At the close of the two-day ‘Magnifici Incontri CRUI 2019’ [Magnificent Encounters CRUI 2019] event, which ended on 30th May in Udine, in the context of the ‘Conoscenza in festa’ [Feast of Knowledge] event organised by the University of Udine in collaboration with the Conference of Italian University Rectors (CRUI), the manifesto entitled ‘Universities for sustainability, sustainability is in the university’ was drawn up. The manifesto will be sent to the government and ends with the commitment to “draw up a national implementation plan based on the sustainable development goals”.
Scholars and experts coming from nearly 100 Italian universities and research centres gathered in eight round tables to debate the sustainability issue and draw up the manifesto, the preamble of which expresses CRUI’s desire to propose ‘sustainability enhancement plans and actions in the local and national contexts based on the UNO 2030 Sustainable Development Goals’.
Patrizia Lombardi, President of the Italian Network of Universities for Sustainable Development (RUS) and Deputy Rector of the Polytechnic University of Turin, underlined that the mission of RUS is to ‘promote the 2030 Agenda of the United Nations and, above all, cooperate to ensure that all universities can work towards attaining the sustainability objective. The Sustainability Manifesto, which RUS contributed to drawing up’. According to Lombardi, it is a fundamental tool because ‘it reflects a strong pact between all rectors to ensure the tangible involvement and commitment of universities towards sustainable development and, as a member of CRUI, we will also do our part in promoting it in our universities’.
RUS and the General Commissioner’s Office for Italy’s participation in Expo 2020 Dubai have stipulated an agreement to bring to Dubai over 60 universities affiliated to RUS to represent sustainability issues. The aim is to share a model of expertise and knowledge on sustainable development and present the Italy Pavilion as an innovative hub. Also thanks to the contribution of RUS, the Italy Pavilion will become a space for meeting and debating, in line with the vision inspiring it: ‘a model of sustainability and circular economy, an avant-garde prototype in terms of integrated design and the use of durable and natural recycled materials, and in terms of the technologies implemented to minimise energy and water consumption, including systems used to save, collect and recycle water, dispose of waste and reduce noise and light pollution’, as recently underlined by the General Commissioner for Italy at Expo 2020 Dubai, Paolo Glisenti, during his introductory speech at the ASVIS conference, in the context of the events of the 2019 Sustainable Development Festival.