Higher Education Institutions play a key role in building more sustainable societies. On the occasion of Rio+20, leaders of the international academic community were therefore asked to commit to the development of sustainable practices. An impressive 325 institutions have signed up to a Declaration by which they agree to teach sustainable development concepts, encourage research on sustainable development issues, green their campuses, support sustainability efforts in their local communities, as well as engage with and share results through international frameworks. The implementation of the plans will be monitored through reporting to the various higher education networks of UNEP, UNESCO, UN Global Compact, UN-PRME and UNU

What does the Initiative aim to achieve? The Initiative seeks to improve sustainability programs of cities and towns through their cooperation with local universities and the resulting increased access to technical expertise. Numerous technological innovations are expected to be shared between academic and scientific institutions around the world, and new partnerships formed with the private sector for commercialization and diffusion of new technologies. A further objective is for HESI to lead to hundreds of university campuses being equipped with resource efficient buildings, sustainable transport options, and green supply chains, as well as for thousands of university students across multiple disciplines to have acquired knowledge of sustainability concepts that can be applied in the marketplace and to living more sustainable lifestyles. Find out more…