SOLVE magazine Issue 01 2020 - Page 7

SUSTAINABILITY AND THE ENVIRONMENT: INTRODUCTION which, in partnerships with industry, will have the capacity to take on this global challenge. The University of Portsmouth is now part of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s global universities network, which supports its work with business and governments to design and build ‘circular economies’. A circular economy is based on the principles of designing out waste and pollution, keeping products and materials in use, and regenerating natural systems. The University itself is already leading by example, showing what is possible through its own procurement, use and disposal of resources (materials, water, energy and services). This will work hand in glove with the formation of community and industry partnerships to transform the City of Portsmouth into a global civic leader in sustainability transition, by integrating teaching with research to meet the Revolution Plastics challenge. Some of this work will connect plastics research and sustainability with the city’s identity and enmesh plasticsrelated projects, groups, campaigns and organisations, including schools, with university teaching and research. It is this research momentum that makes the city’s civic administration confident that significant changes will happen and that the city council has a central role and responsibility. We see this being a pilot programme for the planet … an incubator for similar programmes in other cities, communities and countries. – Steve Fletcher Councillor Dave Ashmore, Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change, says that addressing environmental concerns is a top priority and, like many other municipalities around the world, the City of Portsmouth has declared a climate emergency. “That said, we as a council must also look beyond the obvious problems that everyone knows and worries about. It is by working with the University of Portsmouth and its research teams that we actually believe we can turn the challenges we face into opportunities … investigate ways to move into renewable fuels, alternative materials, new industries and new jobs … green jobs.” Councillor Ashmore says the municipality and its many community groups with environment and sustainability agendas can see the significant potential inherent in being a front-runner in this quest. “The climate emergency is everywhere and the race is very much on to be the first to find and develop the best sustainable alternatives to fossil fuels and derivative materials like plastics. It is good for the whole planet, and it also presents a big opportunity for developing new industries and new jobs here at Portsmouth and in the UK generally. “This means we have to make bold decisions and that’s why it is brilliant to be working with a university already recognised internationally as being one of the research leaders.” PHOTO: 123RF House on stilts in Cambodia. Of the one million plastic bottles sold every minute across the globe, only 14 per cent are recycled. Most end up in the oceans, damaging marine ecosystems. ISSUE 1 / 2020 7