video: Students want jobs with businesses that ‘value sustainability’

EXCLUSIVE Today's students want to gain employment with companies who truly value the importance of sustainability, says National Union of Students (NUS) senior project officer Jesse Scharf. Scroll down for video

Scharf said that students want to leave university with “high levels of sustainability literacy” and to join companies that are actively embracing sustainability.

Last year, students responded to a Higher Education Academy (HEA) and NUS survey, which found that more than 80% of students believe that sustainable development should be actively promoted and incorporated by UK universities, a belief which increases as they progress through their studies.

Students said that sustainable development is something which should be embedded in their university courses, not just as an add-on to the university strategies.

The survey, of nearly 7,000 first and third-year students, also uncovered new insights, such as a desire for teaching to include extra-curricular sustainable development learning opportunities.

First-year undergraduate students starting their university careers in 2012 were more likely to accept reduced starting salaries for a job in a company with a good track record on sustainability, the report found.

Speaking to edie at Sustainability Live in Birmingham this month, Scharf said: “The findings of the report will hopefully help universities embed sustainability in to all courses, not just the usual suspects of Geography and Environmental courses”.

Sustainability Live 2014

Leigh Stringer

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