On the occasion of the United Nations Day 2021, OP Jindal Global University released the first-of-its-kind Implementing the Sustainable Development Goals: Role of Universities and Civil Society in Protecting the Environment Report, mapping its compliance towards the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set by the United Nations. Setting a global benchmark, JGU has become one of the first universities to fully commit to and implement the SDGs on its campus, despite the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.
The report was launched in the presence of Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Minister of Education, Shri Ashwini Kumar Choubey, Hon’ble Union Minister of State for Environment, Professor (Dr.) Pankaj Mittal, Secretary General Association of Indian Universities, Shri Atul Bagai Head of Country Office United Nations Environment Programme and Sudhir Mishra, Founder & Managing Partner, Trust Legal, Advocates & Consultants.
The UN SDGs include affordable and sustainable energy, combating climate change, eradicating hunger, education, health, and gender equality. To demonstrate its commitment towards the implementation of the SDGs, JGU engaged in an independent assessment of its campus and initiatives to get a transparent and fair view of the university’s progress in compliance with the UN SDGs. A cohort of 12 assessors from the environment and legal fields including The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), Trust Legal, Advocates & Consultants and Mazars Business Advisors Pvt. Ltd., Trust Legal, Advocates & Consultants carried out a rigorous evaluation of the university’s processes ranging from the university’s energy consumption to water management systems and community engagement initiatives.
Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Minister of Education, Government of India, said congratulated JGU on the launch of the Report and said, “The launch of the report comes at an opportune moment when the world leaders including Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi will attend COP26 meeting at Glasgow next month. Diverse voices in the form of reports, scientific inquiry, and debates will only enrich our collective knowledge in protecting the health of the planet. The National Education Policy 2020 is fully aligned to the UN’s Sustainable Goals and aims to nurture youth with global outlook and sensibility with capabilities that can help them face the global challenges of the 21st century. It is built on the foundational pillars of access, equity, quality, affordability and accountability. childhood care to quality education for the students in the remotest corner of the country. Universities have responsibility to contribute not only to the local communities but also to the global community. This is primarily because they have the capacity to help students develop a holistic understanding of how a wide range of local, national and global challenges can be addressed. They help students in developing the spirit of scientific inquiry, curiosity and entrepreneurship needed to produce concrete and innovative solutions to tackle these challenges. The role of universities in the road to sustainable development is crucial. It becomes imperative that the universities devote time and resources to create an SDG ready generation that remains focused on the mission to achieve sustainable development.”
Professor (Dr.) C. Raj Kumar, Founding Vice-Chancellor of O.P. Jindal Global University said, “The Sustainability Development Report 2021 demonstrates our commitment to creating a green and socially-conscious campus and to have a transparent and fair view of our progress in our compliance with the UN SDGs. This comprehensive assessment was conducted on our processes ranging from our energy consumption to water management systems to community engagement initiatives. While the COVID-19 pandemic presented challenges as well as opportunities for reaching the SDGs, JGU has moved towards a healthier and safer environment by implementing the SDGs within its campus. By taking efforts to implement the UN-SDGs, JGU has shown the way to other educational institutions, how futuristic, social and environmental commitments are met. Even in the past, JGU has demonstrated its commitment to protecting our environment by gaining top rankings in the Swachh Campus Rankings of Higher Educational Institutions conducted by the Ministry of Education. The SDG Report 2021 on JGU is a culmination of outstanding efforts by TERI, Trust Legal and Mazars for creating a new dimension for promoting sustainable development. This has the potential to transform the future and help address the challenges of climate change by bringing universities to the centre of knowledge creation, research, experiential learning, innovation and broader engagement with the youth.”
Setting the context for why universities must play a role in implementing SDGs, Shri Atul Bagai Head, Country Office United Nations Environment Programme said, “Today, we are all facing ‘the triple planetary crisis’. It is the crisis of climate, the crisis of nature, and the crisis of pollution and waste. The crisis is very clearly a consequence of the economic path that we have pursued along with resource-intensive processes, consequent lifestyle changes due to economic growth and urbanisation. This has led to 60% of our ecosystem being damaged in the last few decades and a real prospect of an increase of three degrees Celsius in global temperatures by the end of the century especially if we continue with our emissions. It is a rare feat for a university not only in South Asia or in the Asia Pacific to have come up with such a report. It’s an extremely laudable effort that will be a game-changer. We should make it available to every university in the country.”Posted in Campus, News