North Highland College UHI looks to a sustainable future

COP 26 has been regarded as ‘a pivotal moment in the fight against climate change’ and as the global conference hosted in Glasgow has ended, North Highland College UHI has renewed its strategy to address the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for students and communities in the region.

For nearly three decades the United Nations has brought together almost every country for global climate summits called ‘Conference of the Parties’ or COPs. This year the 26th annual summit, COP26, took place in Glasgow with many experts believing the event had a unique urgency. The event saw a global focus on Scotland as world leaders arrived alongside tens of thousands of negotiators, government representatives, businesses and citizens for twelve days of talks.

Climate change has gone from being a fringe issue to a global priority in which all organisations can play a role and North Highland College UHI has been seeking to be an active ‘part of the solution’. The College has refreshed its strategy to ensure that all staff and students are engaged in creating sustainable campuses, study, work and life practices within the University of the Highlands and Islands partnership.

Principal Debbie Murray said ‘In today’s unprecedented times at North Highland College UHI, we are committed to working with all our partners, stakeholders and communities to ensure we can respond rapidly and effectively to changes precipitated by COVID-19, Brexit, and of course climate change. Our new strategy seeks to embed sustainable practices across all our activity, and we aim to become ‘net-zero’ by 2035’.

Prof Stuart Gibb, Director of Research and Innovation at North Highland College UHI added, ‘Sustainability will be central or to curriculum delivery, teaching practices, and to our research and innovation. Our agenda of ‘adaptation’ will support our students, promote responsible citizenship and ensure we work in partnership to have a positive impact on the sustainability of our communities and regional economies.

The next United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP27, will take place in Egypt in the Red Sea resort of Sharm El-Sheikh.