From the Swiss Alps to Lancashire’s Nature Reserves

Sustainability team on top of Warton Crag. Left to right: Johann, Georgiana, Jon, Darren and Natalie

As part of the recent Global Learning Exchange, we welcomed Johann Recordon, Project Manager (Research) at the Competence Centre for Sustainability (CCD) of the University of Lausanne (UNIL). Johann spent a week at Lancaster and met many colleagues who work on sustainability across the University.

The Global Learning Exchange takes place every year, with Lausanne University with a group of professional services staff going to Lausanne one year and then a group from Lausanne coming to Lancaster the next. During this weeklong exchange which this year, took place at the end of April, a member of staff from Lancaster gets matched up with their counterpart in Lausanne.

During the week, Johann joined the University’s Sustainability Team for a team away day, involving a visit to Warton Crag and RSPB Leighton Moss, where we were lucky enough to see a Marsh Harrier and hear the famous Bittern call.

Johann had this to say about their time in Lancaster: “Getting to spend a week at Lancaster University was very valuable to me, both professionally and personally. It allowed for a better understanding of the structural and cultural differences of our institutions, with both their related advantages and challenges.

In particular, my time with the Sustainability Team proved most instructive. While we answer to slightly different strategies, objectives and timelines, it became clear that we have been facing similar challenges. I believe this recognition, when accompanied with a subtle understanding of the contexts in which we operate, allows for true and effective collaboration.

Through the sharing of our experiences, successes and difficulties alike, I believe we have exchanged tools that will allow us all to avoid a few pitfalls and leapfrog towards a state of true sustainability for both of our institutions.

In an ever more fragmented and virtual world, such bonds made in person and in situ are invaluable.”

Lancaster’s Head of Sustainability, Dr Georgiana Allison, also commented on the success of the week: “It was such a pleasure to host Johann and learn about Lausanne’s approach to sustainability governance, their working culture, and remit as Lausanne’s central sustainability team. I hope that this is the start of a closer working relationship and am grateful for the support Johann and his colleagues have already provided”.

To learn more about sustainability at Lancaster University, please visit our webpages.

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