Sustainable Development Goals in research

There is a huge range of research happening across the University that works towards the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are 17 global goals which were ratified by 193 countries of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in 2015. They are underpinned by 5 pillars; ‘people, planet, prosperity, peace and partnerships' and serve as a blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all.

The following case studies provide a small sample of research at the University of Melbourne that aligns with the SDGs. Projects are unique but can be classified into three broad groups.

Group 1 consists of work that explicitly addresses the SDGs. These projects have been linked to the SDGs, their targets, and indicators, and have successfully demonstrated to funding bodies how the work will contribute to sustainable development.

Group 2 focusses on supporting organisations to align work with the goals and targets of the SDGs. These projects incorporate the SDGs and explore how institutions are using them, their targets and indicators to gain traction for initiatives that contribute to sustainability. This work is important because it shows how governments have referred to the SDG framework to support implementation of sustainability policies and projects.

Group 3 includes work that has not been explicitly linked with the SDGs, but is consistent with one or more of the goals because its ultimate purpose is to contribute to equitable and sustainable development. Viewing these projects through the lens of the SDGs can be useful in demonstrating the diversity of research at the University that exemplifies collective action for sustainable development. Due to the breadth of the SDGs, this is the largest group.

The SDGs as a framework

As a global leader in sustainability, aligning research to the SDGs ensures the University can work alongside other organisations and institutions to confront global sustainability challenges.

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