The Chief Executive and Vice-Chancellor of Cranfield University, Professor Karen Holford CBE FREng, has signed the Sustainable Development Goals Accord, signalling the University’s ongoing commitment to sustainability and environmental responsibility.

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a framework for action by all countries in a global partnership to achieve social, environmental and economic sustainability by 2030. The SDGs aim to tackle climate change, poverty and inequality, and to develop health, education and economic growth.

The Accord is the Further and Higher Education sector’s collective response to the SDGs and aims to inspire, celebrate and advance the critical role that education has in delivering these goals. The Accord commits the University to embedding the SDGs into all aspects of education, research, leadership, operations and activities. In addition, Cranfield will continue to collaborate with other institutions at a regional, national and international level to collectively respond to the goals and will report annually on its contributions.

Finding solutions to global issues

“Universities have a crucial role in helping to address some of the most pressing issues facing our world today,” said Professor Holford.

“Signing the SDG Accord makes clear Cranfield’s ongoing focus on bringing academic expertise, industry insight and new technological developments to government, business and wider society. And our teaching also has a huge impact – we're creating the leaders of the future, who will have a real influence in helping to find solutions to global challenges.”

Sustainability embedded across Cranfield

Cranfield University has a deep commitment to sustainability and social development and aims to be net zero carbon by 2030.

The University uses its own campus as a ‘living laboratory’ for technologies and new approaches that deliver social, economic and environmental outcomes. As part of this, a campus-wide sensor network harvests data which facilitates research projects and is used in teaching.

At COP26 the University showcased its ‘Exploring Sustainable Futures’ game; a role-playing learning experience to help inspire change-makers and deepen understanding of sustainability. The University also recently launched a Sustainability MSc Apprenticeship to help professionals develop technical and management skills in this area.

The Cranfield sustainability network is an active pan-University group bringing together practitioners, staff and students to examine and explore sustainability initiatives.