Officer Report

open portfolio officer

I have researched and contacted several United Nations agencies to determine whether there were examples of specific initiatives targeted at Student Union bodies or actions that could be undertaken by the Student Unions. I am currently awaiting for further information which needs to be presented to Executive Committee.

I have contacted the National Union of Students to investigate whether there might be a national strategy/policy regarding how Student Unions have responded to the SDGs. The NUS has an offshoot team, Sustainability, who has carried out initiatives in support of the SDGs, though no national programme or policy is yet in place. I will continue investigate possible opportunities for cooperation.

I have contacted the Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges to gain information about an initiative that they have developed – the SDG Accord, which offers a framework and kite mark to organisations seeking to support the delivery of the SDGs. As a result I have received information about how to sign up to the Accord and what subscription entails. I will present the information to the Executive Committee and we will decide whether this is an initiative we should support.

I have reviewed the Universities Sustainability strategy to gain an understanding of what initiatives are already in place that support the SDGs and identify possible areas for cooperation.

Planned actions
  • Present the United Nation 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs aka Global Goals or Global Agenda for Sustainable Development) to SU Executive Committee to seek endorsement/adoption.
  • Demonstrate our support for the SDGs and provide us with a framework against which we can assess our performance in contributing to the goals recommend signing up to a national or internationally recognised kite mark e.g. SDG Accord administered by EAUC.
  • Agree a budget to undertake promotional activity and, if appropriate, training etc.
  • Recruit students to form a working group with representatives from each campus. Agree remit and role.
  • Agree a draft programme and timetable for future action.
  • Develop a SU strategy and implementation plan using some examples of best practice from the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Knowledge Platform, SDG Accord and work already ongoing. https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/?menu=1300.
  • Develop an engagement strategy to work with the University (and other stakeholders). This action is particularly apposite given that SDG 17 promotes partnership working and the University is in the process of reviewing its social impact and sustainability strategies.

ERIC MCKENZIE

If you have got any questions or comments about my report please post them below.

Eric


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