Skip to content

Green Academy Team

NTU has been one of the first universities worldwide to mainstream the Sustainable Development Goals into the curricula of all our disciplines. The University provides ongoing thought leadership in Education for Sustainable Development through its Green Academy.

The NTU Green Academy provides expertise in Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The team's mission is to enable our staff and students to solve sustainability challenges by embedding the relevant skills, competencies, and knowledge into the curricula of all our disciplines.

Our Green Academy team's strategic priorities include:

  1. Pioneer a shared understanding of sustainability education including consideration of planet, people, peace, partnerships and prosperity;
  2. Stimulate pedagogical innovation and practice-sharing in the area of sustainability education including active, flexible and personalised learning;
  3. Support schools and departments across NTU to develop their commitments relating to ‘Embracing Sustainability’ within the academic experience;
  4. Co-facilitate the development of global perspectives and partnerships to address critical local and global challenges;
  5. Create clear pathways for NTU colleagues to develop their ESD practice and scholarship.

To ensure we are able to meet these priorities we facilitate a shared understanding of ESD through the QAA ESD Guidance and with the UNESCO ESD competencies. We collaborate with all the academic schools, the centre for Academic Development and Quality (CADQ), students and most importantly our cross-institutional Sustainable Development Academic Forum (SDAF) which ensures a holistic collective input from all academic schools, several professional services and our student's union to feed into the 'Embracing Sustainability Strategy Board'. The SDAF is chaired by Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education) Jane McNeil who is the strategic lead for Education for Sustainable Development across NTU and Green Academy Team Lead Helen Puntha.

The Green Academy team offers bespoke consultancy for individual academics, modules, and course teams to integrate ESD including the SDGs into the curriculum and to develop the scholarship of all academics. We host specific modules on ESD such as our 'Future Thinking and SDGs' online module and an ESD section in the university-wide 'Introduction to Learning and Teaching' module. We support academic teams with benchmark renewals for revalidation of new and existing courses and have recently gotten involved with the CADQ Course Design Sprints for new courses to learn about and incorporate ESD. NTU staff can find out more on how to receive support via our internal NTU ESD intranet page.

Sharing best practices of ESD is highly important so we collaborate with the Trent Institute for Learning and Teaching hosting our own ESD-themed events and getting involved where ever possible. We also support our very active academic community of practice, the 'Education for Sustainable Futures' group which run a number of sustainability-related pedagogical activities every year. This year the Green Academy team are also launching its very first NTU ESD Award Event to raise the profile of the best ESD practice within the university.

The team works with students wherever possible working closely with Nottingham Trent Students Union (NTSU) but also offering student internships and summer bursaries. We link up with our Centre for Student and Community Engagement (CenSCE) ensuring ESD is brought to life with the city's communities and with our operations, to ensure there is a link between education and action. The university has its own Sustainable Futures Research theme which contains some 'Living Lab' style projects where our world-class research impacts our local communities and our university campus.

This year NTU is collaborating with Galala University in Egypt on a 'living-labs’ approach project funded by the British Council which involves 20 students (10 from each institution) working together as a Climate Commission in the run-up to COP27. The students are seeking to define the remit of universities in fostering climate-resilient communities in the context of the climate and ecological crisis. Students will be consulting with different communities as well as businesses and local councils in both locations and devising a set of recommendations to share with stakeholders.

The Green Academy also leads or supports several external accreditations including the People and Planet league table, United Nations' Principles of Responsible Management Education (PRME), and the SDG Accord, contributing to NTU’s reputation as a leader in ESD.

Helen Puntha photo
Helen Puntha

Helen Puntha - Green Academy Lead

Helen has led the Green Academy team since March 2021. A Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, Helen has over a decade of experience working in Education for Sustainable Development. She co-created the Sustainability in Practice online certificate and staff ‘Future Thinking and the SDGs' module. Her prior role was Educational Developer in the NTU Centre for Academic Development and Quality, where she was instrumental in developing practice on active, collaborative learning (including SCALE-UP), feedback and assessment and research-based learning. She co-founded the NTU Undergraduate Researcher Programme SPUR (Scholarship Projects for Undergraduate Researchers). Helen is passionate about the transformative potential of education and believes that now is the time for university communities to reimagine a sustainable future through the academic experience.

Contact Helen Puntha by email

Vanessa odell

Vanessa Odell - Education for Sustainable Development Coordinator

Vanessa has been part of the NTU Green Academy Team since 2017, in her role she helps to develop and enhance sustainability education and related research across the university. She has an MSc in Environmental Sustainability and previously worked in the voluntary sector on behaviour change and multi-stakeholder projects. Vanessa works with the Schools of Animal, Rural and Environmental Science, Art and Design, Science and Technology, and Nottingham Business School to embed sustainability within the curriculum. She also co-leads the Sustainability in Practice Certificate module that is open to all staff and students at NTU which is increasingly being adopted into the core curriculum across the different schools. One of Vanessa's creative student engagement projects 'Visual Displays of the SDGs' at NTU has been shortlisted for a Green Gown Award and she has also contributed to the Encyclopaedia of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals on ‘SDG 4: Quality Education’ on Transformative Education.

Contact Vanessa Odell by email

Katalin Butt-Bethlendy

Katalin Butt-Bethlendy FHEA – Education for Sustainable Development Coordinator

Coming from a background teaching international postgraduate students, and with a keen interest in global sustainability education, Katalin joined the Green Academy team in 2020. She has an MA in English Language, Literature and Culture and an MEd TESOL (EAP). In her role as ESD Coordinator, she supports projects aimed at developing ESD scholarship and scaling up ESD-related teaching activities across the NTU curriculum. She works in collaboration with senior management and teaching staff in the Confetti Institute of Creative Technologies, Nottingham Law School, School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment, the School of Arts and Humanities, and the School of Social Sciences. She also co-leads the Sustainability in Practice Certificate with Vanessa.

Contact Katalin Butt-Bethlendy by email

Al Dharmasasmita – Green Academy Academic Associate

Al co-created the Sustainability in Practice Certificate (SiP) and was co-leader of the module until 2021. They specialise in ESD and SDG related competencies for business leaders apt for the 21st Century. Al currently trains SMEs to build back better through harnessing the SDGs, leadership skills and carbon literacy via Carbon Management Workshops and a 'Sustainability and Inclusive Leadership' (SAIL) course which they co-developed. Due to their knowledge in these areas, Al has developed several other sustainability-themed courses for NTU colleagues and external partners. Al gained their BA (Hons) in Operations and Data Management from NTU, an MSc in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) from University of Nottingham after being awarded a full-tuition scholarship from there and is currently at the finishing stages of their NTU-sponsored PhD in business leaders’ competencies to address the SDGs. In 2020, Al was invited to run a workshop at the prestigious AACSB conference based on their PhD research. Al is currently a member of the NTU University Shadow Executive Team.

Contact Aldilla Dharmasasmita by email

Dr Petra Molthan-Hill - Former Team Leader for NTU Green Academy, and Professor of Sustainable Management and Education for Sustainable Development

Petra led the Green Academy at Nottingham Trent University from 2013-2021. She won the Sustainability Professional Award in the Green Gown Awards 2016 for her work.

She is Professor of Sustainable Management and Education for Sustainable Development at Nottingham Business School and Co-Chair of the United Nations Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) working group on climate change and environment. Petra is a Principal Fellow of Higher Education Academy (HEA), Fellow of the Environmental Association of Universities and Colleges (EAUC) and a member of Business in the Community’s East Midlands Leadership Board.

In 2010, she designed a Greenhouse Gas Management Student Consultancy Project, which she led until 2017 and which is now rolled out across the university. For this project, she won ‘The Guardian University Award 2015 for Business Partnership’ together with NetPositive Ltd. Under her leadership over 1500 students helped to transform 180 organizations, from SMEs to NHS. In 2017, she undertook research with ‘Coronation Street’ – a popular soap in the UK – about their impactful carbon literacy training and has co-designed a ‘Carbon Literacy Training for Business Schools’ based on these insights, which has been rolled out as a PRME Champions Project since autumn 2019 and reached over 400 Academics to date. Recently, she led the design of an open -source toolkit ‘NTU Carbon Literacy Training for staff and students in universities’, which was launched on 20.01.2021 funded by BEIS, UK.

Contact Prof Petra Molthan-Hill by email

For further information please contact the Green Academy Team.