Up to uS

‘Up to uS' is our commitment to act responsibly and sustainably, while providing our students a strong foundation for academic and personal success. We will reduce our environmental impact, create an inclusive and positive workplace, and contribute to the communities in which we operate.

Up to uS brings together a wide range of activity under three responsible business themes as illustrated below.

Three responsible business themes of Up to uS

This approach will help us to contribute value to our customers and business, wider society and the environment:

  • Great Workplace: Create a truly diverse, inclusive and engaged workforce where people are passionate about the work they do, and feel valued and recognised for the contribution they make. Develop lasting, trusted and transparent relationships with investors, universities and suppliers, while meeting the needs of our customers.
  • Social Impact: Deliver positive impacts to help young people succeed in further education and build sustainable lives, while supporting the communities we work in.
  • The Environment: Create an environmentally sustainable business by reducing our carbon and energy, water, and resource use and waste, and encouraging lasting responsible living and working habits among our students, employees and suppliers.

Great Workplace

We want to continue to be a great place for people to work, and develop lasting partnerships with stakeholders based on trust, transparency and consistently high service and standards.   

  • We are committed to creating a truly diverse and inclusive workplace, and believe this is key to our continued success as a business. In 2017 we launched the Unite Students Diversity and Inclusion Working Group and a Women’s Network.
  • We believe in career enrichment, providing our employees a rewarding, fulfilling yet balanced working life, with the chance to develop in role and pursue new opportunities.
  • We are committed to supporting the wellbeing of our students and employees, providing a safe and secure home and workplace. 
  • With robust governance and clear accountability, we operate transparently and with integrity, ensuring we meet our customer, partner and investor expectations. 

More details of our Great Workplace theme can be found here.

Social Impact

We aim to deliver positive impacts that help young people succeed in higher education, by focussing on three themes:

  • We will continue to support the Unite Foundation, providing free accommodation scholarships to young people in the UK from care or estranged backgrounds. 
  • We will continue to work closely with selected charities who share our aim of helping young people succeed in higher education, sharing our insight and learnings, and supporting with activities such as fund raising, charitable donations and benefits in kind.
  • We will continue to promote meaningful student and employee volunteering, supporting organisations and community initiatives where we operate.  

More details of our Social Impact theme can be found here.

The Environment

We recognise that our operations have an impact on the environment, and that we have a responsibility to manage and reduce these for the benefit of current and future generations, and to build a sustainable and resilient business.  We also have a unique opportunity to help our student residents develop lasting responsible living habits.  Our environmental management system (EMS) focuses on reducing our three most materially significant environmental impacts: Energy & Carbon, Water, and Resource Use & Waste by focusing on three core themes:

  • We will continue to improve the physical performance of our buildings, both existing properties and new developments, reducing environmental impacts (especially energy and water efficiency) and creating and supporting responsible living habits.
  • We will continue to enable and encourage responsible behaviour in our students and employees, promoting lasting sustainable living and working habits that stay with people after they move on from Unite Students. 
  • We will actively manage our energy consumption to reduce demand at peak times, and make use of low carbon and renewable energy to further reduce carbon emissions. 

More details of our Environment Theme can be found here.

Progress so far

We will strive to continually improve performance across these three Up to uS responsible business themes, including setting ambitious goals and targets and regularly reporting progress and developments. 

For more information on our current progress within each of these responsible business themes, please visit our Responsibility section.

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