SDG program

Our Global Goals

It is our goal that SDU is working in an ambitious and dedicated manner with all of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals, and that this work will affect all of SDU.


At the UN Summit in New York on 25 September 2015, the world’s heads of state and governments adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals. These goals came into force on 1 January 2016, marking an unprecedentedly ambitious and transformative development agenda, designed to promote sustainable development both globally and in the individual countries.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – the so-called World Goals – consist of 17 specific goals and 169 sub-goals, which commit all the 193 member states of the United Nations to a range of specific development targets. These include abolishing poverty and hunger in the world, reducing inequalities, ensuring good education and better health for all, establishing decent jobs, slowing down climate change and providing more sustainable economic growth overall. They also focus on promoting peace, security and strong institutions, and on strengthening international partnerships.

Working towards all 17 SDGs

On 17 June 2019, the Executive Board of the University of Southern Denmark (SDU) decided to make working with all 17 of the UN global goals the basis for the free, independent and critical research and education carried out at SDU. Many companies and organisations in the public and private sectors, including universities, are already working towards compliance with these goals.

Our goal for SDU is to work ambitiously and wholeheartedly with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, on the basis of independent, critical research and education.

This is not just a project or strategy. It represents a fundamental transformation of SDU, and one that will be implemented in strategy as well as operations, in matters both large and small, and as part of all SDU decisions.

At SDU, we want to work with all the 17 SDGs, and not just a select few. And we want to work independently and critically with these goals, regardless of the many different political positions involved. This is because focusing on individual goals can lead to over-simplified solution proposals that actually have adverse effects on conditions addressed in other SDGs. That is precisely why the challenge lies in identifying and implementing holistic solutions. Social, economic and environmental development, climate conditions, peace, security and international cooperation are closely inter-linked, and achieving sustainable development results requires integrated, concerted action. SDU will involve, engage and mobilise the entire university in this important work.

SDU’s existing strategic narrative will be re-aligned towards the 2030 agenda, featuring a focus on how SDU can help shed light on these crucial global goals, based on our work in research as well as education. The new core narrative will provide a perspective for how the entire university operates as well as for how SDU prioritises and invests in research, education and knowledge collaboration.

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