Advocacy updates

October 2020

Climate Commission

 
Global Climate Letter 
  • We currently have 278 Higher and Further Education institutions representing approx. 3,971,394 committed to the Global Climate Letter, as well as 66 networks representing approx. 29,132 institutions.
  • We have worked with United Nations Environment to bring in reporting requirements which are fairly minimal but allow for pledges to be much more transparent and robust. This also brings the pledge in line with the Race to Zero campaign.
 
SDGs
  • We have been building on our list of alternative languages in which we can offer the SDG Accord, and we are pleased to have added both Dutch and Irish translations of the crux of the Accord. Find them and more here. If you can supply this in an alternative language, do get in touch.
  • We have been supporting  a student through the NUS Dissertations for Good initiative on an SDG report. This report, which focuses on SDG 3 in the Global South will be published in December. In the meantime, you can read about it in a HEPI blog. The student, Jack, also presented on his findings in a ‘Cup of tea and an SDG’ episode during Global Goals Week.
  • The full SDG Accord report is still on track for publication in December.
 
EAUC Conference
  • The EAUC Annual Conference will be held in November. We currently have over almost 850 attendees signed up to the conference, including a strong contingent of students. We are very pleased to have so many student representatives this year – it will give staff and students a chance to come together and engage on key sustainability points. We have speakers from all around the globe and an address from HRH Prince Charles, Prince of Wales.
  • This is a huge opportunity to advocate for sustainability and we will be facilitating these sessions to ensure maximum benefit to all delegates.

Green Gown Awards
  • The 2020 Green Gown Award Finalists were announced in September. Reflecting on this year’s submissions, Iain Patton, CEO, EAUC said: “It’s safe to say everything has turned upside down this year. But what is remarkable, is the pure determination and resilience shown by our sector. Receiving so many applications from our sustainability communities in this challenging year, and reading their inspiring projects is truly heart-warming in these uncertain times and builds hope for a green recovery and more sustainable future. Today we announce the Finalists, but we also applaud each and every applicant and encourage them to continue on the sustainability path which is now more critical than ever.”
  • The finalists initiatives have been added to the Sustainability Exchange, to be used as excellent case studies for the rest of the sector. The awards ceremony will be held in March/April 2021.
 
Policy
  • The Plastic ban came into force in October 2020. We are very supportive of this, and you can find out more about our lobbying for this ban in our consultation section.
  • EAUC Scotland are currently working on a consultation regarding  single-use plastic and this will be available on the consultation section shortly.
  • The OfS currently has a consultation running about the NSS and its future. We have encouraged members to take part in this – as it requests only those in institutions take part at this stage. We expect there to be a second consultation, in which we will lobby for sustainability questions to be moved from a bank question to a mandatory question, and to broaden scope from environmental sustainability to all sustainability.
  • Salix announced the launch of the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme and we are holding a webinar with Salix in November so that members can ask any questions.
  • EAUC has continued to attend official Government Cop26 meetings, including the COP26 Skills and Education Group meetings.
  • EAUC  has been working with a group of academics on an Offsetting Principle that will be published soon.
     
Strategic Partners
  • UN Global Compact have recently taken over the brilliant work of UKSSD on the SDGs. We attended the first meeting since this occurred and had very productive conversations about how educations fits in with their plans to push for better SDG integration in the UK. If you are interested in this – we can provide more information.
    The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) launched a new publication in September called ‘The Little Book of Green Nudges’. We are supporting this publication and will host a session at the conference on it, with an opportunity for members to have a Q&A about it.
  • We have supported a new initiative between Change Agents and SOS-UK that is helping upskill students with sustainability skills. This is in the form of a Kickstart scheme, focussed on sustainability in tertiary education.  
  • Aldersgate Group published a new report calling for urgent policy decisions regarding net zero emissions. EAUC fed into this extensively on the skills section.
  • EAUC worked with Aldersgate Group on a more detailed skills policy briefing  titled ‘Upskilling the UK workforce for the 21st century’ and EAUC CEO Iain Patton was asked to present at the launch of this policy briefing. During this presentation he also outlined our own report on skills, launched on the same day, as agreed with Aldersgate Group, to bring maximum impact to both reports. More on the EAUC skills report in the resource section.
  • EAUC was also asked to speak at an Aldersgate Group roundtable with Ed Milliband and other notable attendees, bring the skills perspective to discussion on economic recovery.
  • Funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, EAUC supported the delivery of a briefing session by the Carbon Literacy Project to launch a shareable Carbon Literacy training toolkit for UK universities and colleges. More information available here.
  • EAUC Operations and Planning Director Fiona Goodwin took part in a TEDx talk with UN Environment Programme and other speakers on ‘Racing to Zero with Higher Education: Acting and Enabling Global Decarbonization’. If you missed it, you can watch it here.

Surveys
We have run two surveys over the last couple of months, to make sure we are getting member feedback to guide our work and support.
  • We ran a Covid-19 Impact survey in October, and we will use the responses to inform our action plan moving forward.
  • We ran an advocacy survey for those in Communities of Practice on sli.do. This was very brief and designed to ensure we are focusing on the right areas in each of these sustainability themes, and assess what resources are needed.
     
Resources
  • In October we launched a large report we have been working on with Change Agents for some time. This report was the Future Graduate Skills Study – and it contains extensive research on the topic, and recommendations for the sector. We will be working on these recommendations with members and hope it contains useful information to help you advocate for sustainability and sustainability skills within your institution.  
  • We ran two sharing series webinar and resources will be available on these shortly:
  1. Embodied Carbon
  2. Zero Waste Week
  • New sector briefings have been launched:
  1. What is Adaptation and Mitigation?
  2. What is Climate Anxiety?
  • We held various webinars and many of these are available to watch again:
  1. Mental Health Webinar to mark Mental Health Awareness Day
  2. THE Impact Ranking - Methodology Explained
  3. EAUC Facilitated Member Discussion on Carbon Reduction Ranking by SOS-UK - UK Wide
  • We also held other webinars that were not record for various reasons:
  1. EAUC Facilitated Member Discussion on Carbon Reduction Ranking by SOS-UK - Wales Focus
  2. SOS-UK Carbon Reduction Targets Ranking Project
     
Blogs
Campaigns Sustainability Champions Media


August 2020

In addition to the Covid resources and support outlined in previous advocacy updates, we also published a list of four civic principles and learnings in July that we believe are essential for a sustainable recovery. You can find out more about these in a thought piece written by EAUC CEO Iain Patton, titled ‘The Time is Now’.

Climate Commission

  • The Climate Commission, in partnership with Nous Group, launched the Climate Action Roadmap for FE Colleges.
  • Watch Climate Commissioner Steve Frampton announce the launch of the roadmap here 
  • Read the Association of Colleges news item on the launch here 
  • Download the press release here 
  • Read EAUC's news item on the launch here 
  • The UK Climate Commission was presented to the global Higher Education Sustainability Initiative (HESI) event at the United Nations High-Level Political Forum on 15 July 2020.
  • The Climate Commission commented on the launch of the College of the Future vision.  Steve Frampton, AoC President and Climate Commissioner said “The Climate Commission welcomes the report today from the Independent Commission on the College of the Future. The new vision for colleges puts sustainability and climate action at the very heart of the role of colleges, ensuring that colleges provide future students with the education and skills they need to tackle the climate crisis. The Climate Action Roadmap for Further Education Colleges, from the Climate Commission, provides colleges with the framework to help them achieve this.”
  • The Commission has released a document outlining its findings to date.
  • The Commission held an online event, "Discussion with Further and Higher Education Governors and Chairs" to understand the opportunities to and challenges of advancing climate action and sustainability at the board level. More information on the event here.  Watch the event recording here
 
SDGs
  • The SDG Accord 2020 report summary was published in July, this can be found here. The full report will be published in December.
  • The Summary report was presented at the UN High Level Political Forum, watch it here – approximately 49 minutes into the recording.
  • The SDG Accord currently has 1590 signatories,  with 179 of these being institutional leaders (vice chancellors/rectors/presidents/principals).
 
EAUC Conference
  • Plans for the conference are well under way. The Conference has adapted and evolved to respond to the requirements of the pandemic, and the growing Climate Crisis momentum globally. This will be the first online EAUC conference, and the first time it is aimed at such a global audience. To help reach new audiences and advocate for sustainability, this year students are being given free spaces, to enable them to input more and to hear about initiatives already taking place, opportunities and barriers.
The programme is available here.

Green Gown Awards
  • The International Green Gown Awards Winners were announced at the UN HESI event for the High-level  Political Forum. This can be watched online here at 1hr58. This high profile event was endorsed by United Nations Environment and supported by The Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU), L’Agence universitaire de la Francophonie (AUF), The Higher Education Sustainability Initiative (HESI) and International Association of Universities (IAU).  The ceremony was held in English and French, with EAUC’s Sonya Peres providing the French commentary.
  • Applicants for the Green Gowns in the UK and Ireland had until 9th September to submit their initiative this year. This was extended due to Covid-19. This year’s Green Gown Awards are in partnership with UKRI. There have been several updates for this year:
  1. Revised Categories: 2030 Climate Action, Campus Health, Food and Drink, Enterprise and Reporting with Influence (previously Total Reporting
  2. Recognising the diverse nature of projects applicants could submit a video link or up to 3 images to the judging process
  • The Green Gown Awards will happen in March/April 2021, they are going ahead to make sure excellent sustainability efforts in institutions continue to be recognised, to share best practice, and to help staff advocate for sustainability more readily within their institution.
Policy
  • New legally binding targets for the Environment Bill were announced and EAUC responded to these.
  • EAUC submitted a consultation response to BEIS on post-pandemic economic growth – highlighting the need for sustainability skills investment to ensure a green recovery. Read it here.
  • EAUC sought further clarification from BEIS on institutions that qualify for the SECR.
  • EAUC has continued to keep in contact with OfS to discuss how to better embed sustainability within institutions, as well as how to better integrate sustainability into surveys such as the NSS and data collection methods such as EMR.
  • EAUC has been in discussion with HESA about the EMR data, particularly focusing on content of Scope data requests.
  • EAUC continues to have meetings with the UK Government Cabinet Team organising COP26 as part of the COP26 Youth Roundtable. 

    UK Government had its Summer Recess from 22nd July – 1st September  - so lobbying potential and policy updates have been limited.
UN High Level Political Forum
  • The UN High Level Political Forum went ahead in an online format this year, and the EAUC fed into the two UN HESI roundtable events. The first ‘Redesigning Further Education for the Future’ was for partners only and EAUC input member feedback here. The second  titled: ‘So what? How will we Redesign the Future of Further of Education’ was open to all and EAUC publicised this to members. EAUC also provided updates on various aspects, including the SDG Accord report findings 2020 and The Climate Commission work.
  • The International Green Gown Awards were also held as part of the HESI event at the UN High-Level Political Forum. The winners of the 2020 International Green Gown Awards were announced on 8th July 2020 in an online bilingual ceremony hosted by Sonya Peres, Climate Commission Officer from EAUC and Carina Mutschele, Youth & Education from United Nations Environment. You can watch this here at 1hr58.
 
Strategic Partners
  • Race to Zero, the global COP26 campaign, was launched and EAUC is endorsing and supporting this through the Global Climate Letter.
  • EAUC has been working with UKSSD and supported the letter sent to the Prime Minister calling on him to create socially just and green recovery from Covid-19.
  • EAUC supported a SOS-UK and UKSCN letter to the Prime Minister calling for him to retrofit all education buildings to net-zero.
  • EAUC has attended several UN HESI, and UNESCO meetings on various topics including ESD, and YEA!
  • EAUC continues to be involved with the development of the HESCET tool, with reviews and meetings.
  • EAUC has been working closely with Aldersgate Group to help provide a member perspective on the need for better skills infrastructure to support a green recovery. Aldersgate and EAUC will be publishing more detailed reports on this in the following months.
 
Meet the new Board Trustees
New Resources
  • The EAUC webinar sharing series has continued and there are several more resources now available:
  1. How to engage resistant stakeholders
  2. Sustainable food policy and growing
  3. Toxic free cleaning
  4. Ethical Food Standards
     
  • There have also been two short sector briefing videos created for use by members on :
  1. What are Nature Based Solutions?
  2. What is Natural Capital?
  
Blogs  
Training
  • Carbon Literacy Training has unfortunately been postponed due to Covid 19. We have run a successful pilot of the training online and will begin training again in 2021. This is an accredited training programme, run in partnership with the Carbon Literacy Trust. The training was developed by Manchester Metropolitan University, Nottingham Business School (Nottingham Trent University) in collaboration with the Carbon Literacy Project; UN PRME Champions and Oikos International. and is certified by the Carbon Literacy Project.
 
Campaigns
  • We supported World Environment Day in June and promoted sustainability materials on social media.
  • We support the Black Lives Matter movement, and have been promoting materials on racial equality and diversity on social media channels. We are also having discussions at a board level about how to make sure the EAUC board is diverse in its representation. EAUC Scotland also created an infographic on ‘People of colour, education and sustainability’.
  • June was also Pride Month, and we promoted articles such as this one from Friends of the Earth Scotland titled ‘Why Climate Change is an LGBTQ+ Issue’. We also changed our EAUC social media logos to the Pride rainbow colours in support of Pride Month.  
  • The Climate Coalition ran a #TheTimeIsNow tea break, and we took part and encouraged others to as well. This received support from members with many taking part online.
     
 Media coverage


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.
AGM
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
 
Blogs
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.
 
SDGs
  • 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.
 
Policy
  • 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.
Reports
  • 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.
 Training
  • 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.

Campaigns
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.

Media
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
Journal:
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.

Blogs:

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.
 Policy
  • 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.

 
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