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Raatikainen, Saana, Track 4


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Unipoli Green - Four universities working together for sustainability

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Raatikainen, Saana, Track 4

  1. 1. Unipoli Green - Four Universities Working Together for Sustainability Eveliina Asikainen & Saana Raatikainen with Sannamari Hellman, Lotta Parjanen and Marjut Schroderus
  2. 2. Sustainable Development in Finland • Finland is one of the world´s leading countries in promoting sustainable development • Finnish National Commission on SD is chaired by the Prime Minister since the 1990´s • Promotes, monitors and evaluates the implementation of the global 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and integrates it as part of national sustainable development efforts • Society´s Commitment to Sustainable Development was launched in 2014 • Finnish way of committing different stakeholders in society to promoting SD • The SD challenges in Finland are social segregation, unemployment, insufficient actions to prevent climate change and overuse of natural resources
  3. 3. Higher Education in Tampere • University of Tampere • Tampere University of Applied Sciences • Tampere University of Technology • Police University College • Altogether about 36 000 students and 5000 staff members
  4. 4. SD in Finnish Universities • Universities in Finland have great autonomy even though they are mostly financed by the Ministry of Education and Culture • Universities are expected to be the forerunners of the society and expectations for promoting sustainable development are rising but the resources for sustainability work are still scarce • Competition between higher education institutes -> does not easily encourage co-operation • Finnish Higher Education Forum on Sustainability -> network that enables sharing information and experiences
  5. 5. Independent development vs. co-operation • Co-operation of HEIs in SD is rarely reported • Possible reasons based on our experiences • Looking too far – it took almost 20 years SD work in each university before systematic co-operation started • "All wisdom lies in University – no need for co-operation" • Resources allocated to SD and attitudes towards SD vary
  6. 6. Sustainability profiles of the HEIs UTA TUT TAMK Police University College Origin in student activism on environmental impacts 1996 Started by active lecturer 1996 Bachelor Programme in Environmental Engineering 2003 Managemment´s interest 2014 Full time coordinator in facilities management Environmental specialist in facilities management no resource for SD Working group for SD lead by a lectruer, real estate management coordinates No special resources in SD In curricula emphasis on social sustainability In curricula emphasis on ecological & economic sustainability ESD part of building professional identity Social sustainability and justice emphasised in curriculum Fair Trade University, strong cooperation with real estate owners Cooperation with reaestate owners, new BREEAM certified building Energy-Efficiency commitment Real Estate owner committed
  7. 7. UnipoliGreen at work • Meetings of environmental coordinators and/or chairs of sustainability working groups • Support, peer group, brain storming • Different backgrounds of the group members help in building firmer understanding of SD • E-mails, distributing initiatives and news • Meeting top management – lobbying ideas • Lobbying the national authorities –arranging a national meeting of SD coordinators • Arranging events collectively
  8. 8. Achievements 1) Awareness raising – enables better visibility and reaches more students 2) Sharing information and influencing management – puts more weight on co-operation 3) Curriculum development – promotes multidisciplinarity • SD courses have been mapped in three universities • Joint Multidisciplinary Sustainable Development Study Module
  9. 9. Challenges • To secure that SD targets are included in the strategy in the middle of the big organizational and cultural change • To bring strategic SD commitment into resources • To get clear mandate from top management and commitment from whole university community • To bring existing skills and expertise into different levels of organization • To secure continuity
  10. 10. Conclusions • Meeting peers gives possibilities for testing, reflecting and being credited • Keeping SD on the agenda in a change process • Inter-institutional networking speeds up adoption of new, more sustainable practices, which is the ultimate mission of promoting SD
  11. 11. Thank your for your attention! Contact information • Senior Lecturer Eveliina Asikainen, • Environmental coordinator Saana Raatikainen, • #Tampere3