Our responsibility

'Operating sustainably means acting in line with our values. We are creating a business which will shape a positive future for generations to come.'

 Richard Smith, CEO Unite Students

 

Whether it’s reducing our environmental impact, creating an inclusive workplace for our employees, or contributing to the communities we work in, we want to act responsibly in all areas of our work. It’s what makes - and drives - our purpose to provide a home for success for all our residents.

Giving us a framework to make a real difference, we have five sustainability commitments we call Up to uS.

Our commitments

a

Net zero carbon

Targeting net-zero carbon operations and construction from 2030

è

Resource efficiency

Creating resilient, resource-efficient assets and operations to reduce the environmental impact of our new and existing buildings

f

Health & wellbeing

Enhancing the health and wellbeing of our employees and students

'

Equality

Providing opportunities for all

P

Leading the way

Leading on raising standards across the student housing sector

Did you know?

63% of students think it should be compulsory for their student accommodation provider or landlord to help them live in an environmentally friendly way.

Our 2021 climate change survey also revealed over half (61%) of students want to see more university courses with a focus on tackling climate change, and a huge 88% of students say that they now limit the number of flights they take for environmental reasons.

Positive Impact scheme

Our Positive Impact scheme helps employees and customers better understand sustainability and social responsibility, showing them what they can do to make a difference, and supporting them in achieving these actions.

It’s based on the NUS Green Impact programme which, while well-established in many universities, colleges and private organisations, we’re the only in our sector to support.

Those who live with us can volunteer for the Positive Impact scheme – helping them contribute to a more sustainable future while gaining stand-out experience for their CV.

‘I would definitely recommend the programme to other students. It gives an insight into the issues the planet is facing that one might not even think about, resulting in one changed attitude that could inspire more people to do the same.’

Jess | Unite Students customer and volunteer in Leeds

Get involved here.

National charity partnerships and volunteering

Student Minds

With 77% of students telling us they’ve struggled with mental health and wellbeing as a result of Covid-19*, we’re pushing for better mental health in our student communities.

One way we’re doing this is through our partnership with UK student mental health charity Student Minds, and most recently their latest service - Student Space. We talk more about this partnership on our student blog, The Common Room.

Foodbanks

You’ll find a dedicated foodbank donation station in each of our properties. We work with foodbanks around the UK to support local people in crisis while sustainably getting rid of unwanted food, toiletries and cleaning products.

Employee volunteering

Every Unite Students employee has one full day every year they can use for volunteering in their local communities.

British Heart Foundation

We have partnered with the British Heart Foundation since 2017 and, in this time, have trained nearly 600 students and staff in CPR across the UK, while raising over £1m through stock donations. This not only prevent items going to landfill but contributes to life saving research.

*Students' mental health hit by Covid-19 - 17 February 2021 | Unite Group (unite-group.co.uk)

Start saving lives with BHF

The Unite Foundation

Unite Students is proud to be the principal supporter of the Unite Foundation. 

The Unite Foundation is a charity offering a unique accommodation scholarship for care leavers and estranged young people at university. The scholarship takes care of students’ accommodation and bills covering up to 3 full years of study. 

We have been supporting the charity since its inception in 2012 and have, so far, committed over £10M to its work.  We are also the charity’s accommodation partner and our teams on the ground work closely with the Foundation team and its university partners to ensure all scholars feel safe, secure and at home.