ISCN at COP26: Science for Net-Zero Transition

The United Kingdom hosted the twenty-sixth United Nations (UN) Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow from 1 to 12 November 2021. The climate talks brought together over 30,000 delegates, including heads of state, climate experts and campaigners to agree coordinated action to tackle climate change.

ISCN with CESAER, Science Europe and the University of Strathclyde joined forces to co-organise a symposium in the fringe of COP 26 which brought together universities, national research performing organisations and research funding organisations to look at how we collectively upgrade our ambitions, and how we can work together with non-academic partners shaping knowledgeable societies for a sustainable future.

The event was a great success with 100 participants connected from 35 different countries around the world.

You can find the recordings by following the links below:

As discussed during the event, a Call to Action to research organization for the Net-Zero Transition was launched by the co-organizers in order to share a “vision of a world where research and education communities work together and in interaction with industry and society at large to solve urgent global challenges. We believe that research and education will underpin a sustainable relationship between the use and preservation of natural resources, and human activity.”

You can find the full text of the Call to Action on the Science Europe site: Call to Action to Research Organisations for the Net-Zero Transition – Science Europe.

ISCN, CESAER, Science Europe and the University of Strathclyde team up to organise Symposium at COP 26

The International Sustainable Campus Network (ISCN), CESAERScience Europe and the University of Strathclyde have joined forces to co-organise a symposium in the fringe of COP 26 in order to to address questions about how We, universities, research funding and performing organisations, can nurture researchers, teachers, students, support staff and leaders to deal with the breadth and complexity of the net-zero transition.

Realising the net-zero transition concerns an enormously complex challenge requiring collaboration across all disciplines, communities, institutions and involving societies across the globe. We aim to discuss how to transform our institutional practices, and build alliances with other actors, globally and locally.

The symposium will bring together universities, national research performing organisations and research funding organisations to look at how we collectively upgrade our ambitions, and how we can work together with non-academic partners shaping knowledgeable societies for a sustainable future.

More information can be found on the CESAER website: Science for Net Zero at COP26

ISCN Awards 2021: Congratulations to the WINNERS

ISCN Awards 2021: Congratulations to the WINNERS

ISCN is pleased to announce the winners of the ISCN Awards 2021. The many high-quality nominations received this year reflect the continued commitment and progress towards sustainability across ISCN. Thank you to the ISCN Awards Jury for taking the time to carefully select this year’s winners.

ISCN Awards 2021 Winners:

Whole Systems Approach

Covenant University PET City Bricks

Partnerships for Progress

University of Leeds Urban Biodiversity Monitoring Programme

Cultural Change for Sustainability

National University of Singapore Towards Zero-Waste NUS 2030

Honorary Member Award

Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology – Facilitating Sustainability Literacy to Leadership Pathways for Staff and Students

For information on each of the winning submissions, please visit the ISCN Awards Page.

Celebrate with us at the ISCN Awards Ceremony 2021!!

ISCN Awards 2021: Awards Ceremony

20th May 2021

15:00-17:00 CEST (GMT+2)

(Check the start time in your time zone)


You can join the Awards Ceremony here:  (Meeting ID: 81853668420)

Add the event to your calendar

ISCN Virtual Event Series: A meeting with ELSEVIER-Measuring Sustainability in Research Through the SDGs

Following the two meetings ISCN has hosted with QS and THE on sustainability rankings, we would like to expand and explore how information service providers identify SDGs in the research output they measure. On this occasion we have the pleasure of hosting M'hamed el Aisati, VP of Product Management, Funding and Content Analytics at Elsevier.

SAVE THE DATE: 24th of February 2021

Time: 14h-15h30 p.m. CET

Moderated by: Kristina von Oelreich (KTH) and Alexander Nebel (EPFL)

Special Guest: M'hamed el Aisati (ELSEVIER)

Please Join the Zoom Webinar by clicking this LINK.

We would be grateful if you to send your questions to [email protected] or [email protected] before Thursday 18th so that we can answer them during our live webinar. There will also be an opportunity to address your question live, via Zoom’s chat function.

Please feel free to circulate this message to anyone in your personal or professional networks that might benefit from this highly interesting opportunity.

Looking forward to seeing you all there!

ISCN Awards 2021: Call for nominations NOW OPEN!

The ISCN Sustainable Campus Excellence Awards promotes landmark projects that demonstrate how university administrations and faculty alike strive to integrate sustainability in all facets of higher education, including campus infrastructure, research and education.

The ISCN Awards 2021 are a great way to acknowledge international excellence Take this opportunity to recognize the hard work, leadership and creativity that go into building sustainability at your institution.

The following Award Categories are open to ISCN members: Whole Systems Approach, Partnerships for Progress, and Cultural Change for Sustainability. An additional Honorary Member Award is granted to outstanding projects at non-member institutions.

Winning projects will be showcased at the virtual Awards Ceremony on 20th May (15:00 – 17:00 CET) in the lead up to/as part of the ISCN 2021 Conference “Accelerating Climate Action and Sustainability in Education”.

 Visit the ISCN Awards 2021 webpage for more information on how to apply. Be sure to submit your application before the deadline on midnight March 8th, 2021.

ISCN's Second Series of Virtual Events Kick-Off: Next steps on developing UN sustainability indicators with the ranking agencies.

You may remember that ISCN organized on June 24th a virtual event on the topic of: Times Higher Education Impact Ranking: a catalyzer towards more sustainability in Universities? The video of the meeting can be found here. As a follow-up of the results that were drawn then, two events will be organized with Times Higher Education and QS on the topics of sustainability metrics in academic league tables. In order to accommodate as many time zones as possible, on each date there will be two sessions (same subject). Please feel free to join the session that best suits you:

(Please follow this link to reference UTC+1 time zone:

A) October 29th (11am CET/(UTC+1) or 17pm CET/(UTC+1) depending on your time zone): meeting with THE (Duncan Ross) on the future developments of THE Impact ranking (keywords identification of sustainability in research, etc.) and to respond to your questions.

Meeting 1: 11:00 AM-12:00 PM CET (UTC+1)

Meeting ID: 825 0437 5821

Passcode: 959868

Meeting 2: 5:00-6:00 PM CET (UTC+1)

Meeting ID: 885 5889 7953

Passcode: 201425

B) November 4th (11am CET/(UTC+1) or 17pm CET/(UTC+1) depending on your time zone): meeting with QS (Daniel Kahn, Leigh Kamolins, Andrew MacFarlane) on their future intention of including sustainability in their global ranking. The purpose it for you to voice out your opinion/concerns on this new endeavor.

Meeting 1: 11:00 AM-12:00 PM CET (UTC+1)

Meeting ID: 823 5505 7154

Passcode: 424557

Meeting 2: 5:00-6:00 PM CET (UTC+1)

Meeting ID: 818 6086 0424

Passcode: 313361

Please feel free to share this information.

Hope to see you all there,

The ISCN Secretariat

Fund your project with an ISCN Grant!

We recognize that this is an exceptional time for all across the globe, and we hope you and your families are staying healthy and well.

As we think of ways of building resilience into our work in sustainability on our campuses, continued collaboration with ISCN members remains a top priority. With this in mind, we are pleased to announce the second round of ISCN Capacity Building Seed Funding for 2020.

These grants are designed to help ISCN members leverage the network and propel emerging projects forward. Given that much of our work is now virtual, we are keen to see projects with innovative engagement solutions for the near-term.

We are offering seed funding of up to $5,000 (USD) per project. To leverage the pool of funding for members most effectively, projects that can contribute match funding will receive a higher score (note - this is not a requirement to submit a proposal).

We are looking to fund projects across these three categories:

  • Ambassadors - a mentoring program for members and pilot institutions
  • Peer Exchange - a process for members to engage with other member schools
  • City-University - an opportunity for members to work with city partners to pilot joint initiatives

We are also open to new project streams, so please do share your ideas with us. Complete a letter of interest and identify your project partners, goals and budget by September 18th, 2020.

To download the ISCN Capacity Building Seed Funding Submission Template please click on this link: ISCN Capacity Building Seed Funding Template

Please fill out the project template and send to:

Victoria Smith,

Co-Executive Director, ISCN

[email protected]                                                      


The ISCN Leadership Team

ISCN Virtual Events Series: Strengthening the exchange of knowledge and ideas amidst the COVID-19 pandemic

As the world adapts in order to move forward amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the ISCN has quickly reoriented its efforts to bring members and non-members together by providing virtual platforms that facilitate the exchange of knowledge and ideas. A clear example of these efforts has been this year’s first series of virtual events, which took place between the 14 May and 24 June of 2020.

The ISCN Awards Ceremony 2020

The ISCN 2020 Awards Ceremony was held virtually on 14 May 2020 and brought together 343 attendees from over 40 countries. The Awards Ceremony received significant positive feedback, with particularly positive comments regarding the event as an opportunity to learn more about the winning initiatives.

The ISCN 2020 Award winners:

34 applications were received from 25 institutions across the four ISCN Awards categories - Whole Systems Approach, Partnerships for Progress, Cultural Change for Sustainability, and Honorary Member Award.

The 2020 awardees were:

  • Cultural Change for Sustainability Award: Thammasat University, Thailand [video]
  • Whole Systems Approach Award: Chalmers University of Technology and KTH, Sweden.[video]
  • Partnerships for Progress Award: LUT University, Finland.[video]
  • Honorary Member Award: McGill University, Canada.[video]

You can watch the awards ceremony's eye opening keynote by climate change expert and leader of ETHZ’s climate physics group, Reto Knutti, by clicking this link. You can watch the full ISCN 2020 Awards video here.

Student Engagement for Sustainability on Campus: an ISCN Student-led Virtual Session

The second event of the series, “Student Engagement for Sustainability on Campus” took place on 28 May 2020. This event was conceptualized, organized and coordinated by students of member institutions. As such, it was a solid step for “increasing student involvement with the network”, one of the goals of the ISCN strategic plan 2020-2023.

The webinar, moderated by Dario Siegen (ISCN 2020 Conference’s student coordinator), included a keynote from Marie-Claire Graf (founder of the student initiative Sustainability Week International), engaging presentations from Sharina Ligtelijn and Marijn van Steen ( members of the Green Teams TU Delft), as well as interactions from the audience. This webinar hosted 654 attendees from 44 countries. In addition, a second part of the event was geared towards working group sessions in breakout-rooms for 55 participants.

You can watch the webinar by clicking this link.

Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Ranking: a catalyzer towards more sustainability in Universities?

The third and final event of the first series of virtual events for 2020 was the Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Ranking: a catalyzer towards more sustainability in Universities event, which hosted 377 attendees from over 40 countries.

The event was moderated by Kristina Von Oelreich (Sustainability Manager-KTH) and Alexander Nebel (Head of Institutional Data Management-EPFL) and was framed around the presentation of the results of a survey on the Times Higher Education Impact Ranking conducted among leading universities in sustainable development by the ISCN’s Times Higher Education Working Group.

The webinar included a keynote debate between Janet Hering (Director of the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (EAWAG)/Professor of Biogeochemistry at ETHZ and EPFL) and Göran Finnveden (Environmental Strategic Analysis and Vice-president for Sustainable Development at KTH Royal Institute of Technology). Additionally, six ISCN representatives of member institutions presented their testimonials pertaining to the potential and challenges of the THE Impact Ranking. You can watch the full video here.

Overall Experience for Members and Non-Members

The first series of ISCN virtual events have been a resounding success with over 1,374 attendees and excellent reviews and levels of satisfaction. We look forward to bringing you the second series of virtual events that will kick-off in October and will run through December 2020. We hope to see you all there.

The ISCN Secretariat

ISCN Virtual Events for 2020

ISCN Virtual Events

The disruptive effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have changed the way we communicate, share ideas and move our institution’s mission forward. In line with this, ISCN leadership is exploring online platforms and developing a robust calendar of virtual events that will soon be shared with ISCN members. This series of virtual events is aimed at energizing, engaging and informing ISCN members.

Confirmed Virtual Events so far – via zoom/YouTube channel from 15:00-17:00 CEST, Swiss time:

  • 14th of May 2020 ISCN Awards Ceremony 2020
  • 28th of May 2020 ISCN Student-led sessions (exact title tbc)
  • 24th of June 2020 Presentation of the results of the ISCN Working Group on the Times Higher Education Impact Ranking. (Exact date and time tbc)

Call for Virtual Event Proposals

ISCN would also like to invite its members in identifying ideas for virtual events (and possibly organise them) and now launches  a Call for proposals for virtual events.

If you are interested in hosting a virtual event or would like to share an idea or theme, please send us an email to [email protected] with the following subject headline: ISCN Virtual Event Proposal. The deadline for submissions is May 15, 2020.

Virtual events proposals led by more than one ISCN Member are highly desirable and will be given preference. They will be programmed from September 2020 onwards (about one event per month). Please note that ISCN members who propose virtual events might be expected to dedicate the necessary resources to bring the event to fruition (identifying and securing keynote speakers, structuring and designing the event, logistics, etc.). The ISCN Secretariat will support this process by providing visibility and publicity, communication to the ISCN community and beyond and by providing technical support for the virtual events if needed.

We are looking forward to receiving your proposals and ideas. If you have any questions or need any additional information, please feel free to get in touch with us.

With kind regards,

The ISCN Secretariat


ISCN Awards 2020: Winners announced!

ISCN is pleased to announce the winners of the ISCN Awards 2020. We received numerous high-quality nominations, reflecting the commitment and progress towards sustainability across ISCN. The winners were selected based on the aggregated results of the ISCN Awards Jury.

Congratulations to the WINNERS of the ISCN Awards 2020!!

Whole Systems Approach

Chalmers University of Technology and KTH Royal Institute of TechnologyThe Climate Framework

Partnerships for Progress

LUT University – LUT Junior University - case “Lappeenranta Junior University

Cultural Change for Sustainability

Thammasat University – Thammasat Campus Life: No more single-use plastics

Honorary Member Award

McGill University – Vision 2020: Climate & Sustainability Action Plan

Find out more about each of the winning submissions here.

Join us at the virtual Awards Ceremony to celebrate and learn from the experiences of the Awardees.

ISCN Awards 2020: Awards Ceremony

14th May 2020

15:00-17:00 CEST

(Check your time zone here)

Join via this link: (Meeting ID: 972 378 967)