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Get involved: students

Students Association Environmental and Sustainability Working Groups 

The Open University Students Association Environmental and Sustainability Working Group's (ESWG) purpose is to work collaboratively to establish the impact the Students Association has on related issues, and explore how the Students Association can engage with The Open University on this topic.

They have delegated authority to consider and make recommendations to the Central Executive Committee and/or the Board of Trustees on working practices; policy statements; and position statements.

For more information, contact

Undertake free Carbon Literacy Training to learn about climate change and the climate emergency unfolding right now

Recent flooding, drought, fire, and heat waves not just in the UK, but around the world are real reminders that the climate has changed, and it will continue to change.

These are the kind of concurrent crises that climate experts have been warning will happen more frequently as the world warms. They are also yet another example of how climate change is already threatening people's lives and livelihoods in every corner of the planet.

Climate change is driven by greenhouse gas emissions from burning fossil fuels and other human activities. We all have a duty to act to stop the climate from getting worse, the actions we take now will determine what the world we live in will look like in the coming years.

The Open University in Wales (OUiW) is working towards net zero and is now offering a unique learning opportunity through Carbon Literacy Training provided in partnership with Students Organising for Sustainability UK (SOS-UK).

This course offers a great way to gain a solid awareness of climate change, and the climate impacts of our everyday actions. The engaging and interactive training allows delegates to map their own carbon footprint and gain an understanding and motivation to reduce personal and workplace emissions.

Online learning comprises of four hours of self-study activity followed by four hours of interactive training, and a final evidence task that leads to Carbon Literacy certification.

We run the course twice a week and can be made available for groups upon request including Saturday afternoons. 

Sign up for Carbon Literacy Training in English here or in Welsh here.

Join our LinkedIn group

To respond to your requests for more opportunities to discuss sustainability, we have set up The Open University Sustainability Network LinkedIn Group. This network is for the whole OU family - our students, staff, alumni, and wider audiences of The Open University with an interest in sustainability. We would love for you to join the conversation.


The Open University has membership of the EAUC – the Environmental Association of Universities and Colleges which is the Alliance for Sustainability Leadership in Education. Membership is open to all OU students and staff with benefits including a monthly newsletter, excellent online resources and communities of practice, as well as regional meetings. If you are interested in becoming a member, please email us on

Sustainability – share your story

Do you have an interest in sustainability? Environmental or social justice? 

Perhaps you have set up a volunteering group for your local area; have an eco-project you undertake in your spare time; like to help those in need in your community or further afield; or you studied a sustainability course a while ago and have always had an interest. 

We want to hear from OU Students and Alumni undertaking work or initiatives in sustainability. We're particularly keen to hear if your OU experience informed your path to doing so. Please complete this short form to tell us about your experience working in sustainability or taking action on a social or environmental topic.

Sustainability courses

While some students may wish to simply demonstrate their commitment to sustainability through non-curricular activities, there are several courses related to sustainability for those who would like to study in this area. Explore the various subject areas to find the most suitable courses for you by visiting our Study page on our environment and sustainability courses.