Royal Holloway has joined London Higher’s sustainability pledge along with more than 20 other institutions to build upon the sustainability work already underway across London higher education institutes (HEI).
The university, along with other establishments, will work collaboratively across the capital to reduce the environmental impact of HEIs, as well as proactively seeking to address the challenges of the climate emergency.
The individual and cumulative environmental impacts that universities, large or small, generate are significant and need to be addressed urgently. External impacts are also increasing, meaning we need to adapt to increasingly challenging climates and resource availabilities which are creating growing business continuity risks.
As a community, London HEIs are home to more than half a million staff and students. Students and staff rightfully expect HEIs and their leaders to take responsibility, and funders and student employers are increasingly seeking sustainability requirements.
The pledge has been developed as a response to these issues and asks institutions to commit to six points including:
- Joining the London Higher Sustainability Network
- Providing data for a series of shared impact measurements
- Participating wherever possible in collaborative initiatives and activities through the network
- Committing to pan-London initiatives to tackle climate change through the Greater London Authority as anchor institutions within the capital, with wider local, national and international responsibilities.
Royal Holloway’s Sustainability Strategy recognises the responsibility the university has as educator to lead on environmental sustainability, and the ripple-effect its impact has on not, just its students, but also on the wider society.
Being part of the pledge means the university is, amongst many things, committed to the following across its London campuses:
- Installing new EV charging points
- Ensuring all new vehicles are electric where possible
- Replacing fluorescent lighting with LED both internally and externally
- Rolling out SMART meters for all electrical, gas and water utilities on campuses
- Replacing existing gas boilers with either electrical infra-structure or high-performance low energy gas boilers
- Taking part in a car sharing scheme with Surrey County Council
- Increasingly integrating bus services through external providers.
Professor Julie Sanders, Principal of Royal Holloway, University of London, said: “As a university, we recognise the world faces a climate emergency and we have a huge part to play in trying to rectify this, both across our campuses and through our world-renowned research and education.
“We are very proud to be part of London Higher’s sustainability pledge and by using our expertise, we will encourage, equip and empower our students and colleagues to be leaders in environmental sustainability. We will also target our collective intellectual capacity on the most pressing environmental challenges to maximise our influence and impact.”
Dr Sally Burtonshaw, Head of Policy at London Higher, added: “The London Higher sustainability pledge has been developed to drive collective change around climate action, whilst also acknowledging the diversity of our membership and ensuring all institutions can come together to create pan-London impacts.”