Campus News

Sustainability Month shines light on SDGs

 Sustainable development goals.

Each day's events during Sustainability Month will correlate with one of the 17 United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

By DAVID J. HILL

Published April 1, 2021

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“Through the lens of the 17 SDGs, Sustainability Month will spotlight the many different ways UB is working to advance the triple bottom line of people, planet and prosperity. ”
Ryan McPherson, chief sustainability officer

Sure, there are 30 days in April, but 17 is the magic number for Sustainability Month at UB, which starts today.

That’s the number of Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs, which form the basis of the United Nations’ interconnected strategy to build a better world by 2030. UB has placed greater emphasis on the SDGs in recent years, weaving them into all aspects of the university, from academics to operations.

The SDGs will be firmly in focus as part of Sustainability Month: A different goal will be featured each day in April, with various events that correlate to that SDG. And UB Sustainability’s website has been updated with a curated collection of content — including podcasts, volunteer opportunities and further readings — on each of the 17 SDGs.

“Like countries across the globe, our campus has embraced the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the framework they provide for advancing solutions to our global challenges,” A. Scott Weber, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, and Laura Hubbard, vice president for finance and administration, said in a campus-wide message.

Also of note, the World’s Challenge Challenge returns this spring; there’s an Inclusive Excellence Summit on April 8; Sustainability career panel April 20-21; and, on April 22, an update on UB’s 10 in 10, the university’s new climate action plan that was launched last Earth Day.

“Sustainability is a university-wide endeavor that is so much larger than one office, and it’s much more than simply turning off the lights or recycling, although those are important. Through the lens of the 17 SDGs, Sustainability Month will spotlight the many different ways UB is working to advance the triple bottom line of people, planet and prosperity,” says Chief Sustainability Officer Ryan McPherson.

Over the course of April, members of the UB community will get to see and learn more about UB’s work across the SDGs in the university’s teaching, research and engagement. In addition, the  campus community will also get a glimpse of UB’s climate action work, from new ways of thinking about heating and cooling as evidenced in the renovation of Crosby Hall on the South Campus, to providing more opportunities for electric vehicle drivers to charge up on campus, to the emerging new on-campus solar arrays.

In their message, Weber and Hubbard noted how vital this work is in light of what’s transpired over the past year.

“At UB, we have long been committed to environmental sustainability, and our goal is to achieve climate neutrality within the next decade. This past year has tested our ability to adapt, listen and care about each other,” they wrote. “We know that we are resilient, and can work together to become agents of change in our world. This makes us even more optimistic in our fight against climate change to ensure a bright and healthy future.”

Follow along with Sustainability Month events on social media: Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.