A Brainstorming Meeting of UNEP-Tongji Institute for Environment and Sustainable Development jointly organized by Tongji University and UNEP was held in Beijing, in September 2003. A decision was made at the meeting to establish a Regional University Consortium (RUC) to promote the notion of sustainable development through educational channels. At the moment, RUC is with University of News South Wales， Griffith University, and Wollongong University from Australia, Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, and School of Forestry and Environmental Studies of Yale University in the USA, with Tongji University taking the lead. RUC members will jointly develop education on environment and sustainable development under the platform of IESD. Located in Japan, the University of United Nations enthusiastically takes part in RUC activities. Being inclusive in nature, RUC welcomes leading universities rich in research and expertise in environment and sustainable development.
The first RUC Meeting was held on August 1st, 2004, in Anji County, known as a model ecological zone in China. The meeting agreed on organizing leadership programs annually on environment for sustainable development. It was also decided to prepare an international Master's Program in Environmental management and Sustainable Development. Since then, the RUC meeting has been held for five times, summarizing the progress of the previous year and discussing the plans on training, education and research of the coming year.