Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

The EAUC is taking proactive steps to improve Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) internally, across our Board and Staff, as well as externally, across HE and FE and in the sustainability sector. The actions the EAUC takes seek to enhance fairness, opportunity and representation that, overall, should inspire, celebrate and advance the critical role of EDI across the sustainability field. These positive developments also actively support the delivery of UN Sustainable Development Goals 4, 58, 10 and 17.

Common misconceptions can suggest that small organisations do not need to consider EDI - after all, in a small staff team it can seem impossible to achieve very diverse representation. However, EDI is fundamental to any organisation’s operations, no matter its size, and the EAUC understands that internal actions can impact external operations in positive and transformative ways.

Resources Currently Available

A summary of our actions to date


  1. We collate FE and HE data on protected characteristics, as there is no one data set for the whole of the sector yet. This aims to determine a sector average.
  2. We gather protected characteristics data from the Board and Staff, which will be benchmarked against the sector average (see 1).
  3. Staff received tailored EDI training in November 2021, specific to the education and sustainability sectors. Our staff received the University of Gloucestershire Diversity and Inclusion training that includes unconscious bias training. All Board members have confirmed that they have been provided with training through their own institutions.
  4. We present EDI updates at the Member Roundtables, and have done since 7th October 2021. This makes our EDI agenda known and understood among Members. These Roundtables invite only Key Contacts and Fellows.
  5. Each edition of e-news includes a topical and current EDI resource.
  6. We created EAUC Associate Trustee positions to open these opportunities to people outside of the sector and to join the Board. Now removed by the Board is the requirement for previous board experience, to encourage more younger/early career applications. In July 2021 the Board confirmed Romas Malevicius and Neelum Choudhury as Associate Trustees.
  7. Anonymised recruitment is an EAUC standard practice for all positions, therefore protected characteristics, photos and contact information are removed by a different member of staff to those in the shortlisting panel. Applicants are also provided equal opportunity forms to voluntarily return.
  8. The EAUC-Scotland team is reviewing terms of references for Topic Support Networks and the length of term for convenors to encourage more opportunity for sector members to contribute to these events.
  9. We have an internal EDI Working Group with interested members of the Staff and Board, who advise on all EDI developments.
  10. In 2023, we became a Level 1 Disability Confident Employer; we have three years to achieve Level 2.
  1. We collate and upload EDI items, resources and tools to the Sustainability Exchange. All staff are asked to contribute to sourcing these, ensuring awareness is maintained among staff too.
  2. Our partnership programmes and events are frequently tailored to diversifying the sector. These include the Period Poverty campaign, sourcing case studies from institutions on the SDGs, and promoting the concept of climate justice via our flagship international programmes such as the Race to Zero for Universities and Colleges and the International Green Gown Awards.
  3. Our virtual conferences prioritise sessions delivered by those from the Global South, particularly focusing on regions and countries whose representation is significantly lesser on high-level platforms.
  4. We aim to achieve gender diversity during virtual conferences and external events.
  5. We partnered with Change Agents and SOS-UK to develop a sector-specific programme, Kickstart for Sustainability in Tertiary Education. This was for the Government Kickstart Scheme to fund 6-month work placements for young people on Universal Credit and who are at risk of long-term unemployment. Since its establishment, we have onboarded two team members through Kickstart. We strongly encourage participating institutions to top up the minimum wage provided by the Government to be the Living Wage. Through the experienced team at Change Agents, SOS and ourselves we will provide a comprehensive support package for all placements through this programme.
  6. Following ‘Skills for the Future’, we partnered with Change Agents to run Sustainable Futures; the pilot was in 3 colleges based in socioeconomically disadvantaged places (Wakefield College, West Anglia College and Belfast Metropolitan College). Each college identified 40 to 50 learners to take part. The feedback has been positive.
  7. We collaborate with external organisations to improve the career guidance for those entering the sustainability sector, and use the partnerships to make current jobs greener. Partnerships to-date have included the UKRI, WWF and networking in the COP26 Universities Network sub-group on Education & Skills, BEIS, and the Green Jobs Taskforce Team.
  8. We profiled our Student Climate Commissioners so as to ensure a youth voice is included during presentations on behalf of the Climate Commission. In 2021, we ran a podcast series with students who discussed their entry into the sector and climate action.
  9. All online EAUC events are hosted via Zoom, hence we recently set up our sessions to incorporate virtual closed captioning (cc) by default during meetings and webinars, to provide attendees with subtitles. Accessibility support and requests can be noted upon registering for our events.
  10. Since 2022, we have been signatories of the RACE Report, a campaign  that strives to increase the environmental sector's racial diversity and equity. Read 2023 data here and learn more about EAUC's commitment.
  11. In 2023, we published our Web Accessibility Statement that will be reviewed every 6 months. A downloadable file can be found at end of this page.
  12. In 2023, we published a Glossary of Key Terms detailing common, current definitions of terms relevant to EDI, to which all staff follow,

Actions over time

  1. To diversify perspectives and voices at events, we are developing a speaker database of individuals qualified to speak on EDI, or who promote underrepresented perspectives in HE and FE and/or sustainability spaces. We aim for this database to become widely available to our network in 2024.
  2. We are currently finalising our next organisational strategy, throughout which we incorporate equity, diversity and inclusion throughout. This will launch in 2024.
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