Research institutions are the main source of the innovation and discovery that drives our global economy, produces advances in our standard of living and helps us understand the world around us. The integration of sustainability into the research we do and the way research is carried out can have a huge impact on the behaviours of researchers but also the outputs and outcomes of the research itself.
For research-intensive institutions the integration of sustainability from the two different perspectives outlined below can have a major contribution in demonstrating the commitment to sustainability but also lead to new thinking and more sustainable ways to achieve new thinking and new breakthroughs.
1. Sustainable Research: This relates to research that is set-up and/or delivered in a way that minimises environmental or sustainability impacts. For example, research projects that actively employ methodologies that minimise environmental impacts such as employing teleconference or video conferencing rather than extensive travel, or research that minimises carbon impacts through use of highly energy efficient equipment
2. Research into Sustainability: This describes research that contributes to or develops knowledge or understanding of some element of sustainability. For example, research that focuses upon low carbon technologies or provides solutions to environmental problems, or research that investigates some area of sustainability e.g. attitudes to sustainability, pedagogies for Education for Sustainable Development etc.
If you could offer research as a resource of the Sustainability Exchange, please get in touch. We work with academics to provide workshop sessions at the EAUC conference and we are now working with the International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education.
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