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Thomas’ blog on SDG

500 days with the Sustainable Development Goals at SDU

SDU has now been working with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for sustainable development for 500 days, and I’m so impressed with how much we have achieved already.

By Thomas Buchvald Vind, 2/10/2021

These days, it's 500 days since SDU's students and employees gathered for the kick-off for SDU's work on the UN SDGs.

I clearly remember that September day; it was an inspiring day. Important questions were raised. Discussions bubbled merrily among the many participants. And specific ideas and thoughts on how SDU could work on sustainable development were born. This gave us a lot of good energy and direction to the work on some of the most complex problems that our world is facing.

At the time, I was also really curious about what would come out of inviting all of our nearly 30,000 students and 4,000 employees to participate in considering how the university can contribute to the SDGs through free and independent research and education.

Now, 500 days later, I'm really impressed with how incredibly much has been achieved.

The first approx. 1,000 students have completed introductory courses on the UN SDGs for sustainable development, and we have held the first SDG Camp for students and companies. We now have a sustainable procurement policy, we have introduced better waste sorting and chosen a supplier for the cafeteria who focuses on sustainability and health. And researchers from all faculties contribute new knowledge that can make a difference in the work for a more sustainable world - from the development of sustainable fuels and a more sustainable food system to studies of Danes' motives and opportunities for movement, changes in the European democracy and the consequences of microplastics for the wild fish in the North Atlantic Ocean.

And these are only few examples of the many initiatives that have already been introduced.

I'm pleased that so many at SDU can see the point in contributing to a sustainable development. Despite the global COVID-19 pandemic, which in the past year has changed our everyday lives, made our work difficult and put some of the planned initiatives on standby, great contributions have been made by both students and employees. Most recently, two of our students were on the winning teams when MIT and DI held the international Green Campus Innovation Challenge.

SDU's work on sustainability has also been noticed outside the university. In December 2020, SDU finished number 12 out of 922 universities measured on sustainability in the UI Green Metric World University Rankings. We have gone from 39th place to 12th place, which is the biggest move within the top 50. It's an impressive result, especially because our actions - both past, present and future - within this area are important for many years to come.

Thank you for the effort on the first 500 days, SDU. It makes me proud that the work on sustainability is rooted at the university, which has enabled us to quickly contribute to a sustainable development. Let's continue to do so.

If you want to know more about the many sustainable development initiatives at SDU, I would recommend you to visit www.sdunet.dk/voresverdensmaal/500dage.
Here you can also share your story about an initiative at SDU that has made a difference and can inspire others in the work on sustainability. Because all contributions count in the work on the SDGs.

Editing was completed: 10.02.2021