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
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
We see this
being a pilot
the planet …
in other cities,
– 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
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