) to agree priorities for the University’s sustainability work that will make a positive impact, and to identify actions and resources to deliver these priorities. • Work collaboratively with colleagues in Colleges and Professional Services to lead and coordinate the University’s sustainability activities, including in research, education, estates and campus operations. • Work collaboratively to lead the development and implementation of University plans relating to sustainability (for example, the Net Zero Carbon Plan), and how these integrate with the University’s key strategies (for example, student recruitment, Estates and Campus Strategy; Digital Strategy etc). • Manage the work of the Sustainability Oversight Board and the Sustainability Steering Group, ensuring agendas, papers, and minutes are produced on time, and decisions implemented. • Provide expert advice and guidance on sustainability on aspects such as carbon accounting, pathways to net zero, regulation, environmental legislation, procurement, and encouraging sustainable behaviours amongst staff and students. • Engage with students to understand their requirements in relation to sustainability, working with colleagues across the University to convert these into actions. • Keep abreast of current thinking and developments in sustainability and higher education, forming networks with, for example, sustainability leads in similar UK and global universities, and working in partnership with key organisations in our city and region. • Identify external and internal resources to support the University’s sustainability work, including writing business cases, and making applications for funding. • Advise the University Executive Board on the adoption of voluntary accreditation schemes, standards, management systems related to sustainability and the impact of

Person Specification • A good undergraduate degree or equivalent. • A relevant postgraduate qualification, or demonstrably equivalent experience. • A passion for enhancing sustainability backed by a broad knowledge and expertise of the challenges and requirements in tackling global sustainability, including the particular implications for a large research- intensive university. • Demonstrable experience of the leadership attributes required to deliver this agenda in a large, complex organisation. This will include one or more of: experience of sustainability management and leadership within a large, complex organisation; leading significant operational and cultural change; working collaboratively and influentially with a wide range of senior colleagues; effective engagement with a large and diverse community to enable change; proven ability to develop and implement new policies. • An excellent understanding of UK and global HE and the challenges it faces. • An excellent understanding of higher education and empathy for the academic endeavour of the University, and how sustainability priorities are integrated in this context. • Well networked with the credibility to act as an ambassador for sustainability internally and externally. • Strong analytical skills with the ability to handle and analyse large data sets effectively and accurately to produce meaningful information and insight. • The ability to write clear and persuasive Board papers and business plans. • A commitment to promote and adhere to the agreed values of the University and the Executive Support Division.

their adoption. • Actively consider the equality and diversity implications of the University’s sustainability work, and adapt plans accordingly. Data and Monitoring • Develop and monitor the University’s social and environmental sustainability targets, including the Strategic Framework Measures of Success and balanced scorecard targets. • Develop internal processes and systems to ensure appropriate monitoring and evaluation of performance against the agreed measures of success, including scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions. • Oversee external sustainability reporting, for example engaging with relevant league tables, provision of annual reports, and management of website content. • Provide regular internal reporting on progress towards achieving our strategic ambitions, including to University Executive Board and Council. Communications and engagement • Work with colleagues in Communications to develop a strategy to engage staff, students and external stakeholders in the University’s sustainability agenda. • Co-ordinate and lead University-wide engagement activities related to sustainability, including organising events and other activities, and supporting a network of sustainability champions. • Raise the profile of sustainability at the University and the progress it is making in contributing to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. • Identify and promote the incorporation of sustainability considerations into the day- to-day business of the University, including coordinating audits of sustainability activity. • The post holder is required to be flexible in developing their role and will from time to time be required to undertake any other duties commensurate with the grading of the post.

Further Information

The university offers a competitive salary for the post with potential progression to £84,644 a year in addition the University offers a wide range of benefits, including a generous annual leave entitlement and pension scheme, opportunities to join staff networks, formal and informal learning and development opportunities, and flexibility. For a confidential discussion to learn more about the role and opportunity please contact the University’s appointed recruitment consultants Sian Gardiner and Sherena Otadende of The Management Recruitment Group.

Closing date for applications is Sunday 18th February 2024.

Interviews with UoB are scheduled for Tuesday 19th March 2024. Applications should consist of a comprehensive CV (of not more than 4 pages) and supporting cover letter (of not more than 2 pages) outlining key matching experience and rationale for the post. Applications should be sent to sian.gardiner@universitypeople.co.uk.

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