Tackling the Climate Crisis – deeper engagement from smaller and specialist universities highlighted in new report

Posted on: 18 May, 2023

On Thursday 18 May GuildHE – who represent 60 universities and colleges in the UK – launches the new report ‘Tackling the Climate Crisis’ which provides an in depth insight into how smaller and specialist universities and colleges within the UK are engaging with the issue at an institutional level. The report considers five critical elements of university activity: Leadership and Governance, Teaching, Research and Knowledge Exchange, Community Engagement, and Campus Management.

The report suggests that there has been an acceleration in activities amongst universities and colleges over the last 18 months. Activities to tackle the climate crisis have become further embedded across institutions and at a more strategic level, with more institutions integrating environmental sustainable development in their curriculum, working with their local communities and developing research activities in addition to considering how they make their estate more sustainable.

Anthony McClaran, GuildHE Chair and Vice-Chancellor of St Mary’s University Twickenham said:

“Tackling the climate emergency has been recognised as one of the most important issues of the day and is the key concern of young people. Many universities have been at the forefront of climate research and addressing climate change over many decades and I am proud of the role that GuildHE and its members have played in addressing these issues. There is, however, much more that can be done – both to tackle the climate crisis but also wider questions of creating a sustainable world in which we can live.”

Case studies from eleven UK higher institutions are highlighted, from the University of Worcester’s community recycling scheme with schools and a housing association provider to Abertay University’s PhD work which grew to an award-winning project creating the world’s first climate positive gin from the humble garden pea.

Ashley Wheaton, Principal of the University College of Estate Management said:

“UCEM recognises it plays an important part in addressing the climate crisis.  Our sector, the built environment, is one of the most significant contributors and we are uniquely positioned to lead and drive change beyond net zero aspirations.  GuildHE’s support and platform to amplify the wider challenges, as well as our aims and achievements, is another small step in our journey.”

For further information:

For media queries to GuildHE please email press@guildhe.ac.uk