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University of Bristol commits to delivery and legacy of European Green Capital 2015

Press release issued: 23 September 2014

Today [23 September] marks the start of a 100 day countdown until Bristol becomes the European Green Capital 2015.

The University of Bristol is supporting the city by building on its existing foundation of green activity and through collaboration with other organisations.

As part of the Bristol European Green Capital 2015 activities, the University has committed to ensuring the legacy of the year continues by making a number of pledges that include: aiming to become a net carbon neutral campus by 2030; decreasing the University’s transport footprint; and ensuring that its students have the opportunity to undertake education for sustainable development.

Professor Guy Orpen, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bristol said: “Bristol European Green Capital 2015 is a great opportunity for the city and the University of Bristol. We are centrally involved as a University, and as part of the city more widely, to show the world what can be done, and what we can do, to make cities happier and healthier places to live and work, throughout 2015 and far beyond.”

The University has signed up to the UNESCO Global Action Programme commitment, in advance of the launch of the next UNESCO strategy for Education for Sustainable Development (ESD).  Students will learn about sustainable living through their studies, social activities, viewing the sustainable changes being made in the way the campus is run, and how sustainability is central to research.

This education is already underway in many areas, including student engagement projects such as the University of Bristol’s Students’ Union Get Green, which has so far inspired over 800 students to take part in environmental projects.

As part of the European Green Capital 2015 activities, the University and its Cabot Institute will host or co-host over 100 public events across the city, including  major conferences, seminars, debates, art installations and hackathons.  These will showcase the work of a variety of people from world experts to local innovators.

One of the biggest challenges of the 21st century will be transforming the sustainability of cities.  In 2015, the Cabot Institute and its Future Cities initiative will launch a new framework which will allow research to be conducted in partnership with groups from across the city and the world.  This will promote innovations in education, sustainability, creative technology and low carbon energy.

The University has already received national recognition for its sustainability work with a Green Gown Award in 2013 for Continual Improvement: Institutional Change and a Times Higher Award for Education for Sustainable Development.

Further information

The Cabot Institute carries out fundamental and responsive research on risks and uncertainties in a changing environment.  It drives new research in the interconnected areas of climate change, natural hazards, water and food security, low carbon energy, and future cities.  Its research fuses rigorous statistical and numerical modelling with a deep understanding of social, environmental and engineered systems – past, present and future. It seeks to engage wider society by listening to, exploring with, and challenging its stakeholders to develop a shared response to 21st Century challenges.

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