City College Plymouth has publicly pledged its commitment to the United Nations’ targets for global sustainability by becoming the latest UK institution to sign the SDG Accord – an international alliance of tertiary and higher education providers and student networks.
The College’s decision to formally align with the UN’s sustainability efforts comes as the UK government grapples with contingency planning for the global climate crisis amid a period of increasing economic disparity.
Lauded as the UN’s “blueprint for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and into the future”, the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were adopted by all member nations, including the UK, in 2015. The SDG Accord is the university and college sector’s collective response to the UN’s 17 sustainable goals which target a key area of global development, such as poverty, hunger, education, clean energy, gender equality, and climate change.
Administered by the UK’s own Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges (EAUC), the SDG Accord aims to inspire, celebrate and advance the critical role education plays in delivering the UN’s vision for a sustainable future and the value it brings to governments, businesses and wider society.
The Accord also marks a commitment between learning institutions around the world to proactively do more to achieve the goals, as well as sharing best practice to help other institutions achieve their sustainability targets.
As a signatory, City College Plymouth will contribute to the EAUC’s annual reporting of the SDG Accord metrics at the UN High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, furthering the College’s role as an advocate for sustainability in the South West.
Prior to signing the SDG Accord, City College Plymouth was recognised with an accreditation from the Carbon Literacy Project for its commitment to achieving carbon neutrality by 2030. It is one of a series of sustainability targets set by the College, which includes reducing water consumption by 25% and cutting the amount of waste sent to landfill by 50% by the year 2025.
Jackie Grubb, Chief Executive of City College Plymouth, officially endorsed the SDG Accord. She expressed, “By becoming a part of this coalition of educational institutions, we are formalising and providing an international context for the College’s ongoing efforts to integrate social, economic, and environmental sustainability into our curriculum.”
Jackie added, “Our commitment extends from training our staff to ensuring that our students and apprentices graduate with the essential green skills required for future employment. We are at the forefront of showcasing that the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals are not only indispensable but also entirely achievable when each of us fulfils our responsibility.”
“From training our staff, to ensuring our students and apprentices leave us with the green skills they need for future employment, we are taking a leading role in demonstrating how the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals are not only critical, but fully attainable if we all do our part.”