Presentation of the Centre
Introduction to the Centre for Sustainability and Ecological Transition of the University
The University of Palermo is certainly one of the key player in the whole Sicily, with a community of students and personnel adding to about 50 000 people and a 300 M€ year budget. The University is thus deemed to directly play a role in the issue of sustainability, not just with education and research, but with specific choices in the fields of energy supply, mobility, and supply chain, designed to minimise environmental, social, and economical impact of the activities of the University.
Moreover, the University of Palermo is called to inspire with innovative and shared solution to the global challenges that we need to face to reach a carbon neutral economy, make it become a circular one and reach the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) from the UN 2030 Agenda. These goals are inspired by a transversal multidisciplinary approach to the theme of sustainability intersecting equal opportunities, access to education and the development of democratic institutions.
The ambitious goal of “zero emissions“ stated in European Green Deal cannot be reached without research and innovation in universities, which can offer actual solutions through the development of sustainable and feasible systems and technologies.
This university, founding member of the Network of Sustainable Universities, has already aimed at reducing energy consumption for a few years, especially with the institution of the Energy Manager and the Delegate to Energy Policies. At the same time, the University has also focused on mobility (again with the Mobility Manager), and interacting with the city administration on a few initiatives to be further developed.
Considering the many ongoing initiatives, the importance of the transversal approach to sustainability we need to enhance our capabilities with a wider, more systemic approach, adopting integrated and wholesome strategies across the University activities. To achieve this, the University of Palermo needs to extend the impact of our activities on research and education, also expanding our region of activities strengthening cooperation also in the Mediterranea. In order to achieve a sustainable economy, the University will thus have to inspire (with the education of new generations), to propose (with the acquired competences and the outputs of research), and to act (changing the university into an example of sustainable community). The University will set some goals on energy and sustainable development policies that will be reached through coordinated actions across all departments, structures, and administrative offices. The Centre for Sustainability and Ecological Transition has been created with the aim of catalysing initiatives that cross the sustainable themes outlines by the UN SDGs.
- To develop research activities in the University in the fields of sustainability and education activities through the strengthening of existing paths or the institution of new ones at all levels, from degrees to PhDs or Masters.
- To interact with departments and researchers of the University engaged in research and innovation activities related to sustainability, in order to implement effective solution applicable to the management of the structures of the University
- To include the ideas of sustainability in all informative and dissemination activities of the University
- To support all local initiatives aimed at reaching the objectives of the EU Green Deal, and supporting the implementation of circular economies
- To establish a regional forum on sustainability to strengthen the dialogue between the University and the stakeholders that operate in the field of sustainability
- To activate a structured dialogue between several technical and amministrative offices of the University aimed at strengthening our culture of sustainability, and at the same time coordinating activities and policies contributing to the alignment of the University to all SDGs.