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Sustainable development

Research, education and collaboration for sustainable development is a vital part of the University of Gothenburg's vision. This means that the three dimensions of sustainable development: social, economic and environmental dimensions, should be integrated into the university's activities. We will strengthen our relevance as a collaboration partner in society and contribute to achieve the Global Goals for Sustainable Development adopted by the UN General Assembly in Agenda 2030.

The University of Gothenburg has a long tradition of both extensive research and education in environmental science as well as a successful environmental management work. The environmental aspects have recently been more and more integrated into the broader concept of sustainable development as defined in the Brundtland Commission Report and in Agenda 2030. In addition to traditional environmental issues such as climate, recycling and energy use, also equality and work environment are examples of important aspects of sustainable development. Sustainability issues concerns the entire university and the responsibility is distributed over many different parts of the organisation. Below is a selection of pages for more information on how the University of Gothenburg is acting for sustainable development.

Vital part of our vision

Sustainable development is a vital part of the University of Gothenburg’s vision. The vision, entitled A university for the world, expresses the University’s ambition to be an international higher education and research institution that assumes responsibility for the development of society while helping to build a sustainable world. We will strengthen our relevance as a member of our community and partner to make an impact on social development and contribute to the Global Goals for Sustainable Development.

Sustainable development in research

At the University of Gothenburg, research related to sustainable development is performed in many research groups at various departments and research centres. Under the tag "Find Research" you can search for research groups and research projects at the university.

UGOT Challenges – a multidisciplinary research initiative

UGOT Challenges is an example of a research initiative, where the University of Gothenburg invests 300 million SEK in six multidisciplinary research centres. The premise is that a strong multidisciplinary research effort is needed to meet today’s global societal challenges. The six research centres cover many research disciplines. All of them have significant multidisciplinary elements. Some initiatives are new, and others come from earlier research structures that have widened as a result of the global challenges perspective. UGOT Challenges is a six-year initiative that started 2016.

Sustainable development in education

As a student you have many opportunities to get involved in sustainability issues at the University of Gothenburg. As an example you can be part of the internal environmental audit, contribute with student perspectives in a committee at your faculty or join a student-run sustainability association.

Gothenburg Centre for Sustainable Development (GMV) administers a Student Hub for Sustainable Development where staff coordinates and supports student sustainability initiatives.

Gothenburg Centre for Sustainable Development (GMV)

In order to realize the University of Gothenburg's vision for sustainable development, Gothenburg Centre for Sustainable Development (GMV) has been commissioned to create and facilitate cooperation, between and within Chalmers and the University of Gothenburg, with an aim to generate and practically implement knowledge about sustainable development. In order to develop solutions to global challenges, GMV brings academic disciplines together to create new knowledge. Moreover, practical implementation of knowledge requires collaboration between academia and other actors in society. To this end, GMV creates meeting places and brings together different types of expertise in order to promote sustainable development within research, education and cooperation, such as the Research Network for Sustainable Development, which brings together more than 500 researchers.

Environmental management system

The University of Gothenburg’s environmental management system is certified according to ISO14001 and registered according to EMAS. Gothenburg Centre for Sustainable Development (GMV) is responsible for the University of Gothenburg’s environmental management work.

Climate actions

The University of Gothenburg is actively working to reduce its climate impact as part of the environmental management system. In the university's action plan for environment and sustainable development, the vice-chancellor has determined that the university should reduce the total carbon dioxide emissions from business travel and energy use. The goals are mainly achieved through active work with sustainable energy use as well as travel-free meetings and sustainable travelling. Other efforts to reduce the climate impact are also made in research and education as well as by manage management and coordination of purchasing and transportation.

The University compensates for all business travel by air in an internal climate fund.
The University of Gothenburg has also signed the Climate Framework for universities in Sweden.

Gender equality and equal treatment

The University shall promote equal rights and opportunities for students and employees and counter discrimination related to gender, gender identity or expression, ethnicity, religion or other beliefs, sexual orientation, disability or age.

The Global Goals for Sustainable Development

World top leaders from around the world have adopted 17 challenging goals for the future, that are to be achieved by 2030: The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Global goals are part of the Agenda 2030, a document signed by 193 countries. The countries of the world are now actively working to realize all 169 sub-targets, where academia and research play an important role. At the University of Gothenburg, GMV contributes to the work on the goals by disseminating knowledge about the goals and arranging activities such as lectures, podcasts, films, and web tools.