A Guide for Members of Governing Bodies

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Sustainability: Key to Long-term Institutional Success

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Sustainability is key to institutional success over the long-term. As the business sector has shown, sustainability provides new opportunities for value creation and risk mitigation. These are increasingly apparent to higher and further education institutions, as universities and colleges look to increase financial resilience in a changing global market and policy landscape.

Now, more than ever, with adoption of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (6), universities and colleges that embrace sustainability may benefit from their balancing of financial health with wider social and environmental interests.

Many universities already play a significant positive role through their governance, research, teaching and learning, campus management and use, business and investment, and their impact on staff, students and local community. This extends to the development of adaptable students that enter a world characterised by rapid change and uncertainty - likely an enduring feature of their professional and personal lives.

The aim of this Guide is to highlight the institutional benefits gained when sustainability is central to the core values and operations of your university or college. We also aim for it to complement and enrich your current agendas by sparking discussion and reflection on the opportunities associated with embedding sustainability.

In the interests of brevity, the Guide does not describe all the various means of how to seize these opportunities or all the reasons why it is imperative to the success of your institution. Rather, the most compelling arguments are included and offer  detailed information and support from the EAUC. 

This Guide has been developed by EAUC and the University of Edinburgh, with support from the Committee of University Chairs (CUC), Universities UK and Advance HE, and expert guidance from a cross-sector Advisory Group of University Chairs and Vice-Chancellors together with EAUC Board members and expert advisors. 

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