Issuu on Google+

o s

? t a h w ue s Is

5,

er m m su

14 0 2

1


So what?/introduction Welcome from The Global Sustainability Institute This issue of So What? is all about students. University graduates are the decision makers, academics and practitioners of the future. Your voices about the future of the world are some of the most important. Most articles in this issue have been produced by our students. We hope that Anglia Ruskin students will use the knowledge and experiences they gain with us to make a positive difference in the world.

Global Sustain ability Institute So what? SO WHAT? MAGAZINE is published twice a year by the Global Sustainability Institute at Anglia Ruskin University. It aims to highlight the University’s activities related to sustainability in research, education and estates. Your contributions welcomed If you have an article, feature or news item that you would like to contribute to a future edition of So What? please contact gsi-info@anglia.ac.uk. People involved Editor: Julie-Anne Hogbin Sub-editing and design: Charlotte Sankey, Creative Warehouse, Cambridge. Printed on 100% recycled paper

2

about the GSI The Global Sustainability Institute (GSI) was established by Anglia Ruskin University in 2011 as part of our commitment to sustainability. It is a University-wide body which spans a broad portfolio of areas and interests related to sustainability. We recognise that delivering sustainability requires an integrated view of the world and, above all, see our main role as helping develop practical solutions. We work to collate information needed to make decisions and present it to the people capable of implementing action. This involves developing partnerships across academic disciplines within our University and beyond, and with leaders in business and government. WHO DO WE WORK WITH? To help deliver our research themes the GSI works in partnership with a number of organisations from the public and private sector – such as the UK Cabinet Office, the EU commission and the Sunday Times’ best green company of 2011, Skanska. The GSI is also a partner in a number of international networks including: • Green Economy Coalition • Renewable Energy and International Law (REIL) • Capital Markets Climate Initiative (CMCI) • Cambridge Cleantech Consortium

HOW DO WE DEFINE SUSTAINABILITY? We use the following definition of sustainability at the GSI: “Sustainability envisages a just society of innovation, opportunity and wellbeing which manages the full diversity of environmental risks.” WHAT AREAS OF RESEARCH DO WE SPECIALISE IN? Our research is focused around personal motivations and systems change set against the challenges of sustainability. Our core research questions are how does the system influence the individual, and how does the individual influence the system? By ‘system’ we mean the political, financial, industrial and social frameworks that lock us into unsustainable futures – futures characterised by environmental challenges such as climate change, growing scarcity of natural resources and social challenges such as global inequality and social unrest. We have four key areas of research: • Climate action and cultural systems • Consumption and change • Global resources and risk • Education for sustainability


So what?/opinion making it happen enmeshing sustainability at our core By Dr Aled Jones and Dr Alison Grieg

Are you one of the eight in ten students who believe that sustainability should be actively incorporated and promoted by universities? If so, the message is certainly getting through to the main funding body of Universities in England, the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA): HEFCE plans to make adressing sustainability a condition of funding; the QAA is about to publish guidance on how sustainability should be covered in the curriculum.

One of our key challenges is to raise awareness that sustainability is about more than just the environment

At Anglia Ruskin we have had a head start, as sustainability is already part of our corporate vision: “our key contribution is to the enhancement of social, cultural and economic well-being”. As a result, last year we won the International Sustainable Campus Network award for Integration – for our plans to embed sustainability in our research, teaching and estates. We want sustainability to be a part of our University across the board: part of the courses students study on, the activities they engage in, the buildings they occupy and the research they read about and participate in. One of our key challenges is to raise awareness that sustainability is about more than just the environment, energy and being ‘green’. UNESCO summarises the breadth of sustainability as being about: • The dignity and human rights of all people throughout the world and a commitment to social and economic justice for all; • The human rights of future generations and a commitment to intergenerational responsibility; • Care for the greater community of life in all its diversity which involves the protection and restoration of the Earth’s ecosystems; • Cultural diversity and a commitment to build locally and globally a culture of tolerance, non-violence and peace.

By thinking about sustainability in this broad way it becomes as relevant for a technology student learning to design out conflict minerals in the latest electronic gadget as for the psychology student’s investigation into what drives people’s consumption; or for a business student looking at the impact of climate change on companies’ financial returns; or for an arts student using their creativity to arrive at the innovative ideas that will be needed to meet the sustainability challenge. These challenges are not new. Social injustice has been around for as long as there has been society. Environmental pollution has been an issue ever since humans started to farm. And climate change has been a scientific area of research for a century. Universities have not so far proved themselves to be a place where the minds of our future leaders are challenged and empowered to act on these big social challenges, preferring instead to focus in on the detail. Gaining a degree is still often largely about ‘knowing a lot’ about a certain subject. Our challenge is to add to our creation of world-class scholars the creation of ‘worldaware’ leaders. More and more universities around the world are waking up to the calls for change. However, it is not a transformation that can be completed over night. We at Anglia Ruskin are up to the challenge and we have support from our university’s senior team to do this. Our students need to be partners in the team designing their education and their experience of sustainability. This edition of So What? includes great examples of students making sustainability relevant inside and outside the classroom. And we want to hear more stories like this!

3


So what?/news Inaugural Mission Botswana is a success ARu Team builds garden for botswanan children education does not just take place in the classroom

What is ICE? Mission Botswana is part of ARU’s International Community Experience (ICE) programme. It comes out of the belief that education does not just take place in the classroom. We want to give students, staff and alumni the chance to volunteer in home-grown projects overseas. ICE finds ways for you to travel, volunteer, gain valuable experience and grow as a person. See www.anglia. ac.uk/ice

The ARU team at the Resource Centre for the Blind in Botswana Tony Cant, University Chaplain, writes: The Resource Centre for the Blind, in Mochudi, Botswana, is home to 70 visually impaired and disabled children who need rehabilitation, resourcing and education. The building they live in is old and over-populated, but they have been given a flat site on which they plan to build a brand new centre for the children. ARU have a unique opportunity to be involved with the early development of the new centre. In particular, we can help the builders incorporate sustainable technologies into its design. The new centre will be the only one of its kind in Botswana,

but even more so with the ideas, encouragement and suggestions we shared. We now hope to use this as a foundation for future trips in 2015 and beyond.

and will be a model to follow. In January 2014, the Mission Botswana team visited the Centre for the first time. We travelled to the small town of Mochudi, about 40 minutes drive from the capital. We hoped to do two things during our two-week visit: 1. Construct a covered vegetable garden on the new site to allow the community to learn new skills, grow their own food and sell surplus food. 2. Work with the children in the current Centre developing sensory education aids and teaching programmes. The enthusiastic staff and children were overjoyed with the small gifts we gave them,

What can I do? >> Sign up to join a team Upcoming projects are currently full, but we will be recruiting next in autumn 2014. >> Make a donation to one of the projects online at http:// store.anglia.ac.uk/browse/module. asp?compid=1&modid=1 >> Find out more Contact the Chaplain, Rev Tony Cant, ext 7722; email tony.cant@anglia.ac.uk

book REVIEW: Book’s reissue is depressing news Alternative Economic Indicators By Victor Anderson Published by Routledge Victor Anderson, Visiting Professor at the Global Sustainability Institute, first published this book which took a radical look at economic policy, over 20 years ago in 1991. It was the first book to lay out practical ways of measuring economic success 4

the first book to lay out alternative ways of measuring economic success

that go beyond the limitations of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by being environment and human centred. The decision to reissue the series with no changes as part of ‘Routledge Revivals’ shows how far ahead of its time it was. But it is also depressing. The book’s continued relevance shows what a short distance the world has come in measuring the success or failure of economies in a more rounded way.


So what?/news Hedgehogs are winners ARU chosen for project in Green Pitch competition to deepen sustainability A group of hedgehogs is one of the beneficiaries of the Anglia Ruskin Green Pitch competition 2013. This Universitywide competition invites students to pitch ideas that will make our campuses more sustainable. 2013 saw a huge increase in number of entries. Joint first winner, Nadia Miecznikowski, won £1,000 to hand-build pens for hedgehogs rehomed from the Shepreth Wildlife Park which is running out of room. The pens are situated behind the Peter Taylor Building, Cambridge Campus. “It was wonderful how engaged the public were,” said Nadia. “From the woman in Homebase where we bought the wood for the hedgehog houses, to the local schoolchildren who painted them,” she explained. “I wanted to make a difference and to make people happy! I hope our hedgehogs are adding to the declining hedgehog population.” Joint first with Nadia was Douglas Acheampong with the idea to capture heat from electrical appliances. “Appliances waste energy in the form of heat as a by-product,” he explained. “Old style light bulbs, for example, waste more than 60% of the input energy into heat energy.” “I am a biomedical science student with a passion for all types of science. I wondered if heat from these appliances could be harnessed. I came up with the ‘Go Eco Green: Light Saving System’, an idea which is still in development.” Douglas is passionate about

ANGLIA RUSKIN has been selected to take part in a new intiative that tackles the problem of losing the benefits of sustainability projects – and how to capture the benefits of university initiatives when staff and students move on.

Employers are looking for more than grades. Green Pitch looks good on any CV sustainability and believes we are all responsible for making the planet sustainable: “We are living in the beginning of a truly sustainable world. The future for influencing sustainable tech is in all of our hands.” If you are hesitating before putting in an entry for next year’s Green Pitch, Nadia has another motivator: “Green Pitch looks very good on any CV. Finding employability straight out of university is far from easy. Employers, as well as postgraduate schools, are looking for more than grades, and at what students have done outside of university.” YOU CAN ENTER <<<<< See: https://www. angliastudent.com/plan_g/ greenpitch/ for more on the 2013 and newly announced 2014 winners. To enter the next Green Pitch, students may utilise the Startup Lab

comprises Professor Eamon Strain (Dean and PVC Faculty of Science and Technology), Dr Aled Jones (Director of Global Sustainability Institute), Dr Alison Greig (Director of Education for Sustainability), Francesca Rust (President of Anglia Ruskin Students’ Union) and Simon Chubb (Environment Manager, Estates and Facilities).

Bedding it in At Anglia Ruskin we have Whilst sustainable already made a number of important strategic projects often commitments to sustainability: bring significant • a new academic regulation tangible benefits to which means all new courses the often passionate staff must consider sustainability and students involved, few as part of their curriculum projects involve large numbers • a new interdisciplinary and of staff or students. There is cross faculty MSc (MSc therefore a danger that, as Sustainability) which focuses individuals move away or their on creating graduates who enthusiasm wanes, projects will become catalysts of disappear and their benefits change for sustainability dissipate. • a new environmental policy which describes our public The Higher Education environmental commitments, Academy (HEA) has identified and a new environmental a need for a more strategic strategy that details how we and holistic approach, will deliver this that ensures sustainability becomes embedded in We are also working on the core activities of an identifying other opportunities. institution. The HEA’s Green For example, this year groups Change Academy aims to of marketing students worked help HEIs do just this – and with the environment team Anglia Ruskin has been in estates to conduct market chosen to participate in the second programme. This has research on the Green Love campaign. Here in the GSI we meant working closely for have hosted several student the last year with the HEA, interns who have worked on nine other selected Higher research projects including: Education Institutions (HEIs) • email stress at work and a team of ‘mentors’ to understand and implement a • sustainability in the computing and technology new approach that is relevant curriculum to Anglia Ruskin. • which was/is the best year to be born? The aim is for sustainability to inform everything our We welcome further ideas from University does. The Anglia you, so please get in touch! Ruskin Green Academy team 5


So what?/views from msc students

mastering it the new MSC Sustainability is in its first year and proving a great success. current Students contributed the following pieces about their work showing their range of backgrounds Sustainability is a deliberated and debated term. No one person has managed to tie down exactly what it means. So you can be forgiven for wondering what exactly is involved in the GSI’s new MSc Sustainability. The short answer is that just like the term sustainability, the MSc Sustainability means something different to everyone. Each of the students will get something different from the course. Run in collaboration with Cornwall’s Eden Project and

Does money grows on trees? Threats to the natural environment from human activity are at an all-time high. This has led some environmental economists to conclude that if we could develop a consistent economic valuation of nature we would be more likely to protect it, as at present we do not pay for environmental goods. Did you pay for the breath you just took? Despite great efforts by green economists to capture our varying valuations of the environment (using opinion polls and questionnaires) there remains no market price for environmental goods. The value we gain from the environment comes in different forms: money, resources, beauty, creativity, existence and knowledge. The value of natural landscapes is as much cultural and historical as it is related to the provision of ecosystem services (eg. maintaining the water table, a habitat for pollinators, purification of water etc.). Furthermore, each culture and individual will have a relative value for the environment; you might value a tree in a park because behind it was where you had your first kiss, or not value it at all for the same reason!

the recruitment and training provider Change Agents, the MSc Sustainability has an innovative course design which gives our students the freedom to explore their interests, from English literature to the travel industry. The course has something for anyone interested in learning about sustainability in practice. The students recently spent a second week at the spectacular Eden Project in Cornwall doing just this.

rethinking our holidays it seems that the The need for sustainable solutions for tourism is urgent: it is the world’s fastest growing industry, only way of and, according to the World Trade Organisation, protecting global ‘arrives’ last year amounted to 1.087 billion the people. The industry currently accounts for almost environment 5% of the world’s carbon emissions. is by placing Traditionally the industry has sought to ‘green’ a £ in front conventional travel, with efforts such as reducing of it

Students learning about the socio economic challenges of the Cornish Clay Country

Meanwhile some argue that valuing nature is simply not possible, that it is simply not valuable. Studying the MSc has allowed me to delve deeper into the many complexities and differing opinions on the subject. I feel the sheer beauty and wilderness of some environments should be protected, but perhaps the only way of protecting the environment is by placing a £ in front of it.

Harriet Walsh 6

Envisioning sustainable development through play


So what?/Debate

What, you may ask, is sustainability? Sustainability Is, or at least, it may be, A way of living that allows the world to carry

On top of the world: MSc students out exploring the Cornish Clay Country

the emissions of air travel and reducing water use in hotels. What if the industry did not just adapt the status quo, but actually tried to inspire us to think differently about how we use our free time? In 2012 Bradley Wiggins became an unlikely sustainable tourism champion. His inspirational performance in the Tour de France led to an unprecedented surge in people dusting off their bikes and heading for the hills. What is interesting about this cycling trend is that it results not directly from the popularity of ecotourism, but from a more fundamental human need for adventure, challenge and escape. I have worked in the travel industry for ten years, and during this time the flight plus hotel booking model has basically not changed. Utilising the knowledge I am gaining from the MSc Sustainability has now allowed me to explore new directions. The use of ecosystem services is one approach that could facilitate a radical remodelling: if we were to value and sell the benefits of nature and location to tourism, rather than focusing value on services sold through hotels and resorts, we could in turn preserve the ecosystem.

On living and in a way that is fairer than currently,

... a future where we filter our search by mountains, rivers, escape and culture rather than star ratings, swimming pools and room décor

Because continued unfairness will create more destruction and conflict inevitably. It is related to climate change but not defined by it exclusively; I believe the climate is changing and that it is caused by human activity, Partly, And even if it were not, the changes I think we Need to make would make the world a better place and us more happy. So it’s a lot about transforming values, less on consumption and more on well-being – not what we buy, but how we feel internally. It’s about getting into something good, not giving up things, the policy. I used to give up smoking, incidentally. And it’s about transforming the whole of business’ ideology Into something that’s about more than just shortterm gains financially. And for goodness sake, it’s about a leader who will stand up and say: “Enough already! We need to start doing something yesterd’y!” And for people to listen attentively. And what do I do to promote sustainability?

The task for the industry is how to package these benefits into meaningful and sellable experiences and remodel what we see as the traditional holiday. I would love to see a future where we filter our search results by mountains, rivers, escape and culture rather than star ratings, swimming pools and room décor.

I gave up smoking. I pick up litter. I turn off lights that are on unnecessarily.

Kimberley Wyatt

Peter STOCKTON

I’m trying to establish a wormery. I’m doing an MSc in Sustainability. And sometimes I write poetry Albeit somewhat clumsily

7


So what?/Debate

“ARU should decarbonise its investments” proposer

opposer

Atus Mariqueo-Russell

Robert James Daniels

As students at Anglia Ruskin we are in the unique position of being able to pressure our university into shaping its investment policy around our ideals. Fossil fuel investments directly contribute to an industry that is exacerbating climate change. If we are to take climate change seriously then we cannot continue to profit from its causes. While large oil and coal companies often make token gestures towards promoting renewable alternatives, these are sadly often outweighed by the pressure they apply on governments to avoid strong policy decisions.

On a moral level, I agree that businesses should be looking for alternatives to investment in fossil fuel companies. However, I am not naïve enough to believe that an immediate removal of investment in fossil fuel companies would benefit the university. Any business has a budget that aims to ensure that it does not lose money. To do this it relies on consistent income. For an educational institution like Anglia Ruskin University, this might be the consistent amount of money provided by tuition fees or, in this instance, the profit acquired by investments that the university may or may not have in fossil fuel companies.

Vice president Anglia RUskin university Greenpeace

PGCE Computer Science with ICT Anglia Ruskin University

The fossil fuel industry will not change until the profit incentive is removed from production; the worldwide divestment movement is a powerful tool in this removal. Although the direct financial impact upon the industry is comparatively small, the media fall out from mass divestment campaigns often leads to a complete overhaul of industry practices. Divestment empowers us to challenge the continued prevalence of environmentally damaging sources of energy. Divestment does not mean losing money; instead we become active investors in the sector with the highest growth over the past few years – green technology.

Over a staged period of time it may be possible to seek alternative sources of investment that would provide this consistent financial support. However, immediate removal, as suggested by some ideological students, may cause the university and its students to suffer serious side effects. As a student who pays nearly £10,000 a year for my education, the last thing I want is a university that cannot afford to sustain the services that they provide.

seconder

seconder

louise hazan

David Hone

fossil free uk campaign manager people & planet

Chief Climate Change Adviser, Shell (Views expressed are his own)

Our survival depends on our ability to stop pumping fossil fuel emissions into our atmosphere. The science is unequivocal: we will not keep the dangerous floods, wildfires, droughts and polar vortex extremes at bay without leaving 80% of known fossil fuels reserves underground. Governments, universities and the executives of companies like Shell and BP all admit this publicly, yet the fossil fuel industry continues to spend over $600bn annually searching for new sources of oil, coal and gas and extracting it from more extreme locations like the Arctic and tar sands. Why? It remains profitable.

As CO2 stays in the atmosphere for a long time, what matters for global temperature change is the cumulative amount released from fossil sources and land use change. Emissions must trend to net zero if we are to limit accumulation in the atmosphere and subsequent temperature rise. The Shell ‘New Lens Scenarios’ explore the range of plausible CO2 reduction scenarios. They show that a net zero pathway is achievable within this century, but neither will limit cumulative emissions enough for there to be a 50% chance of staying below 2°C of warming globally. The scenario ‘Mountains’ is the lower emissions future due largely to early and rapid deployment of carbon capture and storage (CCS).

There is a rapidly growing global campaign to stop the industry and its investors’ suicidal drive for high-carbon profits. Fossil fuel divestment has grown from an idea into a mass movement supported by the Head of the World Bank, Al Gore, Desmond Tutu and a resurgent student movement. Here in the UK, 45 campus divestment campaigns are underway, calling for our institutions to withdraw the financial and moral capital they currently invest in these companies. If it is wrong to wreck our climate, isn’t it wrong for ARU to profit from that wreckage?

The current energy system is under stress as development and population increases continue to require fossil fuel-derived energy. Even a push to deploy solar PV on an unprecedented scale, as illustrated in our ‘Oceans’ scenario, does not deliver on the twin challenges of meeting energy needs and low cumulative emissions – extensive use of CCS is still required. Meeting energy needs and deploying CCS will require continued investment, such as from Anglia Ruskin University.

What do you think? cast your vote online at www.anglia.ac.uk/gsisurvey 8


So what?/FINANCE

Pension power Many pension holders are calling on their pension funds to divest from fossil fuel companies and switch to renewables. Could they succeed? asks MSc Sustainability student Caroline Allen the valuation of the company drops, and with it the value of its shares. Some of the world’s most powerful investors in such companies are pension, insurance and sovereign wealth funds, as well as private foundations. These investors are now being urged by their own investors (i.e. pension holders) to consider how risky it is to keep on owning oil company shares. Perhaps it would be safer to divest (sell the shares) and find better returns by investing in the development of alternative energy sources?

The biggest investment most people make in their lifetime is their house, but the next biggest is probably their pension. If you are working. you may be contributing a chunk of your income to a pension plan, which will be managed collectively by asset managers appointed by your fund trustees. But do you know exactly where your hard-earned money is invested? If you care about deforestation or renewable and clean energy, would you be unhappy to find your retirement fund was implicitly supporting activities you oppose? For those committed to sustainable living, it is an important question. Central to sustainability is the impact of climate change, and that is driven largely by carbon emissions which result from – amongst other things – the burning of fossil fuels. So governments may have to forbid big energy companies from extracting and using oil reserves still in the ground, even if they already own them, rendering them ‘stranded assets’. That would have major implications for people invested in those oil companies: if the oil cannot be sold

the case for divestment has recently been helped by the poor corporate results of fossil fuel firms

It is a major decision for many investors, so most calls for divestment have had little effect so far. Asset managers and pension fund trustees have a fiduciary duty to obtain the best possible return on their portfolios, so they cannot follow a fad, or an ideology. However, the case for divestment has recently been helped by the poor corporate results of fossil fuel firms. This is due partly to rising costs of extraction and distribution, as well as the prospect of a review of, and reduction in the enormous subsidies the energy industry worldwide has enjoyed over many decades. This all means the attitude of institutional investors may be changing. As a former investment editor now studying for an MSc in Sustainability through the Global Sustainability Institute at ARU, I am fascinated by the possibility that the influence of these powerful investors can be used to bring about a critical change in environmental policy, with farreaching benefits for our wider society. Even champions of renewable energy realise that immediate and total divestment is an impossible goal. Fossil fuels will continue to be an important part of the global energy mix. But with rapid technological advances, the interest in all kinds of renewables – from solar and wind to sea algae, wave and other formats that are mobile, relatively cheap and scaleable – is definitely on the rise. 9


So what?/technology

3D printing: both cool and sustainable Can you imagine ordering football boots online that fit you perfectly? GSI PhD Student Roberto Pasqualino says 3d printing is not only convenient but also a sustainable way to manufacture

Soon we will even be able to print artificial blood vessels

WHAT IF YOU COULD send someone a real life object through the web that could be materialised anywhere they wanted? This might sound like a scene from science fiction, but in fact advances in technology that make this possible already exists – and it is sustainable. It is called 3D Printing. How does it work? 3D printing is a form of manufacturing that is completely different to most conventional methods. In the past, most objects were made using one of two processes: • Subtractive processes involve removing material, as a sculptor does to carve a figure from a lump of rock.

 ormative techniques give shape to raw F materials, for instance melting down bronze and pouring it into a cast.

3D printing, or additive manufacturing, works on a completely different basis: it builds up products layer-by-layer. Computer software measures thousands of cross-sections for each product to determine how to construct each layer, and the printer adds material exactly where it is needed. So what can be made with a 3D printer? Medical implants, car parts, jewellery, furniture, lampshades, batteries, parts for aircraft, stainless steel gloves, dental crowns, customized mobile phones and bionic arms... Soon we will even be able to print artificial blood vessels. These objects can be printed using a wide array of materials: resin, ABS, nylon, carbon, titanium, steel and even food. In a world of finite

10


So what?/technology

resources, where global population is increasing as never before, 3D printing will surely have an important role in the future of manufacturing. How is it sustainable? 3D printing has a number of practical advantages over conventional methods. It is also considered to be a ‘cleaner’ manufacturing process that reduces industrial pollution. Currently, a third of our greenhouse gas emissions are contributed by industry. Predictions suggest that energy consumption in industry will grow faster than in any other sector between now and 2050. Within this context, 3D printing might provide a solution, as it: ✓ M  anufactures on-demand Highly customised products can be made in small quantities at a relatively low cost. ✓ Makes less waste 3D printing consumes the exact amount

of material required, unlike conventional machining that produces waste materials as well as wasting energy. ✓ Overcomes geometrical constraints We can now produce previously impossible shapes like seamless hollow spheres. ✓ Decentralises manufacturing Conventional manufacturing takes place in fixed centralised locations. With 3D printing products can be produced anywhere. It not only reduces the number of machines required but also reduces the need to transport products. ✓ Drives social innovation The widespread application of 3D printing would mean a drastic loss of jobs in the global manufacturing industry. People would be forced to find new ways of adding value in this new economy, which may well push human creativity to its limits.

Above: a creation printed using 3D technology, on show at the Science Museum’s exhibition ‘3D: printing the future’. The exhibition runs in London until February 2015 Left: the foot of an individual patient, created from a 3D printer by specialist company Stratasys

11


So what?/technology

don’t reinvent the wheel Sharing knowledge about cleantech science is critical for progress. global networks can play a huge role here, says PhD Student Zsuzsa Pogats of the GSI

GLOBAL ACTION to avoid the drastic consequences of climate change is a highly complex task. Networks can really help achieve collective efforts – networks that connect different actors such as policy makers, investors, universities and research centres, entrepreneurs, consumers and institutional stakeholders. One very important function of these networks is to enable innovation and technology transfer. Finding and developing the right clean technologies are crucial if we are to transform our carbon-based socio-technical systems such as energy generation and transportation. Then, we need to ensure that these technologies are spread and applied across the globe. In both steps networks play a pivotal role.

If we only concentrate our efforts on the developed world, we will not keep climate change under control

The benefits of cleantech networks are that they: ✓ help entrepreneurs find investors ✓ increase R&D knowledge transfer ✓ e  xpand the conversation between different actors and policy makers.

The three global cleantech networks. Each dot represents an organisation that is a network member

North Atlantic Ocean

Cleantech cluster networks

GCCA ICN WRI

12

South Atlantic Ocean

Indian Ocean

There are numerous regional cleantech clusters in Europe and North America and the first successes are also being seen in the developing countries. But scattered clusters alone are unlikely to produce technology innovations that can solve the global climate crisis. The solution needs to be global. Three important networks The first successful flagship project to develop connected hubs of environmental entrepreneurs was launched by the World Resources Institute (WRI) in 1999. Called the New Ventures Project it specifically focused on connecting developing countries such as China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Colombia and Brazil. In 2012 the WRI handed over the leadership of its hubs to local governments. No other successful project was started in the ten years following the New Ventures network. The first real cleantech-oriented global network project emerged only in 2009. The International Cleantech Network (ICN) was founded with the clear goal of connecting national clusters to create business opportunities, enhance competitive advantage and knowledge sharing. It currently includes 13 clusters in Europe, South America and Asia. Shortly after that, in 2010, the Global Cleantech Cluster Association (GCCA) was launched and quickly became the biggest global cleantech cluster network, and connects 47 clusters across Europe, North America, Asia and Australia. The map shows these three global networks and the participating clusters. It is clear that cleantech innovations emerge in developed countries, and one important piece is missing from the picture: emerging economies. Developing countries account for around 48% of cumulative greenhouse gas emissions from 1850 to 2010. If we only concentrate our efforts on the developed world, we will not keep climate change under control. We need truly global networks to connect cleantech innovations with those who most need them.


So what?/economics

feeling broke? Broke PhD student Davide Natalini looks at the knock-on effects of running out of ‘stuff’ as part of the global observatory project

Student life can be tough. The price of rent and utility bills are breaking the bank, and when you open the fridge it always seems to be empty. Well, you are not alone. In fact, world leaders face similar problems, just on a bigger scale. All countries have to manage their incomes and costs on a daily basis or they are likely to find themselves in no better a condition than those of a broke student. Just like you, they can try to improve their finances by doing what they can to tighten their belts or maybe get a loan. But if they do not manage to improve their condition, they run the risk of bankruptcy and even complete failure. It is the role of a government to keep its people and institutions healthy, wealthy and safe. No easy task! When a country is not able to run this intricate system, it becomes unstable and weak. It may even fail altogether. When a country becomes weak, or fails, it does not only affect people living there, it can have an impact on the whole world. Imagine the global consequences of societal failure in the USA or China. Different countries are important to international political stability for different reasons: they may be major sources of natural resources, food, money or even labour, or perhaps they exercise a strong influence on their neighbours. So if a key exporter of natural resources fails, so will the chain of supply of the given resource. In the worst case the knock on consequences could be global and threaten the stability of further nations. My research My PhD at the Global Sustainability Institute aims to investigate what makes a country weak and, in particular, what makes it fail. I have found that current analyses of the weakness of countries

what makes a country weak? Countries are called ‘weak’ when they are not able to satisfy four key government responsibilities: 1 Provide a setting for sustainable and equitable economic growth. 2 Set up and maintain legitimate, transparent, and accountable political institutions. 3 Keep their populations safe from violent conflict. 4 Meet the basic human needs of their populations.

are too superficial. None account for the key systemic risks created by the relationships between climate change, scarcity of natural resources, high international prices and previous conditions of weakness, which, when combined, can increase the risk of failure. To help me investigate this further I am building an agent-based model that will help us study the international trade of natural resources.

All countries have to manage their incomes and costs on a daily basis

13


So what?/be sustainable

Students on the case

Meet four student societies working hard to make the world a more sustainable place

We use a lot more water than we realise because it is ‘embedded’ in almost every

Greenpeace soc vegan society Have you noticed more vegan options on the cafeteria menus? This is thanks to the Vegan Society, founded last September to promote compassion and sustainability. We believe the most efficient way to do this is to advocate animal rights and shift towards a 100% plant-based diet. We’re a thriving community with many social events – lectures, film nights, potlucks and nights out. We succeeded in persuading the University to use cruelty-free cleaning and personal hygiene products, and this term are campaigning for meat-free Mondays in the cafeteria. Number of members? 20 Meet? Thursdays 5pm, Hel 208/Stalls Thursdays 11-15h Hel St. Great for people who: love animals, love food and are socially or environmentally concerned Did you know? You don’t have to be a vegan to join! Why does it matter? Veganism helps combat climate change, deforestation, water and air pollution, heart disease and many types of cancer. Over 60 billion land animals are reared and slaughtered yearly. This leads to a fifth of all carbon emissions and increases rates of cancer and heart disease. Biggest achievement so far? Our campaign against UK animal testing had an Ve overwhelming response – we he gan collected more than 250 signatures clilps ism in a few hours. We also hosted a de ma com polforete c bat packed lecture by the di lu sta han Anti-Vivisection Coalition. c sea tio tio ge,

p

www.angliastudent.com/socs/ VeganSociety/ www.facebook.com/aruVegSoc Twitter: @ARUvegan

14

anc se n, n, er an he . d art

I signed up instantly and one week later we set off to London to lobby for the release of 30 imprisoned activists As a third year student from Germany with a passion for environmental matters I wanted to use my year abroad to make a difference. At the freshers’ fair I met two very welcoming members of the newly-formed ARU Greenpeace Society. They explained their aim was to actively confront environmental issues on a global, national and local scale. I signed up instantly. Just one week later we set off to London to lobby for the release of 30 imprisoned Greenpeace activists. A few weeks later we demonstrated at a local Shell station to protest against its support for oil drilling in the Arctic. Number of members? 20 Meet? CB1 Café on Mill Road, also movie nights, fundraiser club events. Great for people: who like protesting and look good in boiler suits Biggest achievement so far? Successful protests: the 30 activists were released and Shell promised not to drill in the Arctic in 2014. www.angliastudent.com/socs/ arugreenpeace/ www.facebook.com/ arugreenpeacesociety Twitter: @ARU_ Greenpeace


So what?/student action

Wildlife SoC

(ARUWS)

Roots & Shoots

there are opportunities to write articles, interview students or even broadcast on Cam FM radio! Love being outside? Interested in animals? Want to put your scientific skills into practice? Then this society is for you. We are a student-run zoological and ecological society that runs local surveys and field trips. We’ve run surveys on both ARU campuses and in Mill Road Cemetery, Cambridge. We are soon starting a local newt survey. We have also run field trips to the Farne Islands, the Isle of Rum and Donna Nook, Lincolnshire. Anyone can join ARUWS, not just those taking life science courses. In fact, it’s not all about science – evenings out with ARUWS might see students getting dressed up as their favourite animals or maybe just having a beer and a natter. If you have a way with words, there are opportunities to write articles for newsletters, interview other students or even broadcast on Cam FM radio! There really is something for everyone. Number of members? 62 Meet? Every week Perfect for: Anyone interested in natural history and the outside. Did you know? We have our own radio show called AR U Wild Biggest achievement so far? Our Mill Road Survey, radio show and trip to the Farne Islands Next activity you have planned? A field trip to a primeval Polish forest in May 2014 www.angliastudent.com/getinvolved/ society/6609/ www.facebook.com/ groups/aruwildlifesociety/ ?fref=ts Twitter: @ARUWildlifeSoc

pWe haverirpusn

field t Farne to the , the Islands Rum Isle of na Nook, and Donlnshire Linco

Do you want to make a positive change for people, for animals and for the environment? ARU Roots & Shoots society connects people from different backgrounds with a common desire to make a difference. From beach clean-ups and planting trees to organising trips, talks, movie nights and fundraisers we’ve done it all! Our longest running project is fundraising money for our furry friends in the MONA Chimpanzee Sanctuary. ARU Roots & Shoots programme is part of an international network founded by Dr Jane Goodall, a renowned primatologist. Number of members? 35 active members, 224 Facebook members. Meet? All our varied socials – from talks, movie nights to fundraisers – are advertised on our Facebook page. Perfect for: Anyone who wishes to change the world for better, make a positive impact and have fun while doing so. Biggest achievement so far? Fundraising for and visiting MONA Chimpanzee Sanctuary, Spain. We are proud Roots & Shoots is among the most active societies at ARU! Next activity you have planned? This April we’re teaming up with the Marine Conservation Society on a mission to clean 100 UK beaches of plastic debris so harmful to marine organisms. Did you know? Colin Firth is a supporter of Roots & Shoots. Why it matters? Did you know that everything in the world is connected? A change in one part will affect all other parts. If one individual can make a difference imagine what 100 can do! www.rootsnshoots.org.uk www.facebook.com/groups/arurootsnshoots

the plot Grab your wellies and get down to The Plot, the Roots and Shoots allotment on the Cambridge and Chelmsford campuses. Students and staff can grow anything, from potatoes to pumpkins and cherry tomatoes to herbs. We even have a wormery, and composting facilities that recycle food waste. Working on The Plot is a great chance to enjoy time-out with likeminded people, and flex your muscles. Come along and get involved! www.Angliastudent.com/ThePlot 15


Global Sustain ability Institute whoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s who at the GSI

Dr Aled Jones Director

Dr Alison Greig Director of Education for Sustainable Development

Dr Candice Howarth Senior Research Fellow

Dr Rosie Robison Senior Research Fellow

Dr Irene Monasterolo Post-Doctoral Research Fellow

Chris Foulds Post-Doctoral Research Fellow

Victor Anderson Visiting Fellow

Dr Bob Evans Visiting Fellow

Mike Thompson DIrector, MSc Sustainability

Michael Green Post-Doctoral Research Fellow

Alex Phillips Research Assistant

Julie-Anne Hogbin Project & Commercial Manager

Efundem Agboraw PhD Student

Roberto Pasqualino PhD Student

Katie Hiscock Project Manager WE@EU

Davide Natalini PhD student

Zsuzsa Pogats PhD student

Sanjay Kumar PhD student

Samir Saran PhD student

Joab Omondi PhD student

anglia.ac.uk/gsi 16


So What, Issue 5, Summer 2014