Sustainability

The University of Oxford Careers Service’s mission is to enable students to make well informed decisions about their career. As part of this, we are actively exploring ways to help students learn about organisations’ approaches to sustainability.

Drawing on the Oxford Martin Principles for Climate-Conscious Investment, the Careers Service has introduced a set of questions for recruiters, that allows students to find out more about a recruiter’s sustainability credentials. Students are able to easily access an organisation’s stance on the climate crisis, its plan on how it will achieve Net-Zero by 2050 and remain profitable, and other relevant credentials in the area of sustainability. In future, students will be able to search on those employers who have answered sustainability questions in specific ways.

Any recruiter wishing to post a vacancy on the Oxford University’s CareerConnect system, will be prompted to answer the following:

  1. Does your organisation recognise the climate crisis, agree with the science, and confirm that it will achieve Net-Zero by 2050, or earlier?
  2. Does your organisation have a specific, publicly accessible plan, that lays out how it will achieve Net-Zero by 2050 or earlier? (Provide web address if available)
  3. Does your organisation have a plan for how it will remain profitable while achieving Net-Zero by 2050, or earlier?
  4. Does your organisation have any other relevant credentials in the area of sustainability of which you’d like to ensure students are aware? (Eg, B-Corp, use of renewables, etc) (Open text box to describe other credentials)

You can see what individual recruiters have responded to the questions above by visiting the organisation profile on CareerConnect.

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Since we have introduced this initiative in February 2020, more than 1500 recruiters have logged in to the CareerConnect system and have had to answer our 4 questions on sustainability. Below is an overview of the responses we have received so far (data recorded on 30 September 2020): 

1. Does your organisation recognise the climate crisis, agree with the
science, and confirm that it will achieve Net-Zero by 2050, or earlier?

Yes

1007

No

19

No Response

695

 

2. Does your organisation have a specific, publicly accessible plan, that
lays out how it will achieve Net-Zero by 2050 or earlier?

Yes

146

No

476

No Response

1099

 

3. Does your organisation have a plan for how it will remain profitable
while achieving Net-Zero by 2050, or earlier?

Yes

257

No

255

No Response

1209

 

4. Does your organisation have any other relevant credentials in the
area of sustainability of which you’d like to ensure students are aware?

Yes

303

No

277

No Response

1141

 

4. a) Please tell us about other relevant sustainability credentials

Response (Explanation; website; further details)

302

Blank/No Response

8702
EMPLOYER BADGE: We are working towards net-zero by 2050

The Careers Service is planning on using this data to highlight those recruiters who tick yes to specific questions, including in careers fairs’ booklets or similar publications. 

Sustainable employers will feature the Careers Service badge, reading 'We are working towards Net-Zero by 2050'.

The Service hopes that those students for whom sustainability in the current climate crisis is an important factor in their decision making, will be better informed.

The Careers Service’s mission is to enable students to make well informed decisions about their career. As part of this, we are actively exploring ways to help students learn about organisations’ approaches to sustainability. As a result, we hope that those students for whom sustainability is an important factor in their decision making, will be better informed.

Jonathan Black, Director of the Oxford University Careers Service

Oxford Students want to join organisations that are preparing for the future not relying on business models of the past. About two fifths of the world has committed to a net zero target by 2050 and the rest of the world has to get on board for my generation to have a reasonable chance of growing up in a future below two degrees average warming. I am thrilled to be working with our careers service to protect students' futures and provide them with professional development opportunities to lead in the 21st century.

Kaya Axelsson, Vice-President, Charities and Communities at Oxford SU

It’s great to see the Oxford Martin Principles for Carbon-conscious Investment being applied in this way: the biggest investment many of us make in our lives is who we choose to work for. It would be great to see Oxford graduates voting with their feet, and voting for the future.

Professor Myles Allen, Professor of Geosystem Science, and Head of the Climate Dynamics Group in the University of Oxford’s Department of Physics

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