Appraisals: Guidance for our common objective - Adapting to the future through demonstrating sustainability


Each of us contributes to the university strategy and our common objectives will help us deliver success. As part of the 2021-22 appraisal cycle we have introduced common objectives for everyone to work towards throughout the year. Here we share guidance to support you and your managers when building and agreeing goals for our sustainability objective.

Our sustainability common objective is: Adapting for the future through demonstrating sustainability

All staff should have an objective demonstrating how they support sustainability, this forms part of our three common objectives. The aim of this guidance is to help you develop a conversation around this common objective and how to identify targets to make a positive difference.

Our strategy states the importance of our sustainability outcomes, including our Net Zero Carbon Target.  Everyone is responsible across the organisation; we are ambitious, and we encourage you to identify and undertake actions that have positive impact. By thinking and integrating positive steps into your work can ease workload, improve processes to deliver time savings, reduce costs and protect the planet.

Sustainability as part of your appraisal and objectives

To begin, reflect on your working processes and activities:

What is your job and what do you do?

  • Consider/write down your normal daily tasks/processes and those that are less routine.

What are the impacts that you may create in these activities?

  • For each of your tasks, think about the equipment and resources required: for example: equipment energy use, printing, business travel, any items purchased (procurement), use of office or other consumables and what waste is generated.
  • If you are working at home and on campus, think about any resources required at home and whether they differ between the home and office.

What can you do to reduce impacts?

  • Everyone has influence and whether you are responsible for the service, or supporting it, you can drive positive change on a local and larger level.
  • Reduction examples can include:
    • procurement - buying less, using our reuse scheme and buying eco-friendly alternative,
    • travel - reducing intercampus and business travel, especially on any flights,
    • paper reduction - can the system be digitised and what technology is required,
    • equipment - reducing demand, initiate behaviour change or procure better alternatives,
    • behavioural change - influencing students, colleagues, contractors or suppliers to make improvements in their activities.

Please note: we expect all staff to do the following as common practice and therefore these cannot be included as part of your appraisal: recycling, turning off lights or screens, closing/opening windows, buying recycled paper, and printing less (unless involved in a high paper using process or there has been a long-standing issue).  If these are actions not done by students or colleagues it could fall into the behavioural change impact (see Sustainability Champion section below).

Training and support available to create change

Training and support is available, including carbon literacy and working towards Net Zero. Contact or read more about sessions available. (note new training sessions will be added over time).

Become a Sustainability Champion to drive departmental improvement

Anyone can become a Champion; encouraging and celebrating collaborative improvements. You will be supported by the Sustainability Team, with regular communication. You can devote as much time as you have. Contact to find out more.

Set SMART targets

Setting targets will increase the likelihood of success and enable progress to be reported. You may be able to produce relevant data yourself (purchase spend, paper usage, energy consumption). Ensure any baseline you use to compare progress against is robust. Example targets and support sources are:
  • Business travel:
    • Reviewing mileage allowance claims and setting a target to reduce these.
  • Energy & water:
    • If you are working to reduce consumption on a building wide or on a more local level contact for access to a live data dashboard.
    • If you want to calculate energy savings from equipment contact to borrow an electricity monitor.
  • Consumable use:
    • Staff should always avoid printing (following practices during Covid19).
    • For large volumes you can obtain your print stats from the or to then target a reduction, aiming for zero/minimal prints.
    • If using the Medway Print Room and/or external printers then look to find ways to reduce print runs or the amount of pages that need printing
  • Waste and Recycling:
    • The university’s target is 70% recycling. If you can influence a building regarding waste email who could supply monthly data.
  • Procurement:
    • Set a zero-furniture or stationery spend target and ensure the university’s Internal Reuse Scheme is searched first. Reuse and not buy new. Contact for more information. This service could also be used for merchandise, IT equipment and all reusable items.
    • When buying new, select options that offer improved sustainability benefits such as lower energy consumption, recyclable components at end-of-life or a lot of consumables.
    • For any catered events consider vegetarian instead of including meat and fish and always order quantities to avoid food waste.

Review our university Sustainability Policy to understand our key environmental impacts and responsibilities, in addition to the our Sustainability web pages for further information.

We all share the same planet and as a teaching institution we play an important role in establishing a better world for our communities and natural systems. Everyone can make a positive difference, through individual and collective action.

Current staff