Continuous improvement on sustainability is fundamental to institutional change

Jenny Jamieson, Policy Officer and Outcome Manager of EAUC Scotland in the Research and Innovation Directorate at the Scottish Funding Council outlines why continuous improvement on sustainability is fundamental to institutional change.  Jenny is also a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing.
The Scottish Funding Council is proud to sponsor the category ‘Continuous Improvement: Institutional Change’ in 2017 for the Green Gown Awards UK and Ireland.  This category resonates with much of what the Scottish Funding Council is aiming to achieve, both in the college and university sectors in Scotland and with the ambitions of many of our stakeholders.  The Scottish Funding Council under the banner of Capital and Climate Change is currently funding and supporting a number of key initiatives in Scotland including College Energy Efficiency Pathfinder, University Carbon Reduction Programme and EAUC through their outcome agreement ‘Catalysing transformative leadership for sustainability’.  All of these initiatives promise to deliver the type of transformative change that benefits both the sector and wider society. 
The Scottish Funding Council recognises that real institutional change in terms of sustainability will only succeed if great ideas such as those we see in the category finalists are successfully applied to real time sustainable activity. This is a challenge as it requires a creative and driven approach across all facets of an institution that motivates the communities who work and live there to engage as a forum, and stay engaged.  To sustain this engagement requires a commitment at the very heart of an institution – from its management, staff and students - to embed sustainable thinking over time into research, teaching, learning and operational activity and for that thinking to deliver real impact that is visible and tangibly relevant.  Our finalists are already demonstrating the positive impact of having such a journey.  A journey where strategic activities and sustainable values are intrinsically evidenced in real change, experienced not only by their own communities but also by their stakeholders and partners beyond the institution.  This is very much the direction of travel among the public and private sectors where sustainability is now a permanent feature in strategic planning, risk management and management thinking.
Every institution will be at a different stage in this journey.  These finalists provide a unique opportunity for other institutions to consider these sustainability models, strategies for engagement and case studies in the context of their own sustainable journey and how they can be creatively adapted to fuel their own journey.
The Green Gown Awards has become a vibrant community in itself and a forum for the capturing of new ideas.  SFC would like to wish all the finalists the very best of luck in the ‘Continuous Improvement’ category on 15th November in Manchester.
Information on the work of the Capital and Climate Change team including contact details can be found on the Scottish Funding Council website.

Delivered by EAUC