Skip to Content


UN Sustainable Development Goals
A better and more sustainable future for all

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide a blueprint for achieving a “better and more sustainable future for all” by 2030.

Queen’s has long been committed to enriching society both locally and globally, and has been involved in proactively and holistically addressing the global challenges we face. 

Sustainability is more than what we do, it is embedded in the culture and fabric of Queen’s, ensuring it underpins our work and vision.

We understand the key role universities have in nurturing a culture of sustainability and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through research and education. 


In the Times Higher Education 2021 Impact Rankings, Queen’s was ranked in the top 10% (43rd out of 1115 universities worldwide) in 6 SDG areas.

Decent work and Economic Growth

#53 out of 685 Institutions Ranked

Reduced Inequalities

#63 out of 669 Institutions Ranked

Sustainable Cities and Comunities

#41 out of 656 Institutions Ranked

Life Below Water

#6 out of 379 Institutions Ranked

Life on Land

#11 out of 402 Institutions Ranked

Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

#79 out of 653 Institutions Ranked

Our Strategy 2030 sets out how we will embed the SDGs across all our activities, from research and education to adopting a leadership role in the promotion of the SDGs, and leading by example in areas such as equality, diversity and inclusion, sustainable procurement and a commitment to disinvestment from fossil fuels.

Research student working in a laboratory

Queen’s has a proud history of conducting innovative, impactful and world-leading research that has positively changed people’s lives.

Our researchers work across disciplines and sectors to address local and global challenges, incorporating the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Our strategic research themes focus on:

• A transformative and sustainable economy
• Secure connected intelligence – AI and the data revolution
• Healthy living for all
• Human environment relations
• Inclusive and cohesive communities

View our Research case studies

Lecturer in Graduate School
Teaching and Learning

We prepare our students for leadership and citizenship in a global society, committed to sustainability and social responsibility.

Our educational programmes are increasingly focused on embracing the ethos of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals at a local, national and global level.

For our students there will be a focus on their role as future leaders with the transdisciplinary skill set required to pre-empt and respond to local, national and global challenges.

View Teaching and Learning Case Studies

Green Flag Award
University Operations

We have embedded SDGs across all of our operations from the day-to-day management of the University Estate to the policies we have in place for ensuring the wellbeing of our staff and students.

Over the course of 2019-20 our University activities have been recognised by a number of external bodies. 

View our Operational achievements

Conservation volunteers at a raised bed
Climate and Environment

Reducing our carbon emissions and tackling our impact on the environment is a key priority in our commitment to becoming a sustainable organisation.

See what we are doing to reduce our carbon emissions, promote sustainable travel and construction and reduce our waste through recycling. 

See our Climate and Environment initiatives

Pride march 2019
Wellbeing and Diversity

The University is committed to supporting SDGs through wellbeing policies and programmes for staff and students, to assist them with their physical, emotional and mental wellbeing.

A range of programmes have been delivered throughout the year including WOW events (Wellbeing on Weekday) for students and Lunch and Learn sessions for staff.

See more about our Wellbeing and Diversity initiatives

Homework club volunteer with and student
Outreach and Engagement

Locally our staff and students have been working on a wide range of programmes within our community to embed the SDGs.

Taking direction from our Social Charter we work with a range of community organisations through our Science Shop, bring our students and the community together through our volunteer programmes and provide funding to bring the green ideeas of staff and students to life.

More on our Outreach and Engagement programmes