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Sustainable Development: A Review of International Literature

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CHAPTER 10: EDUCATION FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

Summary

10.1 As well as the literature surrounding the integration of sustainable development into the formal education curriculum, this chapter also at life-long learning and training and skills for sustainable development. The wider issue of the communication of sustainable development principles in the public domain is, additionally, touched upon, although not dealt with in depth.

Definitions and concepts

" ESD enables people to develop the knowledge, values and skills to participate in decisions about the way we do things individually and collectively, both locally and globally, that will improve the quality of life now without damaging the planet for the future" (Sustainable Development Education Panel, 1998: 30)

10.2 Approaches to the teaching of sustainable development are increasingly trans-disciplinary, with an emphasis beyond formal education, to informal education and non-formal education, such as the media and the press.

Global

10.3 Primary concerns at the international level continue to be improving basic education, re-orienting education and improving public understanding, as embodied by the Millennium Development Goals ( UN Resolution 55/2, 2000).

European

10.4 The principle problem at the European level is the differing concerns of member states towards sustainable development and how this is reflected in their respective syllabuses. 'Campus greening' has become prominent after the Talloires Declaration ( USLF, 1990).

UK

10.5 A latest, important focus has been on the lack of 'earth-literacy' or 'eco-awareness' amongst both the generation of current leaders and the new generation. There is concern that the citizenship syllabus has given sustainable development a tokenistic place on the curriculum.

Scottish

10.6 There is a strong focus on the economic and social dimensions of sustainable development in education, in terms of enhancing productivity and closing skills and opportunity gaps. Integration of sustainable development throughout the curriculum is limited, however, with more attention being given to schools (and particularly 5-14) than to the further education or higher education sectors. There has also been attention paid to school campus 'greening', but far less emphasis on this for FE and HE.

GLOBAL

Priorities

10.7 Educationalists and stakeholders at the international level have focused on three key priorities:

  • improving basic education;
  • reorienting current education (with clear implications for curriculum development);
  • increasing public understanding and training (achieving a cultural change being intrinsic in this).

The need for these challenges to be approached with a 'trans-disciplinary' and cross-sectoral outlook is also widely accepted across the policy community. This includes a need to utilise formal, non-formal and informal education systems, including all forms of media and the printed press. Though seemingly coherent, this consensus is clouded by the continuing debate over 'Education and Sustainable Development' versus 'Education for Sustainable Development' (Hopkins and McKeown, 2002, Jickling, 1992).

Policy responses

10.8 The Millennium Development Goals have acted as both a response and a contribution to this debate. Key is the target to achieve universal primary education by 2015 and eliminate gender disparity in education by 2015 (and preferably by 2005). In February 2003, the UN announced that 2005-2015 would be the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development ( UN Resolution 57/254, 2002), recalling Chapter 36 of Agenda 21 ( UNCED, 1992), after recommendations were made for such an initiative in the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation ( WSSD, 2002). The World Education Forum ( UNESCO, 2000), announced in Dakar in 2000, aims to support this initiative by ensuring that no country committed to education for all by 2015 is thwarted by a lack of resources.

10.9 In September 2002, the University Leaders for a Sustainable Future ( ULSF), the International Association of Universities ( IAU), Copernicus-Campus and UNESCO formed a Global Higher Education for Sustainability Partnership ( GHESP) ( UNESA, 2002) in response to Chapter 36 of Agenda 21.

10.10 In relation to communication on sustainable development, the UN General Assembly set a target date of 2002 for National Strategies for Sustainable Development ( NSDS) to be introduced, as stipulated in Agenda 21. The OECD Development Assistance Committee ( DAC) ( OECD, 2005) has set a target date of 2005 for NSDS to be in the process of implementation. Communication is key to the efficacy of this process.

10.11 The OECD Development Assistance Committee's Donor-Developing Country Dialogues on National Strategies for Sustainable Development ( OECD, 2000) reviewed experiences with national strategies (as well as other strategies for environment and development) on the basis of consultation with a range of stakeholders. It concludes that there have been difficulties with information management and use and problems with language, including the use of language that stakeholders and the public can easily comprehend. Information is not always properly targeted, leading to a lack of information that is tailor-made and relevant. Providing equal access to information amongst stakeholders has also proved to be a challenge.

10.12 Sustainable development and sustainable development strategies would be more effectively communicated with 'an easily understood' conceptual basis for sustainable development as a social construct, involving institutional change. At the international level, Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration stresses the need for 'citizen's participation in environmental issues and for access to information on the environment held by public authorities' (cited in Dalal-Clayton and Bass, 2002).

10.13 The UNDP Global Communications Strategy ( UNDP, 2001) provides a proactive and effective internal and external communications system for the Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme, a decentralised, non-governmental and demand-driven initiative ( UNDP, 2005).

Possible lessons

10.14 Established in 1998, and focusing on Civil Society Organisations ( CSOs), the Sustainable Development Communications Network (2005) is a group of leading civil society organizations seeking to enhance the implementation of sustainable development through broader, integrated information and communications.

EUROPEAN

Priorities

10.15 The fact that sustainable development is difficult to define is something of an advantage to educationalists, the abstract nature of the term allowing for a more interdisciplinary approach to curriculum development (Hopkins and McKeown, 2002). There are, however, clearly differing priorities between member states of the European Union when it comes to sustainable development. Mediterranean states are justifiably more likely to prioritise marine conservation, for instance, while the livelihood of their respective agricultural sectors is a key concern to many of the new member states in Eastern Europe and reflected in education (Kaivola and Cabral, 2004).

10.16 There has been much rhetoric and a strong consensus on the need for 'campus greening' at HE institutions. Commitments around increasing environmental literacy, energy efficiency and improving resource utilisation, embodied in the Talloires Declaration, signed by 280 universities in forty countries, have failed, however, to penetrate very far into policy implementation.

Policy responses

10.17 The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe's ( UNECE) Education for Sustainable Development Strategy recognises that;

" ESD is a lifelong process from early childhood to higher and adult education and goes beyond formal education. As values, lifestyles and attitudes are established from an early age, the role of education is of particular importance for children. Since learning takes place as we take on different roles in our lives, ESD has to be considered as a "life-wide" process. It should permeate learning programmes at all levels, including vocational education, training for educators, and continuing education for professionals and decision makers" ( UNECE, 2005: 5)

10.18 The European Union's Sustainable Development Strategy, also highlights the importance of education and communication:

"Widespread popular 'ownership' of the goal of sustainable development depends not only on more openness in policymaking but also on the perception that individuals can, through their own actions, make a real difference. For example, local Agenda 21 has been effective at promoting sustainable development at the local level. The education system also has a vital role to play in promoting better understanding of the aim of sustainable development, fostering a sense of individual and collective responsibility , and thereby encouraging changes in behaviour" (European Commission, 2001: 30)

10.19 In relation to communication for and grounded in sustainable development principles, commitments under Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration (Rio Earth Summit, 1992) are reaffirmed at the European level by further commitments under the 1998 Aarhus Convention ( UNECE, 1998), binding governments to make environmental information publicly available within a specific timeframe through national legislation. This is not simply a passive duty to make information available on request but an active duty to disseminate information. Also there are specific duties to provide the public with practical information about the access to justice and judicial review systems so that they can effectively enforce their rights to information and to participate where these are denied.

Possible lessons

10.20 In 2001, the TETSDAIS project (Training European Teachers for Sustainable Development and Intercultural Sensitivity) was set up, an EU Comenius project, with partners from Portugal, the UK, Spain and Finland.

10.21 As an example of a communication initiative, the UNDP Kyrgyzstan led a mass voter education campaign as a prelude to the 2005 democratic presidential elections in Kyrgyzstan. As a flagship of its voter education efforts, UNDP designed and produced for Kyrgyzstan's Central Electoral Commission one million copies of an eight-page, election-related newspaper.

UK

Priorities

10.22 In Britain, much of the academic and policy thinking has taken an inter-generational perspective, bemoaning a lack of 'earth-literate' leaders, arguably something evident at the WSSD in Johannesburg. From this position, there is a need for a new generation to be 'earth-literate', posing challenges for higher education (Martin and Jucker, 2005). The need to educate tomorrow's consumers, workers, employers, voters and politicians, to make informed decisions and appreciate the balance between economic growth, environmental conservation and social progress, is a concern for educationalists in primary, secondary, tertiary and life-long education, as well as across formal, non-formal and informal education and training. Purvis and Grainger (2004), for instance, have called for the extension of education for sustainable development beyond the lecture hall and classroom, for a wide range of other initiatives to raise public awareness and use education as an effective agent for change.

10.23 There is a concern amongst educationalists and NGOs such as Oxfam that ESD has taken a tokenistic place in the curriculum, furthering calls to spread ESD across all subject areas (Oxfam, 2005a; Kaivola and Cabral, 2004). In line with this is thinking on 'greening' the curriculum.

Policy responses

10.24 The Government's 1999 Sustainable Development Strategy, A Better Quality of Life: A Strategy for Sustainable Development, stressed that an "Improved awareness of sustainable development can be a powerful tool for change" (Her Majesty's Government, 1999). The development of the Regional Development Agencies in 1998 and the Learning and Skills Council in 2000 complement this agenda. The strategy was replaced in 2005 by Securing the Future - UK Government sustainable development strategy, which emphasises skills and the need to equip people with the necessary skills to create a sustainable society (Her Majesty's Government, 2005).

10.25 The Department for Education and Skills' ( DfES) Sustainable Development Action Plan for Education and Skills allocates responsibility for specific tasks to the Learning and Skills Council, including education for sustainable development, the environmental impact of the education estate and local partnership activity. The Council recently published its From Here to Sustainability position paper, which will lead to a future strategy, in which it looks to reward good practice with funding and encourage local innovation. The Learning and Skills Council will be responsible for seeing that rhetoric is turned into reality at the grass roots level.

10.26 In 1998, the Government set up the Sustainable Development Education Panel. The Panel's draft strategy began the process of implementation and inclusion of sustainable development into the National Curriculum, leading to a Sustainable Development Education Strategy for England, Learning to Last, in February 2003. The Environmental Audit Committee has highlighted the need for a strategic approach to ESD by Government, in order to put ESD more firmly on the education agenda.

10.27 The Higher Education Funding Council ( HEFCE) for England have recently published their Sustainable development in higher education strategy, aiming to find 'win-win' opportunities for the sector to engage in, identifying sector-wide business cases as well as benefits for individual institutions, integrating sustainable development into the policy-making process. Significantly, HEFCE intend to stimulate a national debate among stakeholders on those structural features of the English higher education system that currently underpin its financial viability but which do not promote sustainable development, identifying possible policy responses.

10.28 The DfES Building Schools for the Future Programme is currently developing a school-specific method of environmental assessment that will apply to all new school buildings. The Building Research Establishment has developed a new environmental assessment method ( BREEAM) specific to schools. All DfES building projects over a certain size must achieve a schools BREEAM 'very good' rating in terms of their environmental performance.

10.29 This year DfES is planning to launch a sustainable development framework for schools, providing a one-stop web-based service for teachers, heads and governors who wish to make their schools more sustainable (see reference to Oxfam's Cool Plant for Teachers below).

10.30 To meet the need for public understanding at the global level, the DfES wants to see sustainability literacy become a core competency for professionals in the workplace. With Forum for the Future and professional bodies, the Department has set up the Sustainability Implementation Group to help colleges and universities to raise the profile of sustainability literacy in all curricula. DfES is funding a senior adviser on a fixed-term loan to the Sustainable Development Commission to help the Department achieve the objectives of its Action Plan, especially through effective liaison with NGOs, other departments and regional organisations.

10.31 To complement these initiatives in formal education, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport works with young people in providing alternative activities to involvement in crime, and raising awareness of their involvement in their communities, and in providing volunteering opportunities, through influencing the staging of major events (such as the London 2012 Olympic bid and Proms in the Park).

Possible lessons

10.32 There has been considerable practical activity by the voluntary sector and various NGOs. For instance, the Council for Environmental Education, a collective body of 75 organisations, places a persistent emphasis on participation, learning and research and moving beyond awareness-raising to actual engagement. The Environmental Association of Universities and Colleges works to disseminate good practice on environmental issues, campus greening and curriculum greening. Forum for the Future has a robust Education and Learning Programme and Oxfam's Cool Planet for Teachers and Cool Plant for Children provides a range of resources for teachers in the UK, encouraging Global Citizenship education, while advocating and lobbying for a more global emphasis in curriculum development in Britain. There is also an initiative on continuing professional development (Oxfam, 2005).

10.33 Two interesting web-based initiatives are the Education for Sustainable Development Network, set up by the Royal Town Planning Institute: http://esd.rtpi.org.uk/ and the Education for Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship directory in Wales: www.esd-wales.org.uk.

10.34 Big Picture TV is an independent web-based media channel, which broadcasts short videos of leading thinkers in sustainability issues, adaptable to many multi-media forms such as digital film, TV or Powerpoint presentations. Over 15 hours of free, informative video content are currently provided, subjects ranging from genetic engineering and organics to climate change, renewable energy and corporate social responsibility (Big Picture TV Homepage, 2005).

SCOTLAND

Priorities

10.35 Much of the UK debate on ESD has been also rehearsed in Scotland (Derek Halden Consultancy, 2003).

Schools

10.36 There is a strong emphasis on increasing human capital in Scotland in order to raise productivity, with economic development being regarded as a means to facilitate the pursuit of social justice and sustainability goals, as, for example, in Building a Sustainable Scotland (Scottish Executive, 2002: 6), which reflects The Way Forward: Framework for Economic Development in Scotland (Scottish Executive, 2000 (see also Scottish Office, 1999)). An aim of these is to enable people to contribute more as citizens. Considerable emphasis has also been placed on counteracting lack of opportunity caused by poverty, with a focus being on pursuing an integrated approach to children's development (Scottish Executive, 2002).

10.37 WWF Scotland commissioned a review of Scottish government ESD commitments (Borradaile 2004), which included a desk-based review of relevant publications and discussions with key people in education and ESD in Scotland and the UK. The report highlighted the roots of ESD in environmental, development and enterprise education and underlined the fact that Scotland was by then seen to be lagging behind the rest of the UK in having a coherent ESD strategy, having previously been somewhat in the lead. It also identified the following as important: a lack of understanding of ESD and its equation with environmental education; and the challenge arising from their being a diversity of practitioners, in a very broad sphere, along with a small policy community. It noted failures and successes, drawing out some of the factors involved and presented key lessons for the Executive.

10.38 The Education National Priorities (Scotland) Order 2000 set the priorities for school education ( SSI 2000/443), and, although not an explicit priority, the Ministerial note accompanying the Order indicated that the Ministers wished sustainable development to be reflected. In a parliamentary briefing on the Order, Education 21 (2000), however, criticised the principal context for teaching sustainable development said to be vague, underdeveloped and unworkable and argued that Scotland has lagged behind England in making sustainable development central to the curriculum and proposed a whole-school approach to sustainable development, pointing to the example of the Netherlands, where the National Institute for Curriculum Development had developed a List of Criteria for a School for Sustainability.

10.39 Sustainable development and its constituent topics have been part of the curriculum of Scottish schools for many years: National Guidelines 5-14: Environment Studies (2000) offers a wide range of learning opportunities that support environmental education. The foundations for ESD were laid in Learning for Life (Scottish Office, 1992), which promoted the merger of the then separate development and environmental education strands. Our World, Our Future ( SCCC, 1999) further developed the integrated and whole school approach and added consideration of the importance of self evaluation and integrating with quality assurance mechanisms. Living and Learning in a time of change ( LTS, 2000) showed how SDE could be used as an integrating and motivating element in the school curriculum. The opportunities provided within the curriculum have been expanded on in, for example, The Global in the Curriculum ( LTS, 2001) and further supported by Education for Citizenship in Scotland ( LT Scotland, 2002).

10.40 Although sustainable development in the school estate has perhaps received a greater priority (Scottish Executive, 2003d), the proposed context is for sustainable development to be taught as part of teaching respect for self and one another, interdependence with other members of the neighbourhood and society, and the duties and responsibilities of citizenship in a democratic society.

Further and Higher Education and Lifelong Learning

10.41 Although sustainable development is recognised as being very important in the context of lifelong learning, there is no Scottish equivalent of, for example, HEFCE's Sustainable Development in Higher Education. The Scottish Lifelong Learning Strategy focuses on addressing the opportunity, skills and productivity gaps in Scotland (Scottish Executive, 2003f). The document notes that wider participation in lifelong learning can be expected to enable people to become more aware and knowledgeable about environmental issues and the need to live a more sustainable lifestyle. Increased knowledge and skills are seen particularly as a means of developing solutions to sustainable development problems. Again the focus is very much on the economic and social dimensions of sustainable development.

10.42 Research (Brand, 2002) into sustainable development in the Scottish HE and FE sectors identified:

  • limited awareness in the institutional context;
  • limited teaching of sustainable development, usually within specialist environmental courses rather than embedded into the curriculum more generally;
  • a diversity of research and consultancy activity and sponsors, largely focusing on environmental issues rather than sustainable development;
  • and a wide spectrum of understanding of the term sustainable development and of the processes and practices required to more fully incorporate sustainable development into the HE and FE sector's activities.

10.43 The final finding was supported by more specific research into HE sustainable development activity in the field of construction and the built environment (Edwards, 2004). This latter research also interestingly identifies the impact of professional bodies on the priority accorded to sustainability in the HE curriculum. With a diversity of professional bodies in the built environment sector inevitably comes a diversity of approach in relation to the respective HE courses accredited by those bodies.

Policy responses

10.44 Education at all levels is entirely devolved, giving the Executive considerable scope for action in this field. Although pre-devolution, the document Down to Earth (Scottish Office, 1999: 9-10), what might be described as the first Scottish sustainable development strategy, still has relevance. It placed education at the heart of policies for achieving a population with the skills required for the workplace, enabling people to take their place as good citizens and parents, reflecting the economic and social priorities noted above. It indicated that education prepares people for change and is an "essential and inevitable component of sustainable development".

10.45 Down to Earth indicated that the 5-14 Guidelines provided a sound basis for ESD, particularly through Environmental Studies, Religious and Moral Education and Personal and Social Development. It conceded that there was no equivalent programme in upper secondary schools, but contended that the overall principles of the Higher Still reforms "recognise the value of sustainable development". Down to Earth also noted the role of the White Paper, Targeting Excellence - Modernising Scotland's Schools ( HMSO, 1999), which set out aims for improving standards of achievement, supporting the sustainable development goals in relation to the economy and society. It indicated that schools were being encouraged to adopt good practice, including identifying a member of staff as an environmental education co-ordinator; carrying out an environmental audit and subsequent follow-up action; using school grounds for environmental education; producing an environmental education policy; and developing the school as a model of good practice in reuse, recycling and energy conservation.

10.46 Following devolution there was an early ministerial commitment to integrate sustainable development into all policy areas, including education (Galbraith, 1999). An attempt to present an integrated policy overview was provided through Building a Sustainable Scotland (Scottish Executive, 2002: 9-10), which linked the Scottish Education and Young People Programme to nine of the 24 indicators and targets of sustainable development in Scotland, including Work People as a Resource; Waste: Production; Waste: Recycling; Energy: Consumed; Home Life; Preparing for Life; Crime; Volunteering; and Health.

10.47 The priority was clearly that education should make a critical contribution to increasing productivity by increasing human capital. This is to be supported by social inclusion initiatives such as SureStart and Childcare Strategy that are designed to maximise support for children, families and young people, enabling them to develop as individuals and effective contributors to society. Initiatives to combat lack of opportunity through poverty by delivery of integrated education, social and health services, such as the Integrated Community Schools Initiative, are also highlighted.

10.48 Building a Sustainable Scotland indicates that although Environmental Studies provides a focal point for teaching sustainable development, ESD should be cross-curricular, contributing to all other curricular areas. It seeks to address ESD in the upper secondary curriculum by highlighting the role of the Sustainable Secondary Schools Partnership (a four-year initiative on ESD in secondary schools - see below) and the role of the Eco-Schools programme (a participatory environmental management programme) to implement policies for environmental education and awareness as well as environmental management and participation of children. Participation in the Eco-Schools scheme is included as a performance measure for the National Priorities for Education under Values and Citizenship and local authorities are also asked to report on the number of schools participating in the scheme or equivalents. Furthermore, Building a Sustainable Scotland noted that a national school estate strategy is being developed along with a new building and refurbishment programme. Indeed, this is one of the three major education policy commitments in the document, along with developing ESD across the curriculum and looking at how to take forward sustainable development in the FE and HE sectors. Overall, it suggests that a more holistic approach is being taken in the light of Meeting the Needs (Scottish Executive, 2002a: para 14).

10.49 The sustainability of the school estate is addressed in The 21st Century School - Building Our Future (Scottish Executive, 2003d). However, the document is not simply about the built school environment, but also nutrition at school, touching on social aspects of sustainable development.

10.50 Work on the implementation of A Curriculum for Excellence is likely to produce a framework for enabling all young people to become responsible citizens, effective contributors, confident individuals and successful learners. Although this will be achieved through existing subjects, education for sustainable development will be reflected in new guidance across curricular areas but will not be prescriptive in terms of specific coverage. There will be ample opportunity for wide discussion, testing, refinement and consideration of any proposals which emerge.

10.51 Furthering sustainable development in the FE and HE sector to date has largely been confined to part-funding by SHEFC (along with the Carnegie Trust) of the Scottish Universities' Network for Sustainability ( SUNS).

10.52 In the context of lifelong learning and encouraging citizens to adopt more sustainable lifestyles, there have been a number of communication initiatives. Several of these derive from obligations to implement the provisions of the EU directives, which in turn implement the Aarhus Convention. As a result of devolution, it falls to the Scottish Executive to implement these obligations in Scotland. The information provisions are implemented via the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 ( SSI 2004/520, regs 4 'duty to disseminate', 5 'duty to supply information on request subject to exceptions' and 9 'duty to provide advice and assistance to applicants').

10.53 As well as the duty to make environmental information available on request, there is a duty laid on Scottish public authorities to actively disseminate environmental information (and progressively to do so by electronic means) and a duty to assist applicants ( SSI 2004/520). The Scottish Ministers must also produce a Code of Practice providing guidance for Scottish public authorities on discharging their functions under the regulations ( SSI 2004/520, reg 18).

10.54 The appeal and enforcement mechanisms available under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002 are applied to the environmental information regime, by providing for a mandatory internal review, followed by an appeal to the Scottish Information Commissioner if required, and, thereafter, an appeal, on points of law only, to the Scottish courts ( SSI 2004/520, reg 17). Although these provisions have been broadly welcomed, they have still been subjected to criticism in Scotland. Because of their focus on progressively making information available electronically (an Aarhus requirement), they do not require information to be made available in forms which might most easily be understood and utilised by the public (or sections of the public), to the exclusion of those who lack the ability or resources to make use of ICT, both of which are arguably procedural environmental justice problems (Poustie, 2004: ch 11), although it should be noted that these problems are ameliorated somewhat by the duty to provide advice and assistance under SSI 2004/520, reg 9, at least in relation to those applying for environmental information (see Lucas et al, 2004).

10.55 A considerable number of "public information" initiatives have been promoted, including "Do a Little, Change a Lot" and "Dumb Dumpers" involving television advertisements. Evaluations of these initiatives have shown generally positive but somewhat mixed results. For example, evaluations of different 'waves' of awareness campaigns indicated an increase in respondents thinking environment and environmental issues were personally important; more awareness of lifestyles changes which could be made to enhance protection of the environment; but fewer people thinking they needed to do more to protect the environment (Scottish Executive 2005l). Although no evaluation of the Dumb Dumpers initiative was available at the time of writing, a parliamentary answer revealed considerable, if declining, use of the fly-tipping telephone hotline, reducing from 266 calls in March 2004 to 68 in January 2005 (Scottish Executive 2005).

NGO and partnership initiatives

10.56 The Sustainable Secondary Schools Project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, involves six secondary schools and nine partner organisations (including Learning and Teaching Scotland, NGOs and professional bodies). It is designed to explore the ways in which secondary schools can engage with ESD and to help inform the development of ESD in the emerging 3-18 curriculum for Scottish schools set out in a Curriculum for Excellence (Scottish Executive, 2004b), with an ambition to develop in young people 'their capabilities as successful learners, confident individuals, responsible citizens and effective contributors to society'. It has been given considerable prominence in helping to develop ESD in secondary schools (Scottish Executive, 2002: 7).

10.57 Education 21 Scotland ( www.education21scotland.org ) is a forum committed to education consistent with a sustainable future and has been active, for example, in lobbying for a greater role for ESD in the curriculum (see for example Education 21 Scotland, 2000).

Possible lessons

10.58 The objectives of the Scottish Universities' Network for Sustainability ( www.suns.org.uk/index.htm are to inform the HE sector's research and learning agenda and improve universities' corporate and managerial practices, leading to improved environmental sustainability within the sector and in Scottish society as a whole. SUNS organises events ( e.g. 2003 Conference on "Building a Sustainable Society in Scotland - the role of the Curriculum in HE") and has worked on six themes: 1. Construction and Built Environment; 2. Production and Consumption and the Food Agenda; 3. Sustainable Manufacturing; 4 Water Resources; 5 Energy; and 6 Institutional Performance (Galbraith, 2003).

10.59 The Business Environment Partnership provides advice and assistance with environmental management to SMEs in Scotland, with an aim to make the Scottish economy more competitive by allowing companies to realise cost savings, reduced risk and improved competitive advantage. The BEP operate a student Environmental Placement Programme to assist businesses achieve project objectives, and to promote links between business and HE and environmental awareness and good practice in both.