University of Winchester underlines sustainability commitments

18 Apr 2018

The University of Winchester is to sign a statement signalling its dedication to creating a sustainable future at an environmentally-themed festival event.

The University’s Sustainability Statement defines what sustainability means to the institution and lays out how it will achieve this in practice. It was developed  with input from staff, students and local community members.

The Statement forms part of the National Union of Students (NUS) Responsible Futures accreditation which asks universities and colleges to work in partnership with their students’ unions to put sustainability at the heart of education and to help students gain the skills and experience they need to help them tackle the environmental challenges of the century ahead.

University Vice-Chancellor Professor Joy Carter and President of the Student Union Tali Atvars will sign the Sustainability Statement together at the Whole Earth Festival on Friday 20 April.

The festival event also marks the launch of a new University research centre. The Centre for Climate Change Education and Communication looks to inspire research into initiatives that tackle climate change and help increase quality education worldwide, in line with the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Professor Carter said: “The University of Winchester has long been leading the way in sustainability. This Whole Earth Festival is an exciting culmination of several new initiatives to scale up our efforts in this critical work. The launch of our new climate change research centre is the latest development which will ensure the University continues to be an important contributor in the debate around climate change.

“By signing the Sustainability Statement, we hope to help our staff and students embed meaningful sustainable practices into their day-to-day lives and reduce their impact on the planet. We are also partnering with the National Union for Students to roll out their Responsible Futures scheme at Winchester which will embed learning about social and environmental ethics into teaching across all of our courses to help students become responsible global citizens.”

During the event, the University will also unveil the visiting WHOLE EARTH? outdoor art exhibition.

The WHOLE EARTH?: Aligning Human Systems and Natural Systems (by Mark Edwards) Exhibition invites students to join the debate about the Earth’s future by presenting thought-provoking images of the Earth as it is now. Combining art and science, it aims to help students understand the environmental threats to Earth and showcase some of the solutions universities are developing to counter these. Since its creation, the WHOLE EARTH? exhibition has toured over 100 universities in North and South America, Africa, Asia, Australasia and Europe.

Created by the Hard Rain Project in partnership with the National Union of Students in 2015, the exhibition includes material from the award-winning Hard Rain: Our Headlong Collision with Nature exhibition with new content designed to develop understanding of sustainable development. The Hard Rain exhibition is a close collaboration between Hard Rain Project founder Mark Edwards and Nobel Prize in Literature winner, Bob Dylan. It uses world-class photography to illustrate each line of Bob Dylan’s A Hard Rain’s A Gonna Fall in a 60-metre outdoor display that brings global challenges alive in a unique and unforgettable way.

The Whole Earth Festival will be opened by Professor Joy Carter, followed by a speech by Mark Edward. It will then host panel discussion with the Sustainable Futures team at University of Winchester, comprising of Tom Brenan, Executive Director of Winchester Action on Climate Change (WinACC); Professor Carole Parkes, Professor of Global Issues and Responsible Management at the University of Winchester Business School; Quinn Runkle, Education for Sustainable Development Manager at National Union of Students; and Dr Tammi Sinha, Director for the Centre for Climate Change Education and Communication. The event concludes with the signing of the Sustainability Statement.

The WHOLE EARTH? Exhibition will remain on display at West Downs Courtyard until 20 July. The exhibition can be viewed by members of the public at any time. For more information about the exhibition, email

The University of Winchester Whole Earth Festival takes place at 2-6pm on Friday 20 April at the Court Yard, West Downs Campus, Romsey Road, West Downs 2 and Link Gallery, Winchester SO22 5FT. Tickets are free. Find out more and book your place:

Notes to Editors

About Mark Edwards

Mark Edwards is the founder of the Hard Rain Project. He is one of the few environmental communicators to have personally documented the global issues that are defining the 21st century. Mark has presented to a wide range of audiences – including the UN, the national Assembly of Cuba, and parliament - at festivals and events in the UK, Europe and the US. The WHOLE EARTH? Exhibition presents award-winning photographs that bring his extraordinary journey to life – taking visitors across deserts, through rainforests and shanty towns to remote ‘medieval’ villages and contemporary hunter-gatherer communities.

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