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Sustainable Development

The concept of sustainable development was created by the United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development in 1987 and was given the following definition: "Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs".

Education and research are our most important contribution to sustainable development. The University of Gothenburg offers Sweden's widest range of education in environment and sustainable development. We research in a number of subjects that relate to different dimensions of sustainable development.

Enviromental work at the Faculty

The Faculty of Sciences works structured and long-term with environmental and sustainability issues. The practical work is run by environmental coordinators at the departments. For more than ten years, we are environmentally certified.

There is an action plan for environment and sustainable development at the University and all Departments contribute with activities to work towards the objectives of the action plan.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

The world faces major challenges in achieving sustainable development. Consequently, UN member countries decided in 2015 on an ambitious development agenda to meet the economic, social, cultural and ecological aspects of sustainable development. Education and research are our most important contributions to sustainable development.

Goal 2: Zero hunger

Access to enough nutritious food is a human right. Great progress in fighting hunger has been made in recent decades, but nearly one tenth of the world’s population still lives below the hunger line.This is largely because food production and distribution is a complex issue that is affected by many factors. It is not just a matter of sustainable use of resources, but also functioning trade and infrastructure.

Goal 3: Health and well-being

Efforts to promote the health of the world’s population are not only self-evident for humanitarian reasons, but they can also be regarded as a reinvestment in society. For example, major humanitarian and economic benefits are achievable by reducing the damage caused by contamination of soil, water and air. About one in four deaths in the world can be linked to air pollution.

Goal 4: Quality education

A good education in terms of quality and inclusiveness is an important pre-condition for a society based on equality and a sound economic footing and ensures the well-being of its citizens. Everyone has the right to an education according to his or her prerequisites.

Goal 6: Clean water and sanitation

Water is a fundamental requirement for all life on Earth, and in turn access to clean water is a prerequisite for sustainable development. Mankind depends on water to survive and for the production of food and energy, among other things.

Goal 7: Affordable and clean energy

Fossil fuels still make up approximately 80 per cent of the world’s energy supply. What will therefore be needed over the coming years is a radical switch to cleaner alternatives. The shortage of clean energy sources and access to electricity is also an obstacle to combating world poverty. Researchers at the University of Gothenburg are attempting to develop both new ways of extracting energy on a sustainable basis and methods for refining existing technology.

Goal 9: Industy, innovation and infrastructure

Goal nine consists of three different parts that are also interlinked. Innovation is the driving force behind industrialisation, and infrastructure creates opportunities for development. Investment in infrastructure is crucial for achieving sustainable development and building robust communities in many countries.

Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

One of the University of Gothenburg’s aspirations is to work within and for society, and urban areas are becoming increasingly important areas of study. Within the Faculty of Science, researchers and teachers are actively working with Goal 11.

Goal 12: Responsible consumption and production

Sustainability in consumption and production is essential for making more efficient use of resources, reducing environmental and climate impact and improving human health. The means of achieving this goal include better use of ecosystem services, less use of hazardous chemicals and a switch to sustainable patterns of consumption and production.

Goal 13: Climate Action

The on-going climate change is one of humanity’s greatest challenges. The use of fossil energy and the subsequent emissions of greenhouse gases are affecting our environment and have major consequences for virtually all other goals in Agenda 2030.

Goal 14: Life below water

Although oceans and seas cover more than 70 per cent of the Earth’s surface, there are still large gaps in the knowledge about the sea. Goal 14 is about how we should manage and rebuild marine resources.

Goal 15: Life on Land

All living organisms and their habitats form an ecological system in which animals and plants in close symbiosis affect natural habitats and surrounding conditions. Biological diversity in various ecosystems has proven important for the Earth’s well-being and future development.

Page Manager: Erika Hoff|Last update: 9/21/2018

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