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Executive summary


1. This document sets out some of the ways higher education can contribute to sustainable development, and includes a framework for HEFCE’s support for the sector. It encompasses our earlier policy statements on sustainable development and carbon reduction, and will influence our future funding. The document has been informed by a formal consultation which included events in Leeds and London.

Key points

2. Protecting and enhancing quality of life for current and future generations is central to sustainable development. There are social, environmental and economic dimensions to this, and the benefits and the challenges are considerable.

3. Higher education is working to address these challenges from a unique position in society. Its institutions can play a substantial role through teaching and research, through influence on staff and students, through business operations, and through the sustainability of their campuses. We want sustainable development to be central to higher education.

4. This document is arranged in the following sections:

  • Reducing environmental impacts
  • HEFCE’s support of higher education institutions engaging in the ‘green sector’ of the economy
  • HEFCE’S role in engaging students
  • The framework for HEFCE actions, 2015 to 2020.

Action required

5. This document is intended to enthuse and to encourage change.