World Environment Day 2020

Today, Friday 5th June, marks World Environment Day; a day for collective environmental action. This year, more than ever, it aims to spark an online conversation about environmental protection, around the subject of Biodiversity.  

The theme #ForNature aims to highlight the interdependence of humans and the natural environment. 

Healthy ecosystems, rich with biodiversity, are fundamental to human existence. They sustain human life by cleaning our air, purifying our water, helping to produce nutritious foods and raw materials, and reducing the occurrence of natural disasters. But biodiversity is declining and we are starting to feel the consequences of this around the world. 

We invite staff and students to engage with this global platform of World Environment Day to inspire positive change. It’s an opportunity for us to think about how we consume resources and interact with the world around us. 

Ways you could get involved: 

  • Test your knowledge on Biodiversity via the World Environment Day Quiz 
  • Involve your family in a nature walk, spotting local wildlife and noticing the value of your local environment 
  • Become a staff sustainability advocate and help to deliver sustainability initiatives at the University 

Together, we can act #ForNature. 

A look back at sustainability in 2019/20 

World Environment day presents an opportunity to look back on the progress the University has made over the last academic year, to protect and enhance the environment. 

Sustainability-related successes made since that last World Environment Day:

  • The University achieved EcoCampus Platinum status and ISO14001 certification for environmental management 
  • The Staff Sustainability Advocates scheme was launched in Summer 2019, with local environmental initiatives being delivered across the University 
  • We continued to work with the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust to propagate rare wildflower species at Riseholme, dispersing vital plant supplies to regenerate national parks and sites of special scientific interest (SSSI) 
  • The Environment Team worked with over 50 Business School Students to conduct environmental audits of the University Campus, identifying opportunities for improvement 
  • The E.C.O. Society delivered a fantastic series of Environmental talks 
  • Achieved Hedgehog Friendly Campus Bronze Award 
  • Sustainability living lab research briefs were set to students in Product Design, Business Operations and as part of the Industry 4.0 challenge 
  • The University has been a key contributing partner to the Lincoln Climate Commission, a collaborative group to deliver place-based climate action in the City of Lincoln 
  • Delivered lectures on sustainability to multiple courses 

Against a backdrop of Covid-19 recovery, sustainability priorities for the coming year will be to deliver energy savings, find opportunities for resource efficiency and to focus on the development of a programme of Education for Sustainable Development. Alignment with the United Nations Development Goals (UN SDGs) provides a framework for embedding sustainability across the organisation and ensuring the environment, social and economic facets of sustainability are all considered. 

We’re looking forward to working with new and returning students in October 2021, to take climate action and embed environmental sustainability within our operations, teaching and research. Together, we can make a positive contribution to the climate and ecological crisis. 

Written by Rebecca Forster, Sustainability Manager at the University of Lincoln.