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Sustainability Debate Raises Number of Questions

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A lively debate around the theme of sustainability took place at the University of Worcester with some leading public figures in the hot seat.

Entitled 'So green, so gone - the recession has killed a popular sustainability agenda', the debate offered the opportunity to quiz a panel in a Question Time format.

Sitting on the panel were Worcester MP Robin Walker; Lord Adebowale, Chief Executive of Turning Point and Chancellor at the University of Lincoln; Dannie Grufferty, the National Union of Students' Vice President for Society and Citizenship; Iain Patton, CEO of the Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges; and Michael Goodfellow-Smith, Director at Quest for Future Solutions.

Questions included what universities could do to encourage students to bring out entrepreneurial talent to create sustainable businesses, how government can support households in fuel poverty, and whether fuel duty should be lowered or concessions given to rural communities.Sustainability Debate Raises Number of Questions

Around 70 members of the public including many local businesses, students, staff and dignitaries attended the debate, which was hosted in The Hive, Worcester’s new joint university and public library, and was the first in an occasional series of sustainability debates.

The University’s Director of Sustainability, Katy Boom, said: “Sustainability is clearly an area of great interest and the breadth of questions raised inspiring. People are reflecting on the values and considering that perhaps we need to re - think the way we do things.

“Young people have a sense of the future in a way that those who are currently at the top in politics and business often struggle with. They recognise that the future will be different and they can still be hopeful. The panel and audience gave out a clear message we need to have social responsibility as core strategy and not an insincere add on.”

The University of Worcester was the first university in England to receive the EcoCampus Platinum award for the entire organisation. A national environmental management system, EcoCampus encourages and rewards universities as they move towards environmental sustainability through good operation and management practices. We are also ranked third in the current University Green League, published in The Guardian, reflecting the depth of our commitment to all areas of environmental sustainability.