Driving sustainability forward

Hearing their voices: Terry reading a child’s wish on the Wishing Wall during the Campus With A Conscience – Local Action For Global Goals 2023 event at Sunway University in Subang Jaya, Selangor.

Sunway University hosts week-long festival focused on UN’s 17 SDGs

KUALA LUMPUR: Innovation, inspiration, dedication and entertainment are just some of the key factors that brought a “city” together in a united effort to drive interest and action toward the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

In a display of unity, corporate leaders, non-governmental organisations, special society groups, influencers and over 22,000 students from all across Malaysia gathered at Sunway University, Sunway City for a week-long festival of events in support of the United Nations 17 SDGs.

Campus With A Conscience – Local Action For Global Goals 2023, was celebrated from Sept 18 to Sept 22.

This unique festival, believed to be the first of its kind in Asia, was back for the second year with talks, performances, interactive workshops and corporate displays on sustainability from pioneering brands such as Blueshark, Uniqlo, The Body Shop and Aquaria.

Among others, there were daily flag parades, on-stage demonstrations, a sustainable marketplace and a space to connect with leaders, changemakers, activists, as well as musical performances.

The festival was launched with a heart-warming, inclusive fashion show featuring senior citizens from Subang Jaya community and group of children with special needs who mesmerised and captivated the campus audience.

Joining the excited visitors on campus was a host of international dignitaries including German Ambassador to Malaysia Dr Peter Blomeyer, British High Commissioner to Malaysia Ailsa Terry, Finnish Ambassador to Malaysia Sami Leino and Karima El Korri, who is United Nations Resident Coordinator for Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei.

There was also royal approval as the Raja Muda of Selangor, Tengku Amir Shah ibni Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, visited the campus and congratulated everyone for the success of the occasion.

During the event, there was an ewaste collection where staff and students were able to environmentally dispose their unwanted electrical items. Since the start of the initiative, over 35,000kg electrical waste had been collected.

Younger participants from schools all across the country were invited to enjoy an interactive “Treasure Our Planet Trail” across the campus, learning new 17 SDG facts every step of their journey of enlightenment, helping to ensure the next generation will continue to carry the message of influence and action.

Also taking part in the flag parade and presenting on stage were members of Malaysia’s Special Olympics team led by national director Jacque Kok Lee Min.

Daily on-stage demonstrations included a creative upcycling demonstration hosted by Maslisa Zainuddin of Sunway University. The campus also played host to Malaysia’s first ever sustainable ambulance.

One of the most outstanding elements of this year’s event was a uniquely created Wishing Wall, which featured the wishes of 280 children from orphanages and refugee homes.

To grant these wishes, the Sunway community was invited to donate through Malaysia’s first ever charity vending machine.

The event fully lived up to its reputation as all 280 wishes were granted. The vending machine was supplied and generously sponsored by Advanced Food Technologies (AFT).

The week-long event was an overwhelming success and a great advert for Malaysia in the global world of sustainability.

Sunway Education Group chief executive officer Prof Datuk Dr Elizabeth Lee said:

“This event is very much centred around making long term collaborations and bringing people together.”

“It is a platform which highlights the role we all play in creating awareness on current issues centred on planetary health, and in nurturing our Sunway community on sustainable living practices and the need for solutions towards addressing critical global challenges.”

Sunway University president Prof Sibrandes Poppema said: “Through this event, we are able to provide an avenue for various organisations, communities and charities to spread awareness and raise funds, as well as for global brands to showcase their sustainability initiatives.”

The Local Action for Global Goals 2023 emphasised the need for the world to work together to deliver the Global Goals by 2030 through a range of special events and inspiring activations for all ages and interests.

It brought together world leaders, policy-makers, decision-makers, business leaders, partners, academics, scientists, stakeholders, activists, and advocates from around the world to connect, examine solutions, identify a path forward, and work collectively in achieving the Global Goals at a critical time.

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