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The publication sets out some of the ways in which higher education contributes to society’s efforts to achieve sustainability. These are captured in a new vision which also emphasises the leadership role of the sector in society:

'HEFCE’s vision is that universities and colleges are widely recognised as leaders in society’s efforts to achieve sustainability – through the understanding, skills and attitudes that students gain and put into practice, through research and knowledge exchange, and through community involvement, as well as through their strategies and operations that bring all these together.’

The framework lists 16 actions for HEFCE which span the following areas:

  • reducing environmental impacts
  • the green economy
  • engaging students.

HEFCE will monitor progress through its Leadership Governance and Management strategic committee and will provide a report on progress in 2017.

The consultation on the framework included events in Leeds and London and we have also published an analysis of consultation responses.

Read the new sustainable development framework and consultation outcomes.

Bristol 2015

Publication of the framework coincides with the award of £0.25 million of HEFCE funding to help the two Bristol universities play a leading role in ‘Bristol 2015’ when the city becomes European Green Capital. This is the first European Green Capital to be based in the UK, and UWE and Bristol have been instrumental in achieving this. The focus of the project is on student participation, and the universities and students’ unions are aiming to provide 100,000 hours of student activity involving 3,000 students.