Advocacy updates

August 2019

Climate Emergency
Following on from the declaration of a Climate Emergency, we have been lobbying UK and Ireland institutions to do the same – at present we have 16 institutions that have done so, and 17 that have set net zero carbon targets for 2050 or before. Our global climate letter continues to garner support as well, with 144 institutions representing 2,528,649 students and 43 networks representing 8368 institutions committing to it.

We held a Think Tank, hosted by Nottingham Trent University. The Think Tank met to help develop a sector wide response to the climate crisis. The event resulted in four impact maps for universities and colleges in the UK and Ireland on Leadership and Governance, Estates and Operations, Learning and Teaching, Partnerships and Engagement, and Research. This work is continuing in webinar form (book here) and resulting in a Climate Emergency Framework.

The EAUC reports annually on its carbon use, and is proud to now be a verified member of the UN initiative Climate Neutral Now. This means we have minimised our carbon footprint as much as possible, and offset the remainder with a credited company. Something we have done for many years – but it is great to be part of a bigger verified UN movement.

We launched the 2019 SDG Accord report at the UN High Level Political Forum in July. The new report, ‘Progress towards the Global Goals in the University and College sector’, is the collated results of mandatory reporting submissions from 51 institutions across the world. The SDG Accord was created by the Global Alliance – a partnership of the world’s universities, colleges and sustainability networks. You can find out more about EAUC impact at the UN High Level Political Forum in this blog, and you can watch EAUC present the report on UN TV here.

We have upcoming plans for Global Goals Week, which runs 21st – 28th September. We will be hosting the popular ‘A cup of tea and an SDG’ webinar series again. This focuses on 5 SDGs, selected by members, and will run one a day for the week. Each webinar will have two presentations on SDG initiatives in a university or college that contributes towards the selected Goal. You can find out more here.

We have also been attending UKSSD meetings to discuss the UK VNR and help create a response to Department for International Development on how to better engage stakeholders.

We have 2 new blogs:
Tridonic UK Ltd talk about ‘The lightbulb moment that will make the digital campus a reality’.
Selectaglaze talks about How do we update listed buildings on our campuses?’

Sustainability Champion
In our Sustainability Champion series, we aim to show what championing sustainability looks like in different jobs in Higher and Further Education. Read about this month's Sustainability Champion Claudine Henry from University of the Arts London/ London School of Fashion.

We submitted an inquiry response to the Environmental Audit Committee on the Government reaching Net Zero. Read it here.

We held a webinar with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs on ‘Increasing recycling in HE/FE: Government proposals, best practice and barriers’ – if you missed it, you can watch it here.

We attended an Aldersgate Group skills roundtable attended by senior officials from the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and the Department for Education, a broad range of businesses, as well as professional institutes, NGOs and academic organisations, to discuss the education and skills policy the UK needs to deliver the net zero transition.

Organised by Greener UK, we joined forces with 42 other organisations to urge the 2 PM candidates (in July) to ensure their leadership will consist of a bigger and faster political response on the climate and environmental crises. Read more here.

We joined forces with other members of Scottish Environment LINK to lobby the Scottish Government to introduce a Circular Economy Bill. Read more here.

EAUC pledged to ‘Step up to the Plate’ and committed to reducing their food waste and supporting the food reduction campaign organised by DEFRA and Wrap. Find out more here.

Media Mentions

SDG Accord

University World News - SDGs – Universities are moving from what to do to how
WEEC - SDG Accord Report 2019: Progress towards the Global Goals in the Universities and Colleges

Circular Economy
Holyrood - Ministers urged to bring forward Circular Economy Bill

Climate Emergency letter (This is a selection from a list of over 180 mentions)
Daily Mail Online - UN agency: higher education bodies back 'climate emergency'
The Washington Post - UN agency: higher education bodies back ‘climate emergency’
Los Angeles Times - Higher education groups worldwide warn of 'climate emergency,' U.N. reports
Politico - For-profit enrollment rises and so does student debt, new federal data shows
Times Higher Education - Universities worldwide unite to declare climate change emergency
Channel NewsAsia - Academic world launches plan to tackle climate change
Thomson Reuters - Thousands of schools and universities declare 'climate emergency'
Yahoo! News - Thousands of schools and universities declare 'climate emergency'
The Sun Daily - Academic world launches plan to tackle climate change
Taiwan News - 承諾實現碳中和 全球7千所高等學府倡議「氣候緊急狀態」
Hansard Online – Parliament - Climate Change, the Environment and Global Development
University World News - Networks of 7,000 universities declare climate emergency
University Business - Climate action pips education as priority in university survey
World Environment - Thousands of universities join wave of climate emergency declarations

Climate Emergency generally
JOE - University bans the sale of meat on campus in a bid to help the climate crisis
Ed Technology - Climate SOS: how education is addressing the crisis
English Forward News - Educators: Pathfinders for climate crisis
WONKHE - From a climate emergency to a plan for sustainability

June 2019
Climate Emergency declaration
We announced a Climate Emergency and we have set up a pledge page for institutions to outline their carbon neutrality commitments.  Following on from this we facilitated a global climate letter, in partnership with the UN and other organisations, raising awareness of the need for a climate emergency to be declared globally and the input needed from HE and FE.

We have collated and finalised the SDG Accord report ready to be launched at the HLPF in July. This will be available from 10th July on the Sustainability Exchange.

We submitted consultations to Defra and HM treasury on various elements of plastic - including a DRS, EPR and plastics tax, as well as a consultation on the SDG VNR to the Environmental Audit Committee.

Scotland EAUC submitted consultations on environmental principles and governance, the Good Food Nation Bill and the Scottish Climate Change Adaptation Programme.

We have planned a webinar with Defra and members on how the Government can help the sector improve recycling rates, and exchanging knowledge from the sector with Defra about what has and has not worked in terms of recycling on campuses.

We submitted a consultation to HESA about the EMR data and released a quote on it to the media.

Signed a letter urging Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to establish a new Scottish Environment Act.

We hosted a joint workshop at our Influence! Conference with Defra on the 25 Year Environment Plan and how the sector can engage with the Government.

International advocacy
We created a short video for the 1st Asian Sustainable Campus Network Conference (ASCN)

New resources
We published a new Business Case guide to help members show the benefits of sustainability, as well as a new Living Lab guide with NUS that highlights different approaches to learning and research through partnership working.

We worked with the Higher Education Business Continuity Network (HEBCoN), with the support of AECOM, to publish a guide titled ‘Adapting universities and colleges to a changing climate: Making the case and taking action’. This contains an initial self-assessment on climate readiness and an example Elevator Pitch to use to communicate the need for investment in adaptation, to climate projections, examples of risks, opportunities and potential adaptation actions, and a compilation of resources to support action in your institution.

Stakeholder engagement
We have been working with UKSSD to ensure the UK’s SDG VNR was a fair and accurate representation of the UK’s efforts on the SDGs and lobbying for improvements of the process.

NEW: Media mentions (March – June 2019)
Why the EAUC is a good organisation
May 2019 – The Herald -
FE Support Package launched
March 2019 – FE News -
Governance Guide
April 2019 – UUK Blog -
Climate Emergency declaration
May 2019 – Evening Times -
May 2019 – Glasgow Live -
May 2019 – The Herald -
May 2019 – The Energyst -
CCC report
May 2019 – Aldersgate Group -
Climate Strikes
April 2019 – Edie -
EMR data
May 2019 – University Business -
May 2019 – Times Higher -
SDG Impact rankings
May 2019 – Times Higher -
Other sustainability news
April 2019 – Edie -
April 2019 – University Business -
April 2019 – University Business -
July 2019 – University Business Magazine – ‘Future-proofed’, an article about how the UK’s HE sector is addressing today’s major sustainability challenges.

April 2019

  • We published our first Advocacy Report - available here. This highlights some of our key advocacy achievements from 2018, and features the results of the survey we sent to members asking for feedback on the impact of our advocacy work. The results were very positive and will now enable us to benchmark and make new targets.
  • We set up a new FE support package to ensure colleges had a support network specifically for them, that provided the resources and tools they needed. Find out more here.
  • We submitted 4 consultation responses. These included topics such as the KEF, TEF, and Ofsted’s Education Inspection Framework. Scotland submitted a response to the Scottish Government on the proposed Scottish Climate Change Adaptation Programme 2019-2024. We have plans to take part in at least another 3 consultations over the coming month. These will be on plastic and EMR data.
  • We attended a high-profile DEFRA roundtable, chaired by Secretary of State Michael Gove on the Environment Bill. Following on from this, we submitted further evidence to DEFRA on the scope for new environmental targets within the Environment Bill.
  • We attended a Broadway Initiative taskforce meeting titled 'Shaping the future: Setting the Environmental Objectives for the Environment Bill' in February.
  • EAUC was the only university and college sustainability body invited to speak at the UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi. EAUC CEO Iain Patton gave an overview of the work EAUC and its members do, as well as providing a wider perspective from its role as founder of the Global Alliance, SDG Accord and the International Green Gown Awards.
  • We attended a virtual meeting with the Higher Education Sustainability Initiative (run by the UN) to discuss the 2019 UN High Level Political Forum and the involvement of the SDG Accord as represented by EAUC.
  • We attended a Department for International Development engagement event on the SDG VNR. We provided input and started to build an ongoing relationship.
  • Attended an Aldersgate Group members' meeting with Lord Deben, Chair of the Committee on Climate Change and former Secretary of State for the Environment. We have plans to develop our relationship with Aldersgate Group on several topics.
  • We facilitated the SDG Accord reporting process. This closed on the 1st April, and we will begin to collate all information, analyse and evaluate the data, and create a report that outlines a global landscape of the SDGs in Higher and Further Education.

February 2019

  • We issued an advocacy survey to key contacts at all educational institutions and strategic partners. We received 43 responses and this has enabled us to benchmark our advocacy work and set new targets. The resulting report will be available shortly. We will also use this information to update the advocacy plans for 2019.
  • We will be supporting Go Green Week which is on the 11th - 15th February. We are currently collating blogs from those running large initiatives on this. If you would like to send us information on what you are doing for Go Green Week - email us.
  • We will also be supporting Fairtrade Fortnight (25th February - 10th March). You can find a toolkit here on the fairtrade website to help with promotion. We are looking for case studies so please let us know about your fairtrade achievements.
  • We submitted an Inquiry response to the International Development Committee on the UK's progress on the SDGs in January 2019. You can read it here.
  • We have discussed the Year of Green Action with the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. We will be supporting this initiative throughout the year.
  • We became a member of the Healthy Universities Network.

December 2018

  • We facilitated a high-profile event at the Office for Students, alongside NUS and BEIS, that saw 4 Vice-Chancellors sign the Government’s Emissions Reduction Pledge. We are looking at how we can further support members to commit to ambitious carbon reduction targets.
  • We responded to the Government's consultation to ban straws, drink stirrers and plastic cotton buds after liaising with members. All members were invited to input their thought on a survey, which we then collated the results from and turned into a response. This was also further discussed with the EAUC Fellows.
  • We responded to the Government's call for evidence on the UK SDG Voluntary National Review. We submitted the SDG Accord as a pioneering initiative in this space - with UK institutions as examples of best practice.
  • We attended UKSSD meetings to ensure members’ voices were heard on the SDGs in the work they are doing and at a parliamentary level.
  • We published the new Governance Guide titled ‘Sustainability is Key to Institutional Success: A Guide for Members of University Boards’. This helps members advocate for sustainability at an executive level.
  • We held a webinar with Times Higher Education on their new SDG ranking metric to ensure members understood it, how it aligns with the SDG Accord, and could ask questions. We have further ensured the SDG Accord forms part of the evidence that can be submitted.
  • In a bid to further international relationships and gain and share insight on sustainability best practice in the Further and Higher Education sector worldwide, EAUC CEO attended the 4th annual Asian Conference on Campus Sustainability, and gave the keynote speech alongside Bank Ki-Moon.
  • We are finalising plans for next year's advocacy work. It will include more resources on how to build a business case for sustainability in your institution, more partnership work with Government departments and key strategic partners, and more webinars providing topical information to help members use current trends to help encourage sustainability within institutions.

October 2018

  • We successfully ran a webinar with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy about plans for Carbon Reduction in Public and Higher Education - including a lengthy Q&A. It is available to members only. Find it here.
  • We ran a webinar series called 'A Cup of Tea and an SDG' - these 5 short webinars celebrated Global Goals Week and featured presentations from institutions outlining initiatives they have undertaken that contribute to one or more of the SDGs. Find them here.
  • Collaborated with Times Higher Education to ensure the SDG Accord aligns with their new SDG rankings. We have also organised a webinar with them so that members can find out more and ask questions. You can book that here.
  • ubmitted an Inquiry response to the Environmental Audit Committee on the SDGs. Read it here.
  • Liaised with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on Green GB Week and have sent plans to members via the EAUC member jisc. Sign up to it if you haven't already.
  • Produced guides to support members in selling sustainability to other departments in their institution.
  • We will be taking part in an Aldersgate Group roundtable this week with Guy Newey, recent former Energy and Climate Adviser to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, Greg Clark. This will allow EAUC to find out next steps for the department and ensure this information shapes our working to benefit members.
  • (This is just some of our work - if you'd like to find out more, please email us.)

August 2018

  • We have organised a webinar for members to gain more information from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy about plans for Carbon Reduction in Public and Higher Education. Find out about it here.
  • The EAUC has submitted a response to the Environmental Principles and Governance consultation following discussion with members. You can read it here.
  • The EAUC has been in discussion with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy on how members can get involved with Green Great Britain Week which is being held 15th - 19th October 2018. We will update members when we have more information.
  • Global Goals Week is 22nd-29th September. The EAUC will be holding 5 short webinars on the SDGs. You can find out more about them and book here.
  • We have been sourcing case studies for the new EAUC Governance Guide. If you can supply a case study, or for more information - click here. 
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