Date of release: Thursday, October 22, 2015

While country leaders from all over the world are preparing their latest pledges for the next round of climate negotiations (Paris, next November), the University of Greenwich continues to challenge accepted wisdom related to sustainability. 

Here at the University of Greenwich, our commitment to make a real change in the way we utilise natural resources was acknowledged in 2012 with the award of the greenest university in the UK according to the Guardian. In addition, the Student Union won the gold award by the National Union of Students (NUS) for its environmental commitment during the summer.


Last month Dr Andres Coca-Stefaniak, Senior Lecturer at the Marketing, Events and Tourism Department, was invited to join a panel of academics and industry experts at the Milan Expo 2015. He contributed to the forum with the latest thinking related to sustainable events and the future of sustainability in this industry. 

The forum, titled "Events and sustainability: comparing experiences", discussed initiatives in the UK, in Italy and the run-up to the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil). "The events industry is increasingly seeing sustainability as a key element of innovation-led competitiveness and so do many of our students at the University of Greenwich", said Dr Andres Coca-Stefaniak. He also added that "the days of just greening by planting a few trees here and there are long gone. Sustainability today is not just about protecting the planet; it is about competing smartly in the global economy with fresh ideas that don't cost the earth and benefit society as well as the economy".

The event at the Milan Expo 2015 also discussed the findings of a recent EU-funded project. It showed that there is a growing number of events and festivals across Europe that have chosen to be pioneers in terms of delivering a positive impact related to sustainability despite various challenges. The latest example in the UK has been the Welsh Government's passing on the "Future Generations Bill" last April, which followed advice from one of the UK's leading sustainable events – the Hay Festival. 

To find out more about the sustainable events, please contact Dr Andres Coca-Stefaniak at a.coca-stefaniak@gre.ac.uk