This is the second RESEMBID grant awarded to the University in 12 months, after it received €432,000 ($CI405,000), to help train students in trades that are sustainable, both environmentally and economically.
The conversion from traditional energy sources to sustainable energy is a pressing issue in the Cayman Islands, something highlighted in the Government’s National Energy Policy. UCCI intends to drive forward real change by creating a resilient and sustainable energy supply system at UCCI and by developing a sustainability plan with the expected outcome of responsible resource consumption and improved use of renewable energy technologies on the campus. A solar array will be established at the George Town campus and the site will be turned into what is named a ‘living laboratory’, where energy and environmental parameters are monitored, with data shared across the wider Caribbean.
Dr. Robert W. Robertson, President, and CEO of UCCI, commented, “The lack of energy resources throughout the Caribbean has become a major issue and expense for the communities in the region. The entire region struggles with transitioning from traditional to sustainable energy sources even though we have natural resources on our doorstep in abundance. The need for the change has never been more apparent. Due to human activity, the global temperature has increased since the industrial revolution — a staggering amount in a short period compared to the pre-industrial revolution times. This is a problem for the whole Caribbean region and now is the time that we must all act.”
Dr Robertson, continued, “As an educational institution, UCCI is dedicated to developing resources and providing educational support to the people of the Cayman Islands. This is such an important project for the Cayman Islands, and the wider Caribbean region as we will be able to produce data that will help to inform sustainable energy decisions made for many years.”
RESEMBID Programme Director, Fabian McKinnon confirms that, “The project presented by the University is one that we are very excited about as its impact will benefit people all over the Caribbean. The research into and progression of sustainable energy is a huge issue for the Caribbean countries and other small island developing states (SIDS) around the world. Projects like this to be able to adequately inform and educate our nations so that we can start to make real progress. Through the European Union and RESEMBID, we have now invested resources in the Cayman Islands and we look forward to seeing the impact it has on the wider community here soon.”
RESEMBID, funded by the European Union and implemented by Expertise France - the development cooperation agency of the Government of France, supports sustainable human development efforts in 12 Caribbean Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) - Aruba, Anguilla, Bonaire, British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Curaçao, Montserrat, Saba, Saint Eustatius, Saint Barthélemy, Saint Maarten and Turks and Caicos.
In addition, the University is also proud to say that it is now a signatory to the Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME); a United Nations-supported initiative founded in 2007. As a platform to raise the profile of sustainability in tertiary institutions around the world, PRME equips today's business students with the understanding and ability to deliver change tomorrow . This membership consolidates UCCI as a leader of responsible management education in the nation and globally. It will allow faculty and administrators to access local and global learning communities and will give UCCI students a head start in their careers as leaders in sustainability.
“These initiatives are the first of many renewable energy and sustainability projects that UCCI aims to announce over the next 12 months,” noted President Robertson.