The Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges (EAUC) has this weekend launched a global initiative to embed the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) across post-16 education. Announced at the World Congress on Environmental Education (WEEC) held in Vancouver, ‘The SDG Accord’ is the university and college sectors collective response to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) established by the United Nations.
The SDG Accord reflects the key role educators have in creating a new generation that can and will balance people, planet and prosperity. It aims to inspire, celebrate and advance the embedding of the goals in our institutions through education, research, leadership, operations, administration and engagement activities.
The SDG Accord is also a commitment from one institution to another that they will share the learning they accrue on the topic with each other both nationally and internationally and annually report on their progress. A sector overview of progress will then be presented annually at the global progress review by the UN High Level Political Forum.
The SDG Accord has been endorsed by 30 supporting organisations from across the world prior to its launch.
Iain Patton, Chief Executive of the Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges (EAUC), said: “This is a huge step in the right direction to better show the world the value of universities, colleges and students. The education institutes responsible for moulding the minds of the next generation of leaders and change agents are accepting a central role in ending some of the most critical global challenges. We are collectively saying we will do everything in our power to address issues like gender inequality, poverty, hunger, lack of education, affordable energy, climate change, peace and resilience.
These are the most pressing issues of our time and we are all responsible, and nobody must be left behind. The premise of the Goals is simple: there must be economic, social and environmental balance. Delivery has never been straightforward – but this SDG Accord will now help pave the way for holistic change. Institutions that sign up to the accord will embed the goals in every department and collaborate across cities, regions, countries and continents. This is the beginning of a total global transformation.”
John North, Managing Director at Globally Responsible Leadership Initiative, said: "This moment in time calls all of us - individually and collectively - to live, learn and lead in a globally responsible way. The Sustainable Development Goals offer a clear and common agenda for humanity and places the onus on higher- and further education ecosystems to respond with urgency and action to meet and exceed the goals. The SDG Accord is an important awareness raising and activation platform for catalysing global responsibility in living, learning and leading."
About the EAUC: is a not-for-profit, member based charity, run by members for members and empowers its’ members creativity and dynamism to lead the sustainability agenda within Further and Higher Education in the UK and Ireland. From starting out as a voluntary organisation in 1996, the EAUC has grown to represent over 2 million students and nearly 400,000 faculty and staff with a spending budget of over £25 billion. The EAUC helps leaders, academics and other professionals to drive sustainability to the heart of their post-16 education institutions.
Endorsing Partners already include:
World Environmental Education Congress (WEEC) Network,
Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges, (EAUC), United Kingdom
Conférence des grandes écoles, France
Society for the Environment, United Kingdom
RCE Brittany, France
Intentional Endowments Network, United States
Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), United States
China Green University Network, China
Sustainability Education Research Institute, Canada
The Sustainability and Education Policy Network,
Entrepreneurship Educators' Association of the Philippines, Philippines
Institution of Environmental Sciences, United Kingdom
National Union of Students, United Kingdom
Australasian Campuses Towards Sustainability, Australia
Campus Responsables, France
Globally Responsible Leadership Initiative,
CAS-Net JAPAN, Japan
US Partnership for Education for Sustainable Development, United States
Disciplinary Associations Network for Sustainability, United States
Greater Portland Sustainability Education Network, United States
Foundation for Environmental Education, Ireland
International Sustainable Campus Network,
International Association of Universities (IAU)
PSS.Educational Development Society, India
Youth Foundation of Bangladesh, Bangladesh
GIESD (Global Internode for Education and Sustainable Development), Morocco
Target4Green Educational Consultancy and Training Ltd