Education is at the heart of global sustainability. Higher education institutions help address the world’s most pressing societal challenges, captured by the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Universities can demonstrate their commitment to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals by signing the SDG Accord, which has to date 547 signatories from 74 countries and 83 global sector bodies across the global higher education sector.
Institutions that show they prioritise global sustainability in their teaching, research and operations stand to enhance their reputation by ‘doing the right thing’ for society, while also decreasing reputational risks and increasing their investment potential.
Institutions that prioritise sustainability are also more likely to pursue a wide range of partnerships that can also advance the economic, cultural and social capital of their institutional community and alumni body. Strategic partnerships are also key to generating innovation that enables universities to deliver on their core mission.
Universities are increasingly expected to act as agents for change in their local communities. Sustainable institutions will increase community resilience by helping to tackle inequality and improve the quality of life for local people. In turn, this helps to attract students and promote regional growth.
The Positive Impact Partners Programme is a flagship programme by The University of Leeds, designed to increase collaboration between the University and the Third Sector, build capacity to deal with local societal issues and positively contribute to our local communities. We connect local organisations together with University staff to create collaborative partnerships, where staff can provide advice on a range of professional and business skills, and local organisations can be involved in strategic research projects which also benefit them. In its first year (2017/18) the programme recruited 107 partners, created 40 new partnerships and 843 Positive Impact Partner hours were contributed by partners (11).
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De Montfort University leading a conference on the #JoinTogether campaign at the United Nations headquarters in New York
De Montfort University has an extensive public engagement programme and a simple aim – to make it the benchmark against which all UK universities measure the success of their...
Strathclyde Global Student – Vertically Integrated Projects Tackling Sustainable Development Research
School Governors Programme
Give it don’t bin it
University of Suffolk: Brickmakers Wood Living Lab
DMU and Sustainable Development Goals (Societal Impact)
The impact of the University of Northampton’s new Waterside Campus development on bird diversity and abundance
University of Leeds – Positive Impact Partners Programme