School of Education Climate Action Group: reflections on 2021-2022

Blog by Professor Alf Coles, School of Education, University of Bristol

The School of Education Climate Action Group started in 2021 and, among many things it did in 2021-22, the most high profile was the ‘Climate Justice Challenge’, which ran for 30 days in March 2022.

This blog will reflect on that Challenge, as it is something we aim to re-run in March 2023, and also detail some of the wider and continuing aims of the Climate Action Group.


In March 2022, 42 volunteers from across the School (including students on all portfolios, professional services staff, estates staff and academic staff) signed up for the Climate Justice Challenge.

Each person took on a personal “challenge” relating to climate justice and we were supported in our own challenges by the organization cCHANGE (who are based in Norway).

During the month the Climate Justice Challenge took place 17 reduced waste and / or picked up litter, 9 became vegan or reduced meat consumption, 7 spent more time in nature, 5 did research, 4 reduced plastic






And we have…

…changed banks, replaced using buses with walking, reduced electricity, discovered local food, reduced water use, and cut out soda drinks…

We’ve also eaten a lot of delicious food…

sustainably sourced vegan food

We found new and creative solutions to problems, such as what we can recycle and where. We inspired others, including friends, colleagues and passers-by (e.g., cheers for a group collecting litter while jogging in central Bristol). We spent more time outside … and much more.

Future vision for the Climate Action Group

Building from the outcomes of the Challenge, the Climate Action Group has two strands to its work: teaching and research; auditing and reducing.

In terms of teaching and researching, the group led several initiatives in 21-22 to gather views of students and staff last year and we will report on the outcomes in 2022. The group has led an application to offer a MSc pathway in Education and Climate Change, which we hope will be offered for first teaching in September 2023. We are planning a “Town Hall Event” in the Autumn of 2022 and hope to do this jointly with the decolonising group. And, as mentioned, we hope to re-run the Climate Challenge.

Auditing and reducing

In terms of auditing and reducing, the group recently ran a clothes swap in September 2022, aiming to reuse and share preloved clothes. We have gained a “zero waste” bin for the School (situated at the entrance to 35 Berkeley Square) which can take wrappers from food. We would like to develop better induction for students and staff about our recycling. Can the School aim to make 35 Berkeley Square a “Zero Waste” building and to set a timetable for achieving this?

More information

If you would like to get involved in the Climate Action Group, please contact:

To read more about the CChange Climate Challenge