Earlier this year, the University of Bath launched the Institute for Sustainability, a research centre dedicated to studying and addressing the environmental, social, and economic challenges facing the world today.

The Institute, using its strategic industry partnerships, brings together experts from a wide range of disciplines, including engineering, science, social science, and the humanities, to work on interdisciplinary research projects that will help to create a more sustainable future. The researchers are drawn from every faculty and school at the University of Bath so that they can provide an interdisciplinary, whole-systems approach to the sustainability issues that are addressed.

Climate crisis, biodiversity loss and pollution are multidimensional problems that should be dealt with multidimensional solutions and having an institute like this, these solutions are being facilitated through research and science. Having several key research areas, sustainability is researched on topics from molecules, biobased plastics and chemicals, sustainable engineering materials, digitization, and energy systems, to health and consumer goods. 

The researchers at the Institute are working on developing new technologies and policies to improve energy efficiency in buildings, promote the use of renewable energy sources, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions and are aiming at training those researchers to think creatively and innovatively in collaboration with others, inspire and being an inspiration to others.

In addition to its research activities, the Institute for Sustainability is also working to engage with the wider community, offering professional development opportunities, and working with local organizations and businesses to promote sustainable practices and help create more sustainable communities. Bath and North East Somerset Council Chair Cllr Shaun Stephenson-McGall was also present at the Launch.

Professor Ian White, Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Bath, said: “I am delighted to see the CSCT become the Institute for Sustainability. Becoming an Institute will build on the Centre’s very impressive and important work so far to increase its reach and capacity.

Among speakers, Professors Matthew Davidson, and Marcelle McManus, formerly CSCT Co-Directors who will continue in the same roles in the IfS, along with Associate Directors Dr Antoine Buchard and Dr Stephen Allen, and Operations Director Francesca Guiso Gallisai, welcomed the guests and spoke about the actions of the initiative.

Overall, the launch of the Institute for Sustainability at the University of Bath is an exciting development for the field of sustainability. The Institute’s interdisciplinary approach, focus on real-world solutions, and commitment to collaboration and partnership will help to drive progress towards a more sustainable future.

In the launch, attention was drawn to the limited timing available to protect the environment, and the following Chinese proverb was mentioned:

“It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness”

which sums up the urgency and need for such an institute to work. Let’s work together, use our scarce resources and work tirelessly, because the problem is real, and we are running out of time.

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