ISCN Member Spotlight: The University of Gothenburg Sustainability Efforts

The University of Gothenburg annually presents its sustainability results including a follow-up of the sustainability objectives decided in the action plan for environment and sustainable development. Some of the results from last year are presented below. 

Northern Europe joins together for sustainable solutions

The UN adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) in 2015. These goals are to govern the development of policies, agendas and solutions over the forthcoming 15-year period, and the Centre for Environment and Sustainability (GMV read more ) was tasked with hosting the Secretariat for Sustainable Development Solutions Network Northern Europe (SDSN NE). The network brings together knowledge, experience and capacity within the region’s academia, trade, industry and civil society stakeholders in order to promote sustainable solutions for global challenges. (read more ).

University of Gothenburg Centers for Global Societal Challenges.

UGOT Challenges is a unique 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. UGOT Challenges is a six-year initiative that started 2016. The six research centres cover many research disciplines together. All of them have significant multidisciplinary elements. Some initiatives are new; others start from earlier research structures that have extended as a result of the global challenges perspective:

AgeCap - Centre for Ageing and Health

The overall aim of AgeCap is to perform coordinated studies of capability in ageing. Capability refers to the individual’s ability to perform actions in order to reach goals he or she has reason to value.

CARe - Antibiotic Resistance Research

CARe is an interdisciplinary effort to meet the development of antibiotic resistance. The research centre will primarily focus on a crucial threat: multi-resistant carbapenamase producing enterobacteriaceae (CPE).

CCHS - Centre for Critical Heritage Studies

Centre for Critical Heritage Studies is a multidisciplinary research centre. The purpose of the research is to present alternative and critical interpretations of how we perceive a globalised world. A challenge is therefore to investigate how the past can be used in the present to create the future.

CeCAR - Centre for Large-scale Collective Action Research

CeCAR is a research centre established to seek the answers about the driving forces behind collective action. During which circumstances can large-scale collective actions occur?  

FRAM - Centre for Future Chemical Risk Assessment and Management Strategies

FRAM is a multi-disciplinary research centre focusing on chemical mixtures and chemical pollution on ecosystem services that are provided by rivers, lakes and coastal areas. 

SWEMARC - Aquaculture Centre West

Aquaculture Centre West’s aim is that through multidisciplinary and socially engaging research increase the production of food from the sea in a sustainable way.

Learn more about UGOT Challenges. 

Working Together with students for a Sustainable University

Three years ago, the idea of taking the Green Office concept to the University of Gothenburg was born. The Green Office is an international model in which students become actively involved in the environmental and sustainability work. Last autumn, two students were hired part time (20 %) to work on the project. They combine full-time studies with their jobs, which is to coordinate and develop the participation of students in the University’s sustainability efforts.

‘Many staff members and various groups at the University want to involve the students in the work but don’t know how to find them, and the students want to get involved but don't know who to contact. That’s where we can help,’ says Wilhelmsson who is one of the hired students.

Learn more about Students for Sustainability Office.

Learn more about Gothenburg’s students for sustainability.

University of Gothenburgs’ internal climate fund

In order to balance employees' carbon emissions from air travel, the University of Gothenburg offsets carbon emissions in an internal climate fund. Employees and students can apply for funding from the Fund for projects that reduce the universities´s emissions of greenhouse gases.

The purpose of the Climate Fund is to enable researchers, teachers, students and other employees to actively participate in the university’s efforts to reduce it´s climate impact. Funds can be given to projects that reduce the university's carbon footprint. This may involve direct action projects for energy efficiency or travel free meetings but also projects such as information dissemination and application of research.

Learn more about the Climate Fund.

Sustainability labelling of courses and study programs

The University of Gothenburg labels courses and programs that contain sustainable development with a sustainability label. The university's Board of Education has adopted ten integrative and holistic criteria that are to be applied in order to label a course or a study program. The background to the sustainability labelling, the selection of sustainability concepts, starting points for the criteria and the criteria to be used are described in the full document that can be downloaded on this website.

One purpose of the labelling is to follow up the university-wide goal in the Action Plan for Environment and Sustainable Development  to increase the integration of sustainable development in the education. Another purpose of the label is to visualize for students which courses and programs at the various faculties and departments that deal with sustainable development.

Learn more about the sustainability labeling of courses and study programs.

Call for Associate Editors: "Encyclopedia of the Sustainable Development Goals: Transforming the World We Want"

In September 2015, the UN General Assembly approved the “2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”. On 1st January 2016, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development officially came into force.  The goals cover the three dimensions of sustainable development: economic growth, social inclusion and environmental protection.

The "Encyclopedia of the Sustainable Development Goals: Transforming the World We Want" is being produced by the World Sustainable Development Research and Transfer Centre and the Inter-University Sustainable Development Research Programme, being published by Springer, as part of the award-winning"World Sustainability Series".

The editor-in-chief is calling for expressions of interest from colleagues who may wish to support this project by acting as Associate Editors for specific volumes.

This is a honorary, i.e. non-paid position, but entails a wide visibility since the names of  the Associate Editors will appear in the second cover of the publication, as well as on the on-line version, which they will be able to access free of any charges. The tasks of the Associate Editors are: 

1. to supply the editorial team with 25 terms / expressions for use in one of the 17 volumes they choose to contribute towards, which will be the basis of a 5 to 6 pages chapter.

Each volume will have four associate editors, and will entail 100 terms. This means that each associate editor will thus oversee 25 entries per SDG-volume. The submissions will me made on-line we will upload the 25 terms you will provide, on the web site.

2. help us to identify suitable authors (among your contacts/colleagues) who will then write each chapter, tackling one term each. As mentioned above, each chapter consists of a text using a template provided, of 5 to 6 pages. Further details will be provided on the web site of the Encyclopedia, in due course.

Those who think may be able to take advantage of this opportunity and act as Associate Editors of the "Encyclopedia of the Sustainable Development Goals: Transforming the World We Want" should send the following details:





Selected SDG(s) (up to 2!) where you may act as Associate Editor:

to Svenja Scheday at: <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.> by 4th April 2017.

Further details will then follow.

Higher Education Strategic Planning for Sustainable Development: A Global Perspective

9783319478760Last June, members of the ISCN's Secretariat teamed up with ISCN Working Group 2 co-chairs, Heather Henriksen and Eugenio Morello, to co-author an article on strategic sustainability planning in higher education. This article, "Higher Education Strategic Planning for Sustainable Development: A Global Perspective" has now been published in the The Handbook of Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development of Springer's World Sustainability Series

The Handbook of Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, consisting of 4 volumes and over 140 peer-reviewed papers, contains the works presented at the 3rd World Symposium on Sustainable Development at Universityies (WSSD-U-2016) held at ISCN member Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) September 14-16, 2016. 

ISCN members can access the article by logging into the Members-Only website.

Call for Papers- Special Issue on: "Science in Implementing the SDGs: Challenges and Innovative Solutions"

Guest Editors:
Prof. Ulisses Miranda Azeiteiro, Prof. Andreia Setti and Prof. Mário Jorge Pereira, University of Aveiro, Portugal

This special issue will look at issues that will be central to world sustainable development through efficient and effective technology transfer, the challenges these pose for developing countries, and the global framework for dealing with science and technology. The general theme will be to discuss integrated approaches to the problems of technology transfer within an urban and rural development context and how research can contribute to SDG implementation.

We aim to gather theoretical analyses, empirical evidence and concrete experiences from projects around the world paying special attention to the academic and non-academic sectors, which illustrate Innovative Solutions.

Experiences and case studies from the global south are especially welcome, hence addressing the chronic need to document and disseminate experiences from these regions.

Subject Coverage

Suitable topics include, but are not limited, to the following:

  • Health and wellbeing states and territories
  • Health promotion
  • Integrated scientific approach towards sustainable development
  • Characterising challenges and providing solutions
  • Developing program goals and measurable objectives
  • Monitoring, evaluation and measurable results
  • Research needs and pathways to policy implementation
  • Advancing solutions to implementation of the SDGs and climate change agreements
  • Dialogue between science and policymakers
  • New developments and emerging research frontiers

Notes for Prospective Authors

Submitted papers should not have been previously published nor be currently under consideration for publication elsewhere. (N.B. Conference papers may only be submitted if the paper has been completely re-written and if appropriate written permissions have been obtained from any copyright holders of the original paper).  All papers are refereed through a peer review process. 

All papers must be submitted online. To submit a paper, please read our Submitting articles page:

Important Dates

Submission of manuscripts: 30 June, 2017

Notification to authors: 30 November, 2017

Final versions due: 27 February, 2018