21 July 2014

UNEP and UK universities sign sustainability agreement

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and universities across the UK have signed a unique agreement that will see British sustainable innovation promoted on a global scale.

The three-year arrangement will see collaboration between UNEP's Global Universities Partnership on Environment and Sustainability (GUPES) network and the Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges (EAUC).

The GUPES network will focus on improving environmental education, training and networking to increase the sharing of ideas, and the understanding of sustainability.

The EAUC has a membership of more than 230 UK universities and colleges and will be working with UNEP to encourage institutions around the world to measure their sustainability performance and improve the monitoring of sustainability indicators.

EAUC chief executive Iain Patton said: "Our member UK universities and colleges have to take the lead on a global scale to ensure our students have the skills and knowledge to ensure a social, economic and environmentally responsible future for us all. We are excited to be putting our members on the map and working together with UNEP to bring this change."

The agreement will also see the EAUC's Green Gown Awards exposed to a global audience. The awards recognise British universities sustainability initiatives and the new partnership with UNEP will expand the awards across the globe.

The Awards cover all aspects of educational institutions, including teaching, research, leadership, buildings and food..

The partnership with UNEP will expand the Green Gown Awards further across the globe with an emphasis on profiling and learning from the Southern Hemisphere.

UNEP's head of environmental education and training Mahesh Pradhan said: "This partnership with EAUC complements current efforts of the Global Universities Partnership on Environment and Sustainability, whereby new opportunities for exchange of sustainability knowledge, experiences and networking are created."

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