Ever wanted to know more about the sustainability issues of the subject you study, or the industry you work in?

The S.I.T.E could help you find out more!

Workshop Materials links



If using any of these workshop materials, we would very much appreciate any feedback on how useful the materials were for you. It may also be helpful to future users of the site to see results of your workshop (completed mindmaps, comments, conclusions e.t.c.) as a case study for your subject area in our forthcoming Case Studies section. Please forward any such information to [email protected]

Welcome to the Workshop Materials

The Workshop Materials section offers everything you need to run a basic level sustainability training workshop within your organisation. It can be used for tutors whatever their subject discipline/practice within a college, University or other training organisation; as part of their Continuing Professional Development (CPD) or any other form of staff training workshops. The Site can also be used for students of any given subject or within virtually any business or industry training context.

The SITE offers two main workshop resources:

1) The SITE workshop itself is designed as a simple beginners guide to examining sustainability issues within existing curricula or industry. It is designed to help unpack what those sustainability issues might be and to help users prioritise issues to act upon.

2) The Carbon Reduction in Curricula page offers workshop materials designed specifically to help students and teachers begin reducing the carbon footprint of their subject of study.

There are also links to a range of similar Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) workshop resources by other organisations and individuals provided on the ESD subject area link which can be accessed here by selecting 'Other Workshop Materials'

For a more detailed explanation of the origin, scope and rationale for the SITE, read the Authors Introduction document

Guide to Using the Workshop Materials

All of the workshop materials are provided both as web pages and as downloadable PDF’s for use. Most of the workshop materials are also displayed on the SITE powerpoint which can be used as a visual teaching aid within the workshop by the workshop leaders.

Lesson plan

The SITE workshop is recommended to be run as a full day activity (two three hour sessions with a lunch break between them). The SITE Lesson Plan gives timings and instructions for each stage of the workshop. This workshop includes giving the participants 2 hours in which to use the weblinks and resources within the Subject Areas sections of The SITE to research the sustainability questions they identify within the workshop.

There is also a 3 hour SITE lesson plan which does not include the time for research, but does give participants instruction on how to use the SITE and helps them identify areas for research.

Users may of course wish to alter the lesson plan or workshop materials to suit, and pick only the stages of the workshop and the relevant workshop materials that suit their own needs.


The pages on the SITE powerpoint provide display materials for each section of the lesson/workshop.



As the lesson plan indicates, the SITE workshop begins with an introduction to what the workshop is about. Workshop facilitators may find the Authors Introduction a useful document to read in preparation for this part. However, this particular document is written from a personal perspective by the author and it is assumed that subsequent users of the Workshop Materials will wish to adapt the workshops from their own perspective, but may find this section useful to consider.


There are Aims and Objectives provided which can be displayed and introduced to workshop participants at the beginning of the workshop.


The workshop then procedes by encouraging participants to debate what is meant by the term ‘Sustainability’, and what aspects of it are of interest to the participants. Perhaps the best way to kick start this process is to ask the workshop participants how they would define sustainability and to identify examples of sustainability issues. You may wish to debate different perspectives on what 'sustainability' is via a comparison of the Sustainability Quotes provided. The Defining Sustainability pages offer guidance on discussing sustainability within the workshop and includes these quotes.


Participants are also encouraged at this stage to consider what their own ethical priorities, interests or value systems are; the mindmap exercise can then be approached by each person with these priorities in mind.


The facilitator may wish to substitute the 'Defining Sustainability exercise given here to one of their own design or choosing. Either way, some kind of activity is advised that establishes a common understanding of what the key issues of sustainability are.


This excercise should be either be preceded or followed by a brief look at the incentives for each student to consider sustainable practice; the Why Bother? PDF contains some basic points which can be raised at this stage, but before reading these points, it is recommended that the group first discuss why they think it might be important (or not) for them to look at the sustainability isses of their subject.


Mind Mapping Exercise

The next stage of the workshop is about getting the participants to identify what they know about the sustainability issues of their own subject or industry.  The SITE Mindmap A can be downloaded and printed out by workshop participants for this.


At this stage it is important that in using the mindmaps, participants are encouraged to put all their thoughts down and not to worry too much about putting the correct issue in the correct section of the mindmap. One of the intended outcomes of the exercise is an awareness of the inter-connectedness of issues: so encourage your participants to draw arrows connecting issues across to other sections of the 'map'.


After this, participants are encouraged to ask themselves what questions they have about the sustainability issues of their subject/industry, using The SITE Mindmap B.


There is also a downloadable quide to using the mindmaps (Mindmap Guide) which will explain how the mindmaps work, as well as the underlying concepts of the mindmap layout. Both mindmaps are also available as word docs so that users can type into the boxes provided if completing the mindmaps on computer by creating a text box within the boxes laid out.



Having identified questions to research, workshop participants are then encouraged to research those specific sustainability questions they have. The Subject Areas section should provide them with valuable resources to help them with their research.

Hopefully the mindmaps and research will have helped participants identify how can they can include more sustainable materials and approaches within their own teaching practice or areas of study/practice. The Action Plan sheet may help participants organise and prioritise the changes they wish to make.


Other Resources

However, it is quite possible that the Workshop Materials here are not so well suited to your own particular needs! For that reason, we recommend visiting our Subject Areas page for the ESD (Education for Sustainable Development) subject area links; there are links therein to other types of generic ESD workshop materials from a wide range of other initiatives. You may well have designed a better model yourself; if so, please send us a link to add via the Upload Information page. It is worth visiting the relevant subject areas page for your profession/area of study to see if there is a link or downloadable document for a sustainability workshop that focuses specifically on your subject area. We are also devoping case studies in each subject area for information and ideas about sustainability workshops and projects for use in the relevant curricula.