World Environment Day: A student’s view on sustainability

Posted on: 2019-06-05

To mark the UN’s World Environment Day taking place today, we spoke to a student about sustainability and how studying with UCEM has impacted on her approach to being sustainable, both personally and at work.

Emma Stevenson, a Wayleave Specialist who has spent 13 years working for Western Power in a variety of roles and has a general interest in property that spans her work and personal life. She graduated from UCEM’s Foundation Degree in Surveying Practice earlier this year and has just completed her first semester in our BSc (Hons) Real Estate Management programme..

She talked to us about what she has learnt about sustainability in her studies with us and what she is changing in her life as a result.

She said: “I did a module on sustainability during my Foundation Degree. It’s great for building awareness of sustainability within the Built Environment. It made me more mindful and got me thinking about the environment and what I can do to live sustainably in everything I do.

“Within the module we looked at case studies on various companies which run sustainable businesses. It was really interesting, and it’s great to know that a lot of large organisations take sustainability seriously.

“I started to realise that I need to be more active in my sustainability journey and not just wait to be told what to do; for example, by my local authority. I started to evaluate the little steps I can take to be more sustainable. These small steps include buying bamboo toothbrushes, banning myself from buying multi-packs of items that are packaged in plastic and buying myself two lovely new compost bins for my food waste.

“In my work life I approached my manager about adding sustainability to our remit. He agreed without hesitation and we have already suggested looking at going paperless with our wayleave agreements. This would be hugely beneficial to the company both environmentally and economically. It will not be an easy thing to do and will be a massive undertaking to get the changes put in place, but my manager is completely committed to it, and I am pleased that it appears we are open to suggestions of change, in the environmental arena.”

To find out more about World Environment Day, visit To keep up-to-date with UCEM’s activities marking the initiative today, look out for our feeds on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.