Environmental Sustainability Concordat Launched

The concordat is aimed at all organisations in the research and innovation sector, which of course includes many EAUC members.
A voluntary environmental sustainability concordat co-developed by more than 25 organisations across the UK research and innovation sector launched today. The EAUC is providing the secretariat function for the concordat's signatories.

The concordat is aimed at all organisations in the research and innovation sector, which of course includes many EAUC members in the post-16 education sector. Concordat signatories and supporters commit to progressively embedding environmental sustainability into all research and innovation practices. 

An initial group of signatories have joined at launch, and others are called on to join them. The ambition is to create meaningful, and long-lasting impact to reduce the environmental impacts of carrying out research.  

Charlotte Bonner, EAUC's CEO, says:
“Our sector’s place in the journey to net-zero is so much greater than our carbon footprint. Through ground breaking research and innovation, the UK post-16 education sector pioneers sustainable solutions across various fields, driving forward technological advancements, developing our knowledge and creating tools essential for achieving our sustainability objectives. But sustainable research and innovation isn’t just about what we’re researching and developing to achieve maximum positive impacts, but how we do so with minimum negative impact on people and planet. This is why this concordat is needed and a very much welcome addition to the sustainability landscape for our sector. By providing the secretariat function for the concordat, EAUC seeks to contribute to its success as well as align action undertaken by signatories with existing sustainability activity taking place across the sector.” 

The concordat represents a shared ambition for the UK to continue delivering cutting-edge research but in a more environmentally responsible way. It also recognises the critical role of research and innovation to understand how our planet is changing, and creating solutions to the challenges we face. 

Signatories agree to action six priority areas outlined in the concordat, such as maintaining transparency about the environmental impacts of research output and finding new climate-conscious, low-carbon approaches. There is also an expected commitment from signatories to publicly share how their organisations will deliver its sustainability aims and publish annual summaries of progress.  

Organisations from across the UK research and innovation sector have worked together, involving extensive consultation, to develop the set of priorities and responsible behaviours set out in the concordat. The final document is owned collectively by the UK research and innovation sector.   

Wellcome is hosting the concordat on its site providing information on how to join, alongside a regularly maintained list of signatories and supporters. A new oversight group will be formed to co-ordinate a review of the content and impact of the concordat in line with new innovations in sustainability. 

We also have a session at our Annual Conference to showcase ways institutions are applying sustainability principles across the breadth of their research and knowledge exchange activity.

List of initial concordat signatories at launch: 
Bangor University 
British Academy 
Cancer Research UK (CRUK) 
Cranfield University 
John Innes Centre 
Keele University  
National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) 
University College London (UCL) 
UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) 
University of Edinburgh 
University of Essex 
University of Exeter
University of Glasgow 
University of Leicester 
University of Liverpool 
University of the West of England, Bristol (UWE) 
Wellcome Sanger Institute  
List of initial concordat supporters at launch: 
Academy of Medical Sciences 
Association of Medical Research Charities (AMRC) 
Department for the Economy, Northern Ireland (DfENI) 
Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges (EAUC) 
Royal Academy of Engineering 
Royal Society 
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