University of Winchester becomes newest member of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network

6 Feb 2020

The University of Winchester has become the newest member of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), underlining its commitment to tackling the significant global challenges the world now faces, including climate change.

The announcement follows the launch of the University’s new 10-year Strategic Vision 2030, which identifies its aim to help shape a better world and puts the climate emergency alongside its students’ success at its heart. The University’s Strategic Vision was developed to align with the UN’s Agenda 2030 and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Vice-Chancellor Professor Joy Carter CBE DL, said: “We are delighted to become a member of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network. As global challenges that are evolving by the day grow in number and intensity – from the climate emergency to global health crisis – they will seriously impact how future generations live and work and take care for the planet and all life. As a university, we must step up to play our part and our Strategic Vision 2030 sets out how we will make a difference. Guided and driven by our values and a commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals, it is our roadmap for how we will strive to have impact, be the difference and make the world a better place.

“Founded in 1840 to train teachers to teach in poor communities, the University has a lot to build on. Our vision is to be a global beacon for sustainability and social justice – in every aspect of what we do, from excellent teaching and learning, to driving up environmental standards across the board and bold, ethical decision-making.”

The University’s commitment to sustainability and social responsibility has been recognised by recently being placed in the top 100 universities worldwide, in the Times Higher Education global University Impact Rankings, and ranked second in the UK for its quality education. In addition, the University secured the NUS’ Responsible Futures accreditation in 2019.

The University has pledged to eliminate the use of unnecessary single-use plastic by the end of 2020 and to be carbon neutral by 2025. Continued commitment to the use of reusable cups has led to the development of a Cup for Life reusable-container scheme introduced in early 2020. 

All new developments across the University’s campus meet the highest sustainability standards, no waste goes to landfill and all electricity comes from renewable sources. The University’s flagship new building at West Downs, due to open this spring, is being built to the highest environmental standards. The building promises to achieve a BREEAM ‘Excellent' rating, with 'Outstanding' credits for energy, contributing to the University’s ambition to become the most sustainable higher education institution in the UK.

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