University of Southern Denmark 2021 Sustainability Report released


Knowledge for a sustainable future

Universities have a critical role to play in providing answers to grand societal challenges. In our time, one of the greatest challenges facing the future of our planet is sustainable development. Universities generate new knowledge and innovations that provide solutions to the interconnected social, economic and environmental challenges captured in the SDGs. This report is a snapshot of what we did in 2021 to advance sustainability across the University of Southern Denmark.

Research and innovation

The report shows that researchers at SDU are occupied with sustainability and are engaged in a wide variety of sustainability-related research activities. The examples range from green aviation fuel to inequality in healthcare and sustainable markets. The report also shows that the activities are happening globally and locally in collaboration with other universities, companies and public institutions.

On average, between 2019 and 2020, 58% of research funding was used for research related to sustainability. This corresponds to almost DKK 400 million. According to Elsevier SDG classification queries in the database Scopus1, the total number of SDG-related publications by SDU researchers in any SDG in 2021 was 1,906. 1,309 of these were scholarly SDG-related publications (articles, conference papers and book chapters).

From 2011-2020, researchers from SDU published around 25,000 co-authored publications. 15% of these were with non-SDU researchers from the Global South. During that period, there was a yearly increase in the number of co-authored publications and the proportion published in cooperation with non-SDU researchers from the Global South. In 2020, this share was 20%.

Finding effective solutions to the climate challenges facing society requires interdisciplinary research. SDU holds a strong position within this area, and we want to bring this even more into play. In 2022, we will launch SDU Climate Cluster (SCC). SCC will unite research environments across disciplines and faculties on a joint, mission-driven research thematic: “Climate”. With a broad interdisciplinary approach to climate research, SCC will set a framework that provides optimal conditions for cutting-edge, excellent and interdisciplinary research, education and communication within the climate area and the sustainable green transition of society.

Teaching and learning

Of the 17 SDGs, SDG 4 is Quality Education, which discusses the need to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education for all without discrimination. SDG 4 has 10 targets concerning different aspects of education. One of the targets focuses on ensuring that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development. In the autumn semester of 2020, as a part of a pilot project around 1,000 students across SDU completed the introductory course on sustainability. In 2021, the course became part of all programmes at SDU, and all new students on the bachelor programmes must now complete the course.

The report sheds light on the range of subjects and courses as well as co- and extracurricular offers relevant to sustainability. 995 courses and subjects offered were related to sustainability. This corresponds to 23% of all courses and subjects. 89 bachelor, master’s and engineering programmes are related to the green transition. This means that the programmes contain topics such as energy production and efficiency, agriculture and food production, transport, environment and circular economy, nature and biodiversity or sustainable behaviour and societal consequences.

In 2022, we will continue to develop and make visible our curricular, extra- and co-curricular offers to students who want to improve their skills in relation to sustainability. Another area of focus will be rethinking our guidance to students. We are now standing on the threshold of a new transition in the labour market: the sustainable transition. At the same time, we are experiencing that more students want to contribute to a sustainable future through participation in communities. The task here will be to support students and see to it that their individual career trajectory is connected to the societal and global trajectory, and that “I too” through my education, work and career can contribute to the actual creation of a sustainable future.


SDU is also committed to embedding sustainability in all our campus operations to conserve resources, reduce pollution, reduce carbon emissions and support positive behaviour on sustainable issues. We also want to ensure that SDU is a diverse employer with innovative and creative research environments and an inclusive and healthy working environment.

The also shed light on selected areas in our efforts to make our campuses more sustainable and make SDU an inclusive and diverse workplace characterised by a healthy working environment. As can be seen about one in five employees experience challenges in relation to their work-life balance. When a similar survey was conducted three years ago in 2018, this share was also 21%.

In relation to gender equality, it should be noted that we are seeing a five per cent increase in the proportion of female senior academic staff compared to previous years. The female proportion of senior academics is now 28%. In comparison, the female proportion among assistant professors and associate professors is about 45%. 37% of all managers in SDU are women. If we zoom in on the two senior management levels (executive board members, department heads and directors), the proportion of women is 33%.

With the Board’s adoption of a climate plan for SDU in December 2021, the focus in 2022 and onwards will be on intensifying the work of reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the University. The goals here will be to reduce emissions from buildings, operations and transport as well as strengthen the circular resource economy at SDU. As part of the plan, SDU has set a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 57% in 2030 compared to 2018.

University of Genoa approves Climate Neutrality Strategy and updates ISCN membership

On January 27, 2022 the University of Genoa (UniGe) made a strong and explicit pledge against climate change, defining its Climate Neutrality Strategy 2022-2030. The strategy, starting from the latest UniGe greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory, outlines a path that the university has to follow to reduce both the direct and indirect emissions of pollutants in the atmosphere. Moreover, the document defines the actions to do for the neutralization or compensation of residual emissions. This is the last step of the strong and continuous commitment towards the spreading of the Sustainability culture in all the activities of the University of Genoa. The 2021-2026 UniGe Strategic Plan also identifies sustainability as one of the five strategic development lines together with digitization and innovation, inclusion, internationalization, and quality.

In 2011, UniGe started its sustainability commitment by focusing the research and projects of the Savona Campus on Sustainable Energy and Smart City. Great efforts were made to reduce the carbon footprint of the Campus by the creation of two big Research Infrastructures (a Smart Microgrid and an energy self-sufficient building) integrating different renewable energy sources and system automation. For those reasons, in November 2016 the Savona Campus joined ISCN sharing its best practices with other international universities. In the meantime, the UniGe Commission on Environmental Sustainability was created to improve the sustainability culture of the whole university. Several actions and projects have been carried out so far, including participation in Italian and international networks or rankings.

The University of Genoa has made a lot of efforts to improve its sustainability performances in all its campuses. I think that participation in networks, rankings and conferences stimulates us to consider aspects related to sustainability in a systematic and continuous way, enriching our knowledge. For that reason, I decided to sign the ISCN charter on behalf of the whole University of Genoa.” -- Prorector for Sustainability, Adriana Del Borghi

McGill University releases Sustainable Travel Guide

McGill University has released a new Sustainable Travel Guide to provide guidance for McGill travellers—students, staff, and faculty—on how to factor sustainability into travel decisions, from determining whether travel is necessary, to choosing the best mode of transport or reducing impact upon arrival. It was produced by the McGill Office of Sustainability, in Montreal, Canada, with the expertise of its Climate Officer Divya Sharma.

Travelling sustainably means considering present and future environmental, social, and economic impacts of travel. By reducing emissions of business-related travel, McGill community members contribute to the University’s long-term target to achieve carbon neutrality (net zero emissions) by 2040.

The Sustainable Travel Guide, designed as a checklist, guides readers through four questions that push them to think about how they choose to travel:

  1. Do I need to travel?
  2. Can I travel sustainably?
  3. Can I choose sustainable accommodations?
  4. Can I reduce my environmental impact further?

Throughout, the guide presents various options depending on the traveller’s needs, whether they are travelling locally or internationally, if they are able to bundle trips or reduce the number of travellers, and more.

Learn more at

NTU opens sustainability office

Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore has opened a new Sustainability Office to coordinate and drive NTU’s sustainability efforts in a holistic and integrated way. To build on this momentum, the University has also released a 15-year Sustainability Manifesto. The Manifesto reflects NTU’s commitment to decarbonisation and sustainable development and will guide the University towards their goal of carbon neutrality by 2035.

The NTU Sustainability Manifesto recognises that sustainability is a grand and complex global challenge involving all sectors and all of society. To that end, in addition to striving for carbon neutrality, the University aims to:

  • Incorporate sustainability in its newly established interdisciplinary common core curriculum for all undergraduate students;
  • Launch new undergraduate, postgraduate and continuing education programme options on different aspects of sustainability;
  • Support and promote the principles of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals across the pillars of education, research, innovation and community;
  • Achieve 100% Green Mark Platinum certification for all eligible buildings on the main NTU campus; and
  • Reduce by 50 per cent NTU’s net energy utilisation, water usage, and waste generation, by March 2026, compared to the baseline levels of 2011.

Learn more about NTU's sustainability work.

1st Malaysia Sustainable Network National [Hybrid] Conference

The University of Genoa is committed to promote sustainable development in its campuses and among the local territory through various initiatives. In particular, the Savona Campus collaborates with some Malaysian universities to promote sustainability and energy efficiency in Malaysian university campuses, within the Erasmus+ CBHE funded project named MYSUN. This network of MY universities has organized the Free of Charge 1st Malaysia Sustainable Network National Conference, to be held on March 15, 16 2022. The event will be conducted in a Hybrid mode: online via a videoconferencing platform and at Universiti Malaysia Sabah.

The conference will be accompanied by a series of workshops on campus sustainability-related topics, especially devoted to Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), and will provide opportunities to exchange ideas and research experiences, as well as to establish research collaborations with global partners.

You can find more info and the registration link on


#sustainablecampus #MYSUNcampus #ErasmusPlus #mysun2022


Updates about the conference and the MYSUN project:


LUT: Carbon negative by 2024

Photo: Energy-related greenhouse gas emissions represent more than 70 % of all greenhouse gas emissions produced by humans. Through its research, LUT produces material-wise and low-emission solutions. The photo shows a liquid-cooled permanent magnet motor.

LUT University targets carbon negativity by the end of 2024. It is an ambitious goal, the achievement of which is monitored by the Greenhouse Gas Protocol.

Professor Risto Soukka, Associate Professor Mika Luoranen and Sustainability Manager Kati Koikkalainen explain LUT University's target for carbon negativity.

1. What is a carbon footprint?

LUT's carbon footprint refers to climate (carbon dioxide) emissions caused by the activities of the organisation and its people. The reported carbon footprint includes both direct and indirect emissions. For example, cars owned by LUT cause direct emissions, while emissions from bought electricity and staff commuting are considered indirect.

In 2020, LUT's carbon footprint was 1,593 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2eq). Mobility accounted for 51.4 per cent of the emissions, while food was the second largest cause for emissions with 18.6 per cent.

LUT calculates its carbon footprint using the Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG), which divides emissions into three dimensions or scopes. Scope 3, for example, includes district heating of a property. The calculations are used to analyse which emissions can be reduced and which needs to be compensated for.

The Impact Ranking of Times Higher Education also assesses LUT's work for sustainability and the climate based on the GHG protocol. THE is one of the world's most prestigious university rankings.

2. Who calculates LUT's carbon footprint?

LUT has its own Sustainability Science Carbon Negativity Team, which calculates the carbon footprint annually. The group comprises several experts from the university. The calculations are based on information collected from the university's units and stakeholders.

3. How is LUT's carbon footprint reduced?

The university follows the Climate Action Plan prepared with its staff and students. The programme is part of the management system. In addition, emission reductions are reported annually in sustainability reports.

The aim is to reduce electricity and heat consumption in buildings. The energy efficiency of the Lappeenranta campus has been greatly improved over the last 10 years, and LUT began operating on the energy-efficient Lahti campus in autumn 2019. Part of the campus electricity is produced by solar panels, and the purchased electricity is also produced with renewable energy. Furthermore, the campuses are heated with green district heating.

Another aim is to reduce the emissions from eating by encouraging the staff to eat vegetarian lunches.  At the Lappeenranta campus, the canteens of Kampusravintolat Oy place the vegetarian food first on the line, and the carbon footprint of all options is visible.

4. How can LUT achieve carbon negativity?

LUT can achieve carbon negativity by monitoring, reducing and compensating for its emissions. During 2022, LUT will strive to create a consistent and even more accurate way to reduce emissions. It requires regular and automated collection of high-quality data, for example from suppliers.

The calculations show how LUT's carbon footprint is formed and which emissions can be tackled. However, carbon neutrality must be achieved before carbon negativity. Different calculations may be needed for different purposes: a total carbon footprint calculation of LUT University and a calculation that defines the need for compensation, based on which carbon negativity is achieved.

The goal is to achieve carbon negativity by the end of 2024. Along the way, the calculations are tested, specified and possibly expanded. For example, LUT's investment activities are not currently included in the calculations, whereas emissions from commuting are (GHG protocol scope 3). It is essential for the calculations to include issues that the university can influence and the reduction of which genuinely leads the development into the desired direction.

A negative carbon footprint means to offset more carbon than you contribute to the atmosphere. A partial solution is investing in carbon sinks. LUT University is unlikely to achieve carbon negativity just by reducing emissions – emission compensation is also needed. Nevertheless, LUT carries out goal-oriented and continuous work to reduce emissions as much as possible.

5. Why is achieving carbon negativity challenging?

Achieving carbon negativity is not simple. Collecting high-quality and sufficient information for calculation is challenging. Observing the carbon footprint, carbon neutrality and carbon negativity calculations simultaneously is also a challenge. In addition, emissions compensation costs are high.

A lot of research on energy-intensive industries is carried out at LUT with the aim of reducing greenhouse gas emissions significantly. Reducing emissions from research activities can be difficult in general, not to mention significant reductions. On the other hand, research is expected to help industries reduce emissions.

6. What is a handprint?

An environmental handprint refers to the positive climate and environmental impacts of different actions. At LUT University, the handprint is based on strategic and long-term scientific work carried out in order to achieve the preservation of natural resources, a more efficient material cycle, social sustainability, sustainable business and a cleaner environment and water.

LUT's handprint materializes above all in projects and theses carried out to reduce the carbon footprint of partners and stakeholders. In addition, hundreds of students graduating annually bring sustainability competence to society, which makes them a part of LUT's handprint.

7. Why is LUT striving for carbon negativity?

Clean energy, water and air are preconditions for life, and LUT University seeks solutions to them with expertise in technology and economics. Through its activities, LUT helps society and companies to renew sustainably, which is why the university has also set high targets for carbon negativity.

Carbon negativity is also sensible as it improves efficiency and reduces costs.

"LUT is actively striving to find solutions for combating climate change. LUT is among the top ten universities in the world for climate action. We will continue this work, and our aim is to maintain our position in the ranking", Risto Soukka sums up.


Note: This article was originally published on the LUT website and was lightly edited and re-posted with permission.

Politecnico di Milano: SDGs, Sustainability Reports, and Social Impact

After a deep of mapping their institutional, research, and teaching activities to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the UN 2030 Agenda, Politecnico di Milano has created a new section of their website dedicated to sustainable development and the societal impact of the University's activities. Explore POLIMI's social impact page here.

Politecnico di Milano has also released two new sustainability reports, the University Environmental Sustainability Report and the SDGs@Polimi.


The University Environmental Sustainability Report

POLIMI's 2021 Environmental Sustainability Report strives to spread the culture of sustainability by pursuing and achieving the SDGs. The report covers POLIMI's progress towards the SDGs; the University's Governance and Community Engagement Activities; Research and Education; Climate Action; Buildings, Infrastrcutre, Energy, and Green Spaces; Sustainable Mobility; and the Circular Economy.




The publication of the SDGs@POLIMI Report has the primary objective of collecting and organising in a systematic way the actions carried out by Politecnico di Milano in recent years aimed at supporting the achievement of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Climate change image, Road in the mountains, ISCN, International Sustainable Campus Network

Smith College launches Year on Climate Change

Smith College is launching a Year on Climate Change, designed to bring a uniquely liberal arts approach to this urgent challenge.

"The Year on Climate Change is a college-wide initiative to critically examine the complex and urgent issue of climate change. As a college of and for the world, this program is an invitation to the entire Smith community, no matter your background or passion, to engage in a manner that is uniquely liberal arts - through deep and authentic collaboration, critical thinking, listening and action. All students, staff, faculty and alumnae are encouraged and invited to create and attend events throughout the year."

To read more, please visit:

ISCN Members welcome, International Sustainable Campus Network

Universidad Científica del Sur joins the ISCN!

We are thrilled to formally welcome Universidad Científica del Sur into the ISCN!

Universidad Científica del Sur, located in Lima, Peru, forms leaders committed to human, social and environmental development. It offers quality education for the world of work, based on a personalized education and approach to each profession from the first cycle. The University has a modern infrastructure and the necessary components to become a competitive professional. It has five faculties of Health Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Business Sciences, Human Sciences and Veterinary and Biological Sciences, and a Postgraduate School where it offers important Masters, Specialties, Diplomas, Specialization Programs and courses in Health, Environment, Veterinary and other areas.

"Universidad Científica del Sur, from its origins, was conceived as an institution at the service of man (through its humanistic model) and the care of the environment. Therefore, we established our Campus in Villa El Salvador, which borders the only protected natural area of ​​international importance in Lima: the Los Pantanos de Villa Wildlife Refuge - RVSPV. This is an example of our permanent commitment to environmental care.

In turn, we have been working on the development of a sustainable campus, where we are responsible for our solid waste, water use and carbon footprint.

We have an Operational Environmental Committee that involves academics, researchers and administrative managers, its main function being the promotion and strengthening of environmental management among all members of the university community.

The Plans of Study of all the careers offered by the university count, as part of their theoretical and practical content, the environmental commitment. In this line, we incorporate the environmental dimension in all races, an important differentiating element for us. This is aimed at strengthening their capacities, generating changes in consumption habits, as well as promoting research that contributes to entrepreneurship and sustainable development in the country.

Along these lines, we share with our students the subjects consolidated in the Sustainable Development Goals, recognizing the importance of these goals at the international level."

For more information on sustainability at Universidad Científica del Sur, please visit:

“We are delighted to welcome Universidad Científica del Sur into the ISCN and look forward to providing a platform for international value exchange and partnership on campus sustainability” says Bernd Kasemir, Secretary of the ISCN Board.

For more information on the ISCN, please visit:

For inquiries, please email: [email protected]

Universidad San Ignacio de Loyola joins the ISCN!

We are thrilled to formally welcome Universidad San Ignacio de Loyola into the ISCN!

Universidad San Ignacio de Loyola (USIL) is a private university located in Lima, Peru. Its Undergraduate Programme consists of 8 faculties and 37 careers, and also has a Graduate Programme. USIL has a strong focus on entrepreneurship and hospitality management, consistent with its mission statement, which is to shape competent entrepreneurial professionals who are socially responsible and capable of performing successfully, both domestically and internationally.

Sustainability is one of the four Institucional pillar in USIL and its practice is implemented by the Vice Presidency of Corporate Sustainability (VPCS) through its Sustainable Campus Program. The main objective of the VPCS is to manage USIL´s social, environmental and economic performance of all its operations and providing a quality educational service, through the training of citizens capable of proposing innovative solutions for the sustainable development of Peru and the world.

For more information on sustainability at USIL, please visit:

“We are delighted to welcome Universidad San Ignacio de Loyola into the ISCN and look forward to providing a platform for international value exchange and partnership on campus sustainability” says Bernd Kasemir, Secretary of the ISCN Board.

For more information on the ISCN, please visit:

For inquiries, please email: [email protected]