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Sustainable development

Sustainability is part of our vision and an integrated part of our research, education, collaboration, and daily operations. Through our work, we make an impact on societal development and contribute to a sustainable world.

Sustainability at University of Gothenburg

University of Gothenburg is internationally recognised for its work on sustainability issues in education and research. We strive to further develop and strengthen our sustainability efforts and increase our relevance as a societal actor and collaborative partner, thereby contributing to Agenda 2030 and the global goals for sustainable development, encompassing economic, social, and ecological dimensions.

Research that contributes to solutions

The university conducts outstanding research in various subjects and areas related to sustainability and the environment. This can include everything from energy, antibiotic resistance, transportation, aquaculture, to different aspects of human consumption and resource distribution.

Hundreds of scientific publications addressing sustainable development issues are published each year.

Would you like to contribute to making the world more sustainable? We offer a wide range of courses and programmes in various subject areas that equip you with the knowledge to become part of the solution to global problems.

Sustainability-labeled programmes

Our sustainability labelling is based on criteria that reflect the multidimensional concept of sustainable development. We have two different sustainability labels:

Sustainability focused programmes: These programmes have a focus on sustainability. The programmes are designed to fit into at least one of our 10 sustainability criteria. For you as a student, the sustainability label means guidance, quality assurance and a guarantee that the programmes contain a pronounced perspective on sustainability.

Our sustainability focused programmes

Sustainability related programmes: In these programmes, issues related to sustainability are addressed. The content of the programmes fits into at least one of our 10 sustainability criteria. For you as a student, the sustainability label means guidance, quality assurance, and a guarantee that the programmes contain a pronounced sustainability perspective.

Our sustainability related programmes

Sustainability criteria

The criteria shall be considered based on their respective educational objectives and content.

Get involved during your study period

As a student, you have many opportunities to get involved in the university's sustainability efforts. You can join a student-led sustainability association, be part of the internal environmental audit, or contribute with a student perspective in a committee at your faculty or department.

More information at the Student portal

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Photo: Nathalie Greppi

Our strategic environmental and sustainability work

Sustainable development is an integral part of the university's vision. The vision ”A university for the world”, spanning from 2021 to 2030, expresses the University of Gothenburg’s commitment to being an internationally responsible institution that contributes to a sustainable world. We aim to strengthen our relevance as a societal actor and collaboration partner, making an impact on societal development and contributing to the global sustainable development goals.

Environmental policy

  1. The University will endeavour to make its students and personnel aware of environmental and development problems and, through research, education and interaction with the community, stimulate concrete activities that promote sustainable development.
  2. The University will, trough its systematic and focused environmental work, aim to prevent or reduce its negative environmental impact. The Environmental Management System at the University will be certified.
  3. Environmental considerations will be incorporated into all decision making processes. Research, teaching, administration, management and technical functions, will be characterised by environmental accountability.
  4. The University's environmental work will be continually improved and evaluated by regular environmental audits.
  5. The University will comply with applicable environmental legal requirements and with other environmental requirements to which the organisation subscribes.

Leading in environmental management

The University of Gothenburg is certified according to the international standard for environmental management system ISO 14001 and registered under the EU equivalent EMAS. This means that the university continuously works to improve its operations to reduce negative environmental impact and enhance positive impact for sustainable development through education, research, and collaboration.

A climate-neutral organisation by 2045

We actively work to reduce the university’s climate impact. Our goal is to decrease our carbon dioxide emissions in two steps. By 2023, we aim to reduce our emissions by 25 percent compared to 2019, and by 2029, emissions should be halved. Our long-term goal is to be climate-neutral by 2045, aligning with Sweden’s overall objective adopted by the Swedish parliament.

To measure our carbon dioxide emissions, we have developed a digital tool called the Carbon Intelligence System, which shows emissions per organisational unit. This tool enables university managers to monitor and analyse emissions from different activities.

The University of Gothenburg has an internal cost for carbon offsetting related to air travel. The cost finances an internal climate fund that implements measures for sustainable development.