The University of St Andrews has recently announced plans to organise an Environmental Sustainability Board. In line with both the Scottish and UK Governments’ declaration of a climate emergency last year, this is a significant move on the University’s part to promote greater sustainability in the town.
Continuing the work launched by the Sustainability Development Working Group, the Board will be headed by Professor Sir Ian Boyd. The Environmental Sustainability Board will discuss and compile essential environmental targets and develop an Environmental Sustainability Strategy designed to achieve these objectives. This strategy will also include a Carbon Management Plan and Climate Adaptation Plan. In addition to this, the Board will also monitor the implementation of these goals and explore future plans to continuously improve sustainability.
The Environmental Sustainability Board will lead sustainable endeavours, producing accounts and reports on the status in St Andrews. According to Principal and vice -chancellor Sally Mapstone, the Environmental Sustainability Board is an attempt for the University to act as a “beacon for change, creativity and evidence” necessary in order to tackle climate change and its global effects. Becoming carbon neutral is therefore naturally an integral part of their mission towards environmental sustainability and a “key area of social responsibility.”
The University of St Andrews also aims to spark wider transformations in discourse about and attitudes towards our changing environment, encouraging the structural adjustments necessary. One method they have employed in order to do so is the introduction of academic programmes and modules on sustainable development for students.
They have also conducted and implemented various research projects on climate change. At the beginning of this academic year, students, staff and locals joined to march through the town and beaches in support of taking action against global climate change. This demonstrated St Andrews’ commitment and pro-activity in addressing global issues.
The Environmental Sustainability Board will complement these current initiatives to coordinate the town and offer a centralised and organised approach to climate protection measures.
Sir Ian served as the chief scientific adviser for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs for the British Government. He is also recognisable across in St Andrews as a Professor of Marine Biology at the Scottish Oceans Institute. His appointment brings considerable hope for debate and discussion of sustainability, ushering the University towards an era of greater awareness.
Over the next couple of weeks Sir Ian will be recruiting members for the Environmental Sustainability Board. With the intention of involving the University cohort in sustainability efforts, Sir Ian will be drawing on both staff and students to get involved. The future Environmental Sustainability Board, comprised of individuals from a diversity of backgrounds and interests, will meet monthly as a group to tackle the challenge of carbon reduction.
Applications are open to sit on the Environmental Sustainability Board with eight positions to be filled. Individuals with an interest in environmental sustainability as well as an “interest, energy and commitment” to the cause are encouraged to get involved.
Find out more at the Board’s wesbite: https://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/environment/importantinfo/governance