A statement by the main research-intensive European universities highlights the importance of sustainable investment and procurement in the fight against climate change and provides with recommendations.
Achieving clean greenhouse effect gas emissions is essential to reach the global challenges in the fight against climate change. The universities play an important role when reaching this objective, through education, research and public commitment, as well as through their own investment and procurement operations.
In this sense, the League of European Research Universities ( LERU ), built up by the main research-intensive universities in Europe, has published a statement which analyses how its members can contribute to a sustainable development, now and in the future, through investment and procurement under a university context. The document makes recommendations that can be applied to higher education institutions and other organizations.
In the current context, "the universities must play a relevant role when promoting the investment and procurement public system toward a path that considers the climate crisis’ challenges and that proves more respectful to nature", notes Gustavo A. Llorente, rector’s delegate for sustainability and representative of the UB in the LERU Sustainability Group. Together with the lecturer M. Teresa Sauras, head of studies of the bachelor’s degree in Environmental Sciences, he has taken part in the writing of the statement.
Good sustainable practices at the UB
The statement includes another document with examples of good practices in the LERU universities. Some of these are the initiatives to reduce CO2 emissions in the institutional travel policy, or increasing vegetarian meal options, as well as building carbon-neutral buildings, and actions for re-using and sharing equipment.
Among the examples is one of the UB, which was added to the Program of volunteer agreements for the reduction of greenhouse effect gas emissions in 201 8. This program, supervised by the Catalan Office of Climate Change of the Government of Catalonia, includes the collaboration of the annual inventory of emissions of the University and the commitment to apply measures to reduce the greenhouse effect gases. The UB inventory of emissions includes the indirect emissions associated to procurement, and a cycle analysis is being applied to assess the incorporation of new products into it.
In this podcast, lecturers Gustavo A. Llorente and M. Teresa Sauras talk about the universities’ challenges, and particularly those of the UB, in this journey towards the sustainable university.