Advocacy updates

June 2020

What an odd 3 months it has been! As can be expected, our advocacy work has taken a small hit due to Covid-19, however, we are pleased to be able to share with you the work we have still managed to undertake to advocate for sustainability in the HE and FE sector:

Climate Commission

  • The third Virtual Evidence Gathering Event took place on April 29th. The event was focused on priority 3: reporting scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions in the FHE sector. Student commissioners included a question in the briefing paper for expert witnesses: "How can GHG reporting be made accessible to students to enable them to support the institution to become more sustainable?”. The 4th Evidence Gathering Event, Deep Adaptation took place on May 19and the 5th evidence gathering event, Education and Student Experience  took place on June 2nd.
  • Research Professional has published Commissioner Judith Petts' (Vice-Chancellor of University of Plymouth and UUK representative) piece about how universities' responses to COVID-19 can inform how they tackle the climate crisis, in which she mentions the Climate Commission's work. 
  • Commissioner Steve Frampton (President, AoC) discussed the Climate Commission's work and project with Nous Group at AoC's spring Policy Forum
  • Professor James Longhurst spoke as a panelist on the UUKi seminar, "Is it possible to have a green international strategy?" At the event, Professor Longhurst represented the Commission and touched on topics that will be addressed by the Commission. 
  • Student Commissioners have a launched a survey to better engage with students. 
  • Alex Bols - Deputy CEO, Guild HE and Climate Commission Steering Group member has written a blog on what we want the new normal to look like.
  • Fiona Goodwin - Direction of Operations & Planning, EAUC and Climate Commission Steering Group member presented at the Universities Scotland International Committee Workshop to provide an update on the work of the Climate Commission. 
  • The Climate Commission Secretariat has written a blog post about the Commission's first priority, "mobilising the higher and further education sector voice" on Wonkhe. The post is one in a series of 5 synthesising and unpacking discussions on the Commission's priorities. 
  • Student Commissioners have been awarded honorary fellowships by EAUC in recognition of their commitment to tackling the climate crisis and their time and contribution to the Climate Commission's work. Read more about the honorary fellowships here
Global Climate Letter 
We currently have 257 Higher and Further Education institutions representing approx. 4,930,515 students committed to the Global Climate Letter, as well as 8 Students' Unions and 58 networks representing approx. 16,282 institutions.
SDGs EAUC Conference
For the first time ever, the EAUC conference will be virtual AND global. You can find out more about it here.

Policy We have an update from Green Alliance on the Environment Bill:

The Environment Bill had just started committee stage in the Commons before the pandemic lockdown pause but has yet to resurface, despite Parliamentary business resuming. Given the size of the bill and the government’s resistance to extending the transition period, time is running out to pass it before the year end. Delays on setting up the Office for Environmental Protection and developing a policy statement on environmental principles exacerbate our concerns. Our Senior Parliamentary Affairs Associate Ruth Chambers calls for the bill’s passage to restart before the summer recess in July in a recent blog.

This worrying picture is reflected elsewhere in the UK, with the Scottish Government only this month publishing its environmental governance legislative measures, contained within the Scottish Continuity Bill. If passed, the bill would allow the government to ‘keep pace’ with EU regulations, enshrine the EU environmental principles, and seek to establish a new watchdog, Environmental Standards Scotland. Professor Colin Reid compares this bill’s provisions with those of the Environment Bill.

To date, there is no firm plan or timetable in Wales and progress on setting up the new environmental governance system in Northern Ireland has been delayed, leading to major concerns that governance gaps will exist across the UK on 1 January 2021.

Strategic Partners
Just some of the work with strategic partners:
  • We have input to several Aldersgate Group consultations on skills and heat networks, and taken part in several meetings.
  • We have attended UKSSD meetings and input on SDG progress in HE/FE, as well as formally supported their letter to the PM about the need for SDG integration.
  • We have continued to attend Healthy Universities Network meetings and promote their materials.
  • We formally supported the Teach the Future letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer urging him to retrofit education buildings to meet net zero.
  • EAUC CEO Iain Patton judged on the Enactus panel for the Enactus UK Nationals.
We held our AGM in June, and have now successfully appoint two new elected members to the board. They bring some excellent skills and background to the board and we are keen to ensure we use these to advocate for sustainability in new ways. Read more here.

Covid – 19 New Resources
We have produced several new resources in the last few months. These include:
  • The travel better package – this aims to support the reduction of air travel in the FHE sector, specifically amongst academics and staff. It also aims to support reflection on and reconfiguration of the FHE sector's relationship to air travel on an institutional and individual basis.
  • The Period Poverty guide - Discover a selection of case studies and resources to help students and staff to lobby their institution to provide free sanitary products. This is aimed at students and staff.
  • SDGs and the UK Higher Education Sector – a report.
  • Webinar on Modern Slavery
  • A series of sector briefings is currently being produced. You can find the first three here, looking at scopes, carbon offsetting and divestment. The next set of briefings will look at nature based solutions, and natural capital.
  • EAUC Scotland has published it’s Public Bodies Climate Change Duties - Reporting Tools & Resources. Available here.
  • Black lives matter work
We have written and sourced a large variety of blogs for the blogs section in the last 3 months. Website
We are updating a lot of the materials on the website at the moment to make it easier for you to promote EAUC membership at your institution.
We have so far updated:

We will be working on the rest as quickly as we can.

March 2020

With the unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic, we are in awe of all of our members. It is amazing to see how hard universities and colleges have worked in their community to support them in any way they can, as well as the wider world. Universities have been donating their academic expertise, their equipment and their research power to fight against coronavirus. Colleges have been continuing to provide care and education to those whose parents are keyworkers, among many other activities to support vulnerable people. Rightly, this takes precedence over anything else. But a sliver of hope for the future – when this is over, we know we can work together to make meaningful change to the betterment of this planet and its people, and we must apply this to our sustainable development work. Read our full response to Covid-19.

Advocacy work in the first quarter of 2020 has seen a focus on COP26 and planning for the year ahead. We are particularly pleased to share the 2019 Advocacy Report, which is an outline of the advocacy work we have taken throughout 2019 and feedback about its impact.
Advocacy report
The 2019 Advocacy Report outlines just some of the advocacy work we achieved last year. We have never had a higher output or impact with our advocacy work than in 2019, and despite difficult policy situations in Westminster and the devolved administrations, we are proud of what we have achieved for and on behalf of our members. Find out more here.
Climate Commission

  • Steering group meetings continue weekly, and there has also been a face to face planning meeting.  
  • The Climate Commission’s vision, mission and target statement have been released, as have the Commission’s five priority areas.
  • These priority areas have scheduled evidence gathering sessions throughout the year. Two of these have now taken place and they went well.
  • Student Commissioners have also been appointed to work alongside the institutional Commissioners. This reflects equality within the Climate Commission and the determination to listen to students and ensure we have clear and cohesive actions. 
  • We have provided free Carbon Literacy training to students from the Council. They are now empowered and equipped to influence their fellow students as well as senior management within their institution.
  • The Climate Commission released a statement on offsetting – available here.
  • Numbers for the Climate Commission Council now stand at 85 institutions in total with 61 institutional leaders and 24 students making up the Council.
Climate Commission advocacy work 
  • Climate Commissioners Judith Petts and Manveer Gill attended the recent launch of the UN Climate Change Summit (COP26) that the UK are hosting in Glasgow in November.
  • Iain Patton and Chris Hale, Climate Commission Steering Group, presented to Universities UK staff to ensure they are all familiar with the work of the Climate Commission
  • EAUC Trustee, Eunice Simmons, was a keynote speaker at Advance HE conference and highlighted the work of the Climate Commission
  • EAUC Trustee and Climate Commissioner, Jim Longhurst was a keynote speaker at Advance HE’s STEM  conference in Manchester on 20th January 2020 and highlighted the work of the Climate Commission.
Global Climate Letter
The Global Climate Letter continues to build momentum as it gathers institutions committing to a net zero target globally. Currently, 253 Higher and Further Education institutions representing approx. 4,615,684 students have made this commitment, as well as 8 Students' Unions. There are now 60 networks representing approx. 17,069 institutions that also support this initiative. 
Sustainability Commitments
Last year, we started a page to track our members sustainability commitments. This is proving a good motivational tool to members, and we have added an extra category that looks at ethical investment this year.
  • The end of 2019, and early 2020 saw a collation of feedback from signatories of the SDG Accord on the survey and reporting process from 2019. We used this feedback to update the survey process and provide new resources to support reporting for signatories. The reporting process will be open from 2nd March to 30th April 2020.
  • We have also been working on a new SDG case study resource to show how a university or college might translate the SDG targets to make them relevant to an institutional setting. This has now been launched and is freely available on the Sustainability Exchange.
  • The SDG Accord currently has 169 universities and colleges committed to integrating the SDGs, with all signatories stretching across 101 countries.
Green Gown Awards
  • We launched the search for the next Green Gown Awards UK and Ireland winners in March. You can find out more and apply here. The Green Gown Awards are brilliant to show value to executive staff in an institution.
  • We close for applicants to the International Green Gown Awards, and will now move into the judging phase.
EAUC Conference
We opened up tickets for the EAUC Conference at the beginning of the year, and announced this year’s theme will be ‘Climate’. We will keep ticket buyers updated about date and venue changes required due to the coronavirus.
  • EAUC Scotland submitted a circular economy consultation to the Scottish Government.
  • EAUC submitted a consultation response to the Northern Ireland Assembly's DAERA on the Northern Ireland Environment Strategy.
  • Continued to liaise with Office for Students about the EMR data and provided updates to members where possible. You can find a full update on this here including some real success with regard our campaigning.
  • Liaised with HESA about EMR data and useful segmentation of other data. Updates available soon.
  • We have spoken to BEIS to clarify elements of SECR reporting as requested by members, and continued to talk to them about emissions reduction in the sector.
  • We have been invited to sit on the Cabinet Office’s COP26 Youth roundtable, which we have attended, and were also invited to the official launch of COP26 in London.
  • Attended the Parliamentary Reception held by SOS-UK and UKSCN as part of their Teach the Future campaign, and bid to launch the English Climate Emergency Education Bill.
  • Gave members a full update on the Cabinet reshuffle and new COP26 president when announced in February.
  • We outlined more on COP26 priorities in a news article.
  • We have been lobbying the Government to extend the sanitary support scheme to universities as well as colleges and schools (as launched on 20th January). We have also been lobbying universities to bridge the gap for the time being and provide these products. With the Government announcing the scrapping of the tampon tax – this is an ideal time to push for this meaningful change to support equality. We are also producing an insight guide on period poverty for universities and colleges.
Strategic Partners
A selection of some of our work with strategic partners over the last two months:
  • We have been in discussion with Russell Group about possible collaboration.
  • We have met with ACU, AUF and IAU to discuss the International Green Gown Awards.
  • We have attended HEPA meetings.
  • We have attended WRAP Courtauld c2025 working group meetings.
  • We are a member of the newly formed AUDE Sustainability Advisory Group meeting
  • We have met with SOS-UK to discuss crossover in our work and new partnership areas.
  • We have been working in partnership with Healthy Universities Network to look at how we can best support the sector when it comes to the intersection between mental health and climate change.
  • We attended the Green Alliance conference ‘Countdown to COP26’ and asked experts and policy advisors questions about why education is not better understood as a key element of climate action.
  • We attended an Aldersgate Group meeting on net zero delivery.
  • We have been working closely with out Climate Commission Partners at UUK, GuildHE and AoC.
  • We have been working closely with our Global Climate Letter partners the UN and Second Nature.
  • We have also been working with DEFRA of Scope 3 and a means to create consistent methodology for calculating it.
New resources Blogs Website
  • We are currently working on updating many of our member resources to help you advocate for sustainability and its value within your institution.
  • The 2019 Advocacy Report has now been published and is available here.
  • We have undertaken an internal feedback strategy review and will be implementing the findings shortly.
  • We have been working with members to bring a Carbon Literacy training package to support them and staff and students. We believe that to be climate aware, every one needs carbon literacy training. We have now facilitated the delivery of 2 of these, and had a further 7 planned, and 27 requested, which we are needing to delay due to Covid-19 – but these will be organised as soon as feasible without compromising on safety or quality of the training.
  • In January we ran our ever-successful Cambridge Leadership Lab programme and introduced a new element; a leadership academy to ensure continued engagement with those involved in the programme.

We have supported several campaigns already this year, including Fairtrade Fortnight, the SDG Teach In and Climate Learning Week.
In the next few months, we will support several other campaigns including Earth Day, Fashion Revolution Week, Food Waste Action Week and European Sustainable Development Week. We are also planning proactive campaigns on climate and COP26. To see the full list of sustainability celebration days coming up, click here.

We have featured in several publications recently, with more in the works.

December 2019

The last two months of 2019 saw a huge advocacy drive for more institutions to commit to net zero emissions targets, and to take part in the Climate Commission. There are now 24 institutions that have declared a climate emergency and 31 net zero commitments from institutions.

We also undertook the advocacy annual survey and look forward to sharing the resulting report.

Policy-wise, a period of purdah, the General Election and a focus on Brexit has meant sustainability policy developments have been hampered.

Climate Emergency

  • We launched the Climate Commission in November and it had a brilliant turnout of students and executive level staff. Advocacy on this topic has been well received by strategic partners, but Government interaction was hampered by purdah and the General Election.
  • We ran a webinar in November titled: ‘Adapting to Climate Change: Increasing your Institution’s Resilience’ with AECOM, Hebcon and Aude. This had a good number of participants that reported they found it very useful.  You can watch it again here.
  • COP 25 was moved to Madrid at the last minute in December, due to the civil unrest in Chile. The EAUC still managed to ensure the Global Climate Letter was presented in Madrid during a series of events that outlined what higher and further education institutions and networks in the world are doing to tackle the climate crisis. The scope of these events attended by institution and network representatives alongside their students was to share what higher and further education institutions and networks in the world are doing to take action around Climate Change. The UN tweeted about this.
  • We also ran a number of Carbon Literacy training events – including training all of the students involved with the Climate Commission.

Scotland Conference
The EAUC Scotland Conference was a brilliant event that attracted members from all across the UK and Ireland. The focus was ‘the elephant in the room’ and this gave EAUC a good opportunity to discuss many of the topics outlined by members throughout the year at meetings and on email network discussions as problematic. You can find all of the resources here. These resources hopefully will allow you to advocate on these topics with your institution.

Green Gown Awards
We held the Green Gown Awards immediately after the Scotland Conference this year, in Glasgow. This was an opportunity to showcase best practice from the sector and reward those having meaningful impact across the sector in a variety of sustainability areas. This gained some press coverage, noted in the media section, and created a huge quantity of case studies. These are all available on the Sustainability Exchange and these are useful to other institutions to provide insight and use as evidence for business cases.

New resources
Working with Emerald Publishing, we launched a special edition of the International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, with academic input from the EAUC’s 2018 conference.


Sustainability Champion:
Richard Masters – Programme Leader for Aerospace and Sustainability at Exeter College Technology Centre. Richard talks about how he advocates for sustainability in an FE environment with a focus on engineering.

Webinars: Campaigns
  • We took part in several campaigns, including Mental Health and Wellbeing Week, Trustees Week and an advent calendar campaign that looked at how we can have a more sustainable Christmas in HE and FE.
Strategic Partners
  • We input information about skills provision to Aldersgate Group’s draft manifesto report, ‘Time to deliver: building a competitive and inclusive green economy’ – they added this into the published report.
  • We partnered with Enactus to create an Enactus EAUC Sustainability Advisor role to connect EAUC members with Enactus campus teams.
  • EAUC’s chief executive Iain Patton has been advocating for the sector at several high profile events. He presented at WonkHE’s Wonkfest, alongside AUDE, discussing ‘What tools do we have to help us co-ordinate environmental action within our universities and across the sector?’.
  • Iain was also the keynote speaker at the University of Porto’s ‘1st Conference on Sustainable Campus’ at which they also launched a new Portuguese university sustainability network.
  • An EAUC representative attended the Healthy Universities Network quarterly meeting which has given us insight into some potential health and wellbeing avenues we will explore. We also supported the launch of the University Mental Health charter – run by Student Minds.
  • We welcomed Russel Groups support of environmental sustainability and have been in discussion with them about how we can collaborate.
  • EAUC is partnering with Change Agents to pick up on the next stage of Future Business Council research on Graduate Skills Attributes.
  • We attended the TUCO and TEC conferences, and the AUDE digital campus conference.
  • We were able to provide two members with part funded tickets to the Government-run event ‘Women in Public Sector Leadership 2020’
  • We input a consultation response to the Scottish Government’s consultation ‘The role of Public Sector Bodies in tackling climate change’
  • We engaged with the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) through the Climate Committee. Lord Deben, Chair of the CCC gave the keynote speech at the launch of the Commission.
  • The Government published its response to the Committee on Climate Change’s 2019 progress reports. We have been engaging with the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) on some of the elements of this – with a particular focus on how to progress the public and higher education voluntary emissions target.
  • The General Election was held on 12th December, and there was a period of purdah from 6th November. This meant there was very little policy impact feasible in this time frame. Since the election, and the reinstatement of the Conservatives – we are focusing on ensuring their manifesto pledges come to pass on sustainability and education, and that the legislation held up previously is now going to be focussed on.

Media Mentions

October 2019

  • We are currently reviewing the EAUC Advocacy plan for 2020-2021, and undertaking a survey to enable us to create the 2019 Advocacy report. The results of both of these activities will be available in the next update in December.
  • The upcoming Scotland Conference and UK and Ireland Green Gown Awards will also be opportunities to advocate for sustainability, and gain feedback from members.

Climate Emergency

  • Our advocacy work on the Climate Emergency has really taken off over the last few months. We are currently continuing to work with UN Environment and Second Nature on the Global Climate Letter, which now has commitments from 214 Higher and Further Education institution  representing approximately 4,139,383 students, 4 Students' Unions and 54 networks representing approximately 9198 institutions. We are working hard to ensure this will be presented at COP25, but face uncertainty about location at Chile is no longer hosting COP.
  • We are tracking university and college Climate Emergency pledges and net zero targets on our website. We currently have 19 institutions that have declared an emergency, and targets from 25 institutions.
  • A date has now been set for the launch of the Climate Commission for UK University and College Leaders. This will be on Wednesday, 13th November at Ravensbourne University London. The Climate Commission is a partnership between Association of Colleges, EAUC, GuildHE and Universities UK. Senior executive-level representatives from each organisation will make up the Commissioners with one chairing the Commission. EAUC will provide a secretariat function. The Commission will be UK wide. Commissioners will provide direction and leadership to the Commission’s work, act as the visible face of the Commission and play a role in building engagement and consensus within the sectors involved. The Commissioners will work with a wider Council that will advise and support their work and the EAUC think tanks will feed into the Council. Members can read a blog about this.
  • We are also expanding our Carbon Literacy work and now offering full day training workshops.  This training was developed by Nottingham Business School (Nottingham Trent University) in collaboration with the UN PRME Champions, Oikos International, Manchester Metropolitan University and the Carbon Literacy Project. Places can be booked here.
  • EAUC also supported the Global Climate Strike on Friday, 20th September. We published a statement of support, allowed staff members to take part in strikes, and had representation on an LSE panel discussion on ‘What should individuals, communities, schools and universities in the UK do to stop climate change?’. Read about what institutions did to support the Global Strikes on our blog.

We have supported several campaigns over the last couple of months, including:

  • 23rd – 27th September – SDG and a Cup of Tea – For the second year running, we have run our successful SDG webinar series to time with Global Goals Week. This year, these focused on SDG 11, SDG 12, SDG 13, SDG 16, and SDG 17. They highlighted brilliant SDG initiatives from the Higher and Further Education sector. You can watch these again here. EAUC Scotland also produced some brilliant case SDG case studies to celebrate Global Goals Week.
  • 14th - 18th October - Environmenstrual Week – in support of WEN’s Enviromenstrual Week, EAUC raised awareness about the high plastic content in sanitary products, as well as issues for women around period poverty. We shared links to a great quiz on sanitary products and the environment and promoted the WEN toolkit online. We also promoted great initiatives in the sector on this topic, including University of Dundee, University of Warwick and University of Newcastle. EAUC-Scotland hosted a Sanitary Support Scheme event to share some of the best practice in the sector.
  • 14th – 18th October – Love our Colleges Week – in support of the campaign to lobby Government to reinvest funding in FE, we promoted the brilliant sustainability work colleges are undertaking across our social media channels. This includes: Stockport Continuing Education Service and City of Glasgow College. We also held a webinar with Salix on ‘Reducing energy bills and improving college estates’.

New resources


  • We held a webinar with Times Higher Education to provide an update for member’s on the Times Higher Impact Rankings and the changes in reporting for this year. You can watch the webinar here if you missed it.
  • We also held a webinar with Interface, looking at current trends and best practice in relation to net zero pledges by universities. You can watch it here.


  • We submitted a consultation response to the Department for International Development on the process for the UK's first Voluntary National Review (VNR) of progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals.
  • We submitted a survey response to the Office for Students on ‘How should the Office for Students engage students in its work?’.
  • We discussed the Heat Network (Metering & Billing) Regulations 2014, which were being reviewed with the Office for Product Safety and Standards – to provide an update for members. Contact us for more information.
  • We are currently reaching out to BEIS to discuss the carbon reduction targets for public and higher education, and next steps.
  • We input information to the Office for National Statistics on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and the SDGs in advance of any international meeting they were attending.
  •  We have been following the Environment Bill as it has made its way to the House of Commons as a draft. You can find a breakdown of our original thoughts on the Environment Bill, followed by our reaction to the publication of the draft. EAUC also wrote an article on the Government response to the Committee on Climate Change’s 2019 progress report to parliament. Among the information published was a suggestion that Government might look to increase carbon emissions targets the higher and public education sector from voluntary 30% by 2020, to a mandatory 50% by 2030.

Strategic Partners

  • We have been improving our partnership working through various initiatives outlined previously, including guides and webinar.
  • We launched a new quarterly newsletter specifically for Strategic Partners. 
  • We have been working with UKSSD on SDG VNR feedback and a discussion group as part of the work to develop a campaign/policy brief in early 2020 for the (potentially new) PM on the SDGs from an education perspective.
  • We attended the Aldersgate Group AGM, and asked Davide Minotti, Deputy Director for the Environment Bill and Governance at Defra about why climate change had not moved further up the priorities list within the 25 Year Environment Plan given the Government has declared a Climate Emergency. (The answer given was that much of the plan already improves emissions, we would argue there needs to be a much more coherent and strategic plan to reach net zero by 2050. The Cabinet and Treasure look to be leading on this.)

Media Mentions

Climate Adaptation
Edie – Universities, colleges and students urged accelerate climate action

Climate Emergency
Xinhua Net - China's Tongji University joins education institutions worldwide in declaring climate emergency
Radio Canada International - Urgence climatique : déclaration commune de 10 universités québécoises
El Desconcierto - Universidad de Chile declara emergencia climática y se une a cientos de planteles mundiales para hacer frente a crisis global
L’hebdo Journal - Urgence climatique: Se mobiliser pour la justice climatique et sociale
University Business – Leeds University sets 10 year zero carbon target
Europa Press - Crue firma la iniciativa mundial de los centros de educación superior sobre el estado de emergencia climática

Climate Strikes
University Business - Vice-chancellors back mass staff walkout over climate crisis
Green Gowns judging
University Business – Climate Crisis – the HE challenge and opportunity
Sustainability and HE
Times Higher Education – How green is my university?
East London Lines - Goldsmiths’ new warden says bye bye to beef in bid to reduce carbon footprint

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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