As one of the Regional Centres of Expertise co-ordinated by the United Nations University, we are not just focused on building capacity in our staff and students.

As RCE Severn we aim to co-operate and co-learn with our partners outside the university, to develop sustainability skills together and help us all to deliver on shared sustainability aims.

This section shares some of our favourite collaboration stories from 2021-2022 that have reached across different professions, community groups and sectors.

Photo caption: University lecturer teaching school students

Empowering future changemakers

Our Sustainability Team and School of Education collaborated with Cheltenham Education Partnership, and specialists from 6 university courses, to deliver the Changemakers Summit in June 2022.

The Summit turned issues students care about into an immersive speed training to help them understand real change in the workplace and the skills and thinking needed to deliver solutions through their careers. This project was part of our UN Regional Centre of Excellence for sustainability learning partnerships. Key impacts included:

Over 120 young people from 10 secondary schools trained on sustainability solutions and change skills to apply in any job role

Celebration of change projects
in local secondary schools with an ideas zone for their next steps

95% of students now confident
as sustainability change agents and 100% of teachers now confident to teach on sustainability

Faith and climate change – university cathedral lecture

Photo caption: guest speaker on faith and climate change Hannah Malcolm

Our annual Michael Perham lecture featured Hannah Malcolm, winner of the 2019 Church Times ‘Theology Slam’, to bring a youth perspective on climate grief and climate action.

Hannah’s positive but provocative talk – ‘Faith in a Time of Climate Change’ – opened up issues around climate justice and environmental theology. She encouraged people to think through climate change in relation to ethics and values, human nature and communities, and how faith can help us respond to this threat to our daily lives and global survival with renewed commitment.

Watch the lecture on Youtube

Local carbon net zero planning

Dr Jon Furley, Sustainability Operations Manager, joined Gloucestershire events to share policy, targets and delivery plans for ‘net zero’ carbon emissions across the University’s campuses, including its refurbishment of the former Debenhams into its new City Campus in Gloucester:


    • ‘COP26 Gloucestershire’ – with prominent local organisations discussing the road to net zero carbon emissions, hosted at the Active Building Centre in October 2021.
    • At the Honourable Company of Gloucestershire event to support small or medium sized businesses to understand how they can support net zero carbon in December 2021.
    • ‘How to be a Sustainable Business Leader’ – workshop hosted by the Growth Hub at Oxstalls campus on the business issues for organisations on net zero in March 2022.

Sharing best practice for universities

The University was invited to present at two national higher education events on its sustainability programme innovations to support change in our sector:  
    • Students Nikki Rimell and Will Weaving joined the Sustainability Team for the Quality Assurance Agency’s ‘Quality Matters’ annual conference in November 2021. They shared their roles in grassroots student engagement in sustainability, to close the gaps where student perspectives can often be invisible or disconnected from influencing change.
    • Dr Alex Ryan, Director of Sustainability presented ‘Beyond the Campus’ at the Association of Heads of University Administration conference in January 2022. She shared our joined-up approach to sustainability, focused on mainstreaming into courses and the ambitions of our new City Campus project as part of the regeneration of Gloucester city centre.

    Reporting on the UN Global Goals

    This report meets our annual reporting commitments on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as an institutional signatory to the tertiary sector SDG Accord.

    Throughout this annual report, we record how the actions and results shown in this report contribute to the delivery of the UN SDGs. The actions on this page contribute to the specific goals marked below. For more information click here.

    The Global Goals - No Poverty
    The Global Goals - Zero Hunger
    The Global Goals - Good health and well-being
    The Global Goals - Quality Education
    The Global Goals - Gender equality
    The Global Goals - Clean water and sanitation
    The Global Goals - Affordable and clean energy
    The Global Goals - Decent work and economic growth
    The Global Goals - Industry, innovation and infrastructure
    The Global Goals - Reduced Inequalities
    The Global Goals - Sustainable cities and communities
    The Global Goals - Responsible consumption and production
    The Global Goals - Climate action
    The Global Goals - Life below water
    The Global Goals - Life on land
    The Global Goals - Peace and justice, strong institutions
    The Global Goals - Partnerships for the goals
    The Global Goals: For Sustainable Development