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News Staffordshire University joins climate change network

Staffordshire University has joined forces with more than 55 UK universities and research centres to help tackle climate change

Staffordshire University has joined the COP26 Universities Network
Image: Staffordshire University has joined the COP26 Universities Network

It is only by working together that we can begin to address the threat to our planet and COP26 is a landmark moment in the global fight against climate change.

Sally McGill, Chief Financial Officer and Deputy Chief Executive

The COP26 Universities Network aims to improve access to research and academic expertise for world leaders and policy makers ahead of the UN COP26 Climate Summit which is being held in Glasgow this November. The network’s mission is to raise ambitions for tangible outcomes from the conference and to establish lasting partnerships and legacies that reach beyond the event.

Sally McGill, Staffordshire University’s Chief Financial Officer and Deputy Chief Executive who is also the Executive lead for sustainability, said: “Environmental sustainability is a priority at Staffordshire University. We recognise how much it matters – to our students, our staff, our communities and our future.

“We’re proud to be joining forces with the COP26 Universities Network which is a fantastic opportunity for our academics to help accelerate action. It is only by working together that we can begin to address the threat to our planet and COP26 is a landmark moment in the global fight against climate change.”

The move is linked to Staffordshire University’s ongoing efforts to improve sustainability which includes a commitment to reducing its carbon emissions to net zero by 2030. Construction recently began on a new woodland nursery and forest school which will be the first net-zero carbon facility on campus having been designed using passive and highly efficient technologies for heating, cooling, and ventilation.

The University also recently launched its Sustain Staffs campaign and has made £50,000 available for staff and students to help make campuses more environmentally friendly.

So far, three projects have been awarded funding to make their ideas a reality including the Great Green Gathering event designed to inspire the public about nature and the 15 Minute City Campus project which aims to encourage more cycling and walking while increasing engagement with local services and facilities.

The Wild Staffs project will also increase biodiversity across campus by replacing flat turf with wildflowers and more varied planting to support wildlife from bugs through to small mammals and birds. Existing green walls on campus will also be revived, and ‘online live footage’ of bird boxes will be introduced.

Sally added: “With overwhelming scientific consensus that climate change is caused by human behaviour, we must all take steps to protect our environment. We were delighted with the high standard of entries to our sustainability challenge and the enthusiasm of those involved.

“It is clear that our University community is passionate about achieving major change in the region and we are excited to see how these projects progress.”

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