Looking after tomorrow is one of the biggest challenges the world faces today.
Unsustainable practices are deepening the impact of environmental degradations, extending inequalities in our society and across the globe, as well as limiting quality of life. Rising to the challenge of developing a sustainable future is at the heart of our aspirations.
The long term, institution wide commitment to sustainability at the University of Gloucestershire has led us to be acknowledged as both a pioneer and a sector leader, a position supported by ranking in the top five in the People and Planet Green League consistently since the league began and as a regular winner at the annual Green Gown Awards.
However we are never complacent - we constantly seek to improve our performance and as such sustainability is a key theme recurring throughout our new University Strategic Plan 2012-2017. The extent to which sustainability features at the heart of this new plan demonstrates our commitment to a ‘whole institution’ approach.
We have a long term, institutional commitment to sustainability and work to embed sustainability across our courses, plans and activities. It's not just about challenging unsustainable practice, but about changing ways of thinking and mindsets, creating promising futures for all through education.
Embracing Sustainability as a Strategic Priority
The sustainability agenda is becoming increasingly relevant to higher education. Universities are now considering the current and future impact of all of their activities. Universities are motivated by the academic challenge, social responsibility and moral concerns as well as by the opportunities sustainability offers for enhancing the student experience, improving student employability and for income generation.
The University of Gloucestershire is not alone in actively pursuing sustainability. Our University is perhaps unique in having committed to this area for over 20 years - having formally been acknowledged as a sector leader since the early 1980s.
As part of this long term, strategic approach the University seeks to align sustainability with the other key agendas of employability, business development and local engagement.
We are striving towards a process of continuous improvement which extends to four key areas of activity - education, research, outreach and operational activities:
- increase and encourage staff and student engagement activities, maximising opportunities to become involved in hands-on projects.
- lead innovative interdisciplinary and socially relevant research on sustainability.
- work in partnership with a range of organisations, locally, nationally and internationally to foster sustainability activity.
- practice what we preach by implementing sustainability measures across all campuses, minimising our environmental impact.
Our progress in sustainability to 2017 will be assessed across four main themes:
Be a university which continuously improves its sustainability performance and meets its carbon commitments.
Be recognised as a sector leader in sustainability, and be known for our distinctive profile in education for sustainability and its connections with employability.
Be a university which actively engages staff, students and stakeholders in sustainability activities.
Be a university which builds and supports partnerships locally, nationally and internationally in the area of sustainability.