Italian University Network for Sustainable Development

The RUS - University Network for Sustainable Development, is the first experience of coordination and sharing between all Italian universities committed to the topic of environmental sustainability and social responsibility. Formally established in the CRUI in July 2016, Ca’ Foscari was among the promoting universities.


The main goal of RUS is to spread the culture of sustainability, both within and outside the Universities (at urban, regional, national, international level), with the aim of increasing the positive impact in terms of environmental, ethical, social and economic actions which are currently implemented by members of the Network, furthering the recognisability and the value of the Italian experience on an International level.

Institutional Objectives

  • Harmonizing institutional activities and improving the management of the members environmental and social aspects, even through continuous monitoring of the state of sustainability within the Universities and the definition of a shared framework with appropriate metrics to keep track of the environmental, social and economic characteristics of the Universities and their related benchmarking activity.
  • Creating a community which is able to develop/spread/transfer/adapt national and International best practises and to adequately represent the members and the RUS at a national and International level, with particular attention to sustainability in International rankings and the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals.
  • Promoting projects within the network, which have already been successfully tested by one or more of the adhering groups, and developing joint initiatives that are relevant to new projects, in areas such as knowledge and skills transmission, education and university management, with a focus on learning and on a multistakeholder/multidisciplinary blend.
  • Developing a multidisciplinary approach in university programs, with the purpose of contributing in the growth of the sustainable development culture and guiding the students towards a positive lifestyle;
  • Training and updating the staff of Italian universities (professors, technical-administrators, collaborators and linguistic experts) on the topics of sustainable development , including teachers and professors from different levels of education, if necessary.
  • Developing awareness and promotion campaigns at local, national and international level, to stimulate stakeholder engagement.
  • Increasing collaboration with public bodies as well as with public and private businesses, in order to join forces and achieve RUS’ goals regarding the Third Mission of the University;
  • Formulation of opinions and proposals, on matters within its competence, if requested by institutional subjects.

Who can join

All universities linked to the CRUI and other universities, whose institutional goals are coherent with the RUS objectives, can adhere. 

The universities linked to the CRUI can send to the Organisation Secretary a letter of request for membership, signed by the legal representative, containing the identification of their RUS delegate.

For universities not associated with the CRUI it is necessary to send a formal request for membership to the Organisation Secretary (, signed by the legal representative indicating:

  • name and link to the website;
  • a short text indicating the aims pursued and the main activities;
  • the reasons for which it considers appropriate to join the RUS;
  • references for subsequent contacts.

Organisation Secretary

Politecnico di Torino

prof. Patrizia Lombardi, 011 090 6300
dott. Paola Biglia, 011 090 3228

"Magnifici Incontri" to the annual CRUI meeting 2019

From 29 to 30 of May in the University of Udine during the “Magnifici Incontri CRUI 2019” (Magnificent meetings CRUI 2019), the Rectors of the Italian Universities wrote a Manifesto entitled “From -Universities for sustainability- to -Sustainability in the University-” that will be sent to the Government.
At the meeting also Michele Bugliesi, Rector of Ca’Foscari University and delegate of the sustainability for the CRUI, was present and took part in the decisions. 

The principles of integration and social cohesion are essential in order to cooperate towards sustainable development and universities have to promote them through education, research actions and organizing activities. The constitutive principles of the Manifesto are the reduction of social and territorial disparity, gender equality, the social inclusion in opposition to discrimination, the environmental protection and the trust in interpersonal relations.  
The Manifesto highlights  how important is to enhance the power of  the education offered by universities. Through lessons, laboratories, meetings and more practical actions universities can raise awareness on the importance of the relation between environment and people life style. For this to be succeeded professors and students have to be trained on sustainability themes. 

Thanks to the Manifesto CRUI, the 2030 Agenda of the United Nations will be taken as the point of reference for many institutional decisions and its 17 Objectives will be included in every university’s strategic plan. 

Manifesto [ITA]

June 29th, 2018 - Polytechnic University of Bari 

On June 29th 2018, the Polytechnic University of Bari will host the second annual conference of the University Network for Sustainable Development. The main topic will be the interaction between Universities and Cities to join forces and find solutions, with the aim of achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. 

10 July 2017 - Ca' Foscari University of Venice

On 10 July 2017 the Ca' Foscari University of Venice hosted the first conference [IT] of the "Rete delle Università per lo Sviluppo sostenibile". The main topic of the conference is the education in the italian universities for sustainable development, with the presentation of best practices to promote existing projects and to develop new ideas.

Last update: 04/07/2023