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Sustainable Development: how do you contribute?

Watch interviews with people from the University talking about how they contribute to sustainable development.
My research relates to sustainable development goal number thirteen which is climate action. The ability to use renewable energy sources means that we’ll be able to mitigate climate change because transportation is a major contributor to global emissions and global warming. I’m Liz Zeidler, I’m co-founder and director of ‘Happy City’ which is a charity and social enterprise based here in Bristol, that’s trying to help refocus society onto the wellbeing of people and planet. So sustainability for us is in everything that we do. So environmentally we’re trying to reduce the amount of waste created from sanitary products.
Economically we’re trying to be self sustainable so that we can support our venture and we’re also interested in kind of the sustainability of communities as a whole and everyone coming together to make that happen. Trying to help people think how they can run their small business more sustainably I think can end up having a big impact. So really, as an organisation, we’re facilitators so our job is to find the best entrepreneurs and support them to grow. I want the University of Bristol to be the most carbon neutral university that it can be. My part of it is to provide the technical solutions. You know when we’re looking at new housing we’re not just looking at how many can we build.
We’re looking at the qualities of the communities that we create, how we ensure that communities are mixed, we’re looking at the environmental impact of the housing, We’re looking at the the health impact of the way that the design of the housing is made. The way in which it you know people are able to access from that housing things like jobs and other services. So the work I do connects with sustainability because we are literally saving things from going into landfill and we can also feed people so socially it’s nice to get people involved and make a little nice community of people that eat together, have fun together…learn together as well.
I think being involved in education, not just at university but other forms of education like schools education too, can make a really big impact. If you can give someone an education which they can use for the rest of their life or which allows them to totally change the course of their career or the nature of their future, Then that’s a, that’s a, really is a privilege to be involved in that kind of thing. I think how we use our energy really does improve the world. It’s, energy is a core through everything. I mean there are the Sustainable Development Goals that the UN has released.
There are seventeen goals and goal seven says access to affordable, reliable, modern energy for all, and that will really if we can do that, that will really change the world. That will improve poverty, it will improve gender empowerment, it will improve healthcare, education, climate change, if we get renewables everywhere and we don’t have to rely on fossil fuels. My name is George, I’m a senior risk consultant for a Big Four firm in Bristol.
I went to Bristol a few years ago for university, did geography as my undergrad, and I volunteered for the Centre for Effective Altruism who are an organisation that seek to find the highest impact ways of doing good in a very sort of broad sense and empower people to work together to contribute to those. So I’m Richard Symonds, I work as a manager in the Environment Agency and my job is to make sure that we are ready for any type of incident, whenever that might occur. I think we all contribute to sustainability through trying to live and study in ways that can make the world stay as close to how it is today as we move into the future.
So what we do is base our talks and events around the Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations. We may have certain talks set around particular goals or in dependency between goals. So that’s a good framework to fit to. Why reinvent the wheel when there’s a perfectly good system out there? So the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals are what we base our work on. At ‘Cod Steaks’ we build fantastic things.
I help to save the planet whenever I’m asked what do I do, and the way I like to think I do it is by bringing together customers and their environmental problems with my company and the environmental solutions that we offer, particularly in the field of semiconductor or chip manufacture. We either drill or hand dig or cup springs for communities to improve access to clean water. Actually we keep them both in terms of training and tools and sufficient resources to start up that community. So sustainability to me in that way is well taken care of and people would say ‘my water broke down’ rather than for Ethiopia, ‘your water is broken and come and fix it.’

When it comes to creating a sustainable future for everyone, there are many different roles people can take.

In the previous step, you discussed what a ‘sustainable future’ means to you. In this video, you hear from a range of people about the roles they take towards creating a sustainable future and how their work contributes to that. We’ll return to these people throughout the course, asking their opinions and advice on a range of topics.

Watch the video, think about it and take it to the comment section:

  • Which roles did you see people taking?
  • How could these roles be contributing towards a sustainable future?
  • Which roles most appealed to you and why?
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