There are 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which are part of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The SDGs provide a blueprint for shared peace and prosperity for people and the planet. To become a leader in sustainability, Queen's University Belfast are committed to fulfilling the Sustainable Development Goals within our teaching and research, as well as across all our operations.
"End poverty in all its forms everywhere"- United Nations
In 2022, Queen’s University announced a multi-million support package of £7.69 million for students and staff facing the current cost of living crisis. Since then, continual support has been provided in the form of financial support/advice, provision of a free student pantry in One Elmwood and a range of student discounts.
"End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture"- United Nations
The Institute For Global Food Security was set up to help address key challenges facing our food system. Our researchers address challenges - environmental, food-safety, animal-health, nutritional - at each point of the foodchain, from farm to fork. The UN International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has designated IGFS an IAEA Collaborating Centre, recognising its global reach in food safety, authenticity and traceability.
"Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all"- United Nations.
We are a signatory to the UN Accord, which recognises the key role that global universities have in nurturing a culture of sustainability and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 through research and education.
"Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls"- United Nations
The University is at the forefront of Gender Equality and is a recognised leader in equality initiatives.
Clean Water and Sanitation
"Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all"- United Nations
The Estates Directorate closely monitor the University’s intake of water and are committed to minimising use of water, whilst preventing pollution of waterways.
Affordable and Clean Energy
"Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all"- United Nations
Since 2010, the University has been committed to reducing emissions associated with heating and electricity. A range of investments in low-carbon and zero-carbon technologies have taken place, with efforts ongoing to continually trial new technologies via Living Lab projects. Further, a Green Revolving Fund was established in 2009 specifically to finance energy projects.
Decent Work and Economic Growth
"Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all"- United Nations
Queen’s has a significant direct impact on our local economy, contributing £3bn to the UK economy, creating jobs and delivering innovation. The University has delivered on its commitment to the Real Living Wage and has incorporated it into the pay-scales. Currently, work is ongoing to ensure contractors who work with us are also being paid a living wage.
Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
"Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation and foster innovation"- United Nations
Excellence in research and innovation, and making a positive global impact, are central to what we do at Queen’s University. We aim to deliver social, economic and cultural benefits through our research.
"Reduce inequality within and among countries"- United Nations
Queen’s University are committed to ensuring that those most able but least likely to participate in Higher Education should have an equal opportunity to do so. The Widening Participation Unit engages with students from a range of schools and age groups through a range of initiatives including Professor Fluffy, Reading Together, Junior Sports Academy and many more.
Sustainable Cities and Communities
"Make cities and human settlements inclusuve, safe, resilient and sustainable"- United Nations
- Queen’s University was awarded the prestigious Green Flag Award in 2020. The University achieved Green Flag status by complying with a range of criteria, including ensuring there is active community involvement and ensuring the site is welcoming.
- Queen’s University are committed to becoming a low carbon university, and to help achieve this image, is the Travel Plan. To view our Travel Plan please click here.
- All new buildings and refurbishments within Queen’s are designed to BREEAM Excellent or Very Good. For more information on our sustainable construction practices please click here.
Responsible Consumption and Production
"Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns"- United Nations
A range of policies, and programmes, that aim to reduce consumption, have been promoted and interoperate into day-to-day activities within Queen's.
"Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts"- United Nations
In October 2023, Queen's University launched a Net Zero Plan, which detailed how we are going to reach net zero emissions by 2040 across all our activities.
Life Below Water
"Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development"- United Nations
Queen's University Portaferry Marine Lab is at the forefront of research associated with Life Below Water.
Life on Land
"Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels"- United Nations
Queen’s University are committed to providing a home for wildlife within our campus, and are doing so by implementing a range of biodiversity initiatives.
Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
"Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels"- United Nations
Researchers within the School of Law are committed to driving positive change across a range of communities.
Partnership for the Goals
"Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development"- United Nations
Queen’s and University College Cork (UCC) have established Ireland’s first all-island network dedicated to delivering on the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Sustainable Development Solutions Network Ireland (SDSN Ireland) will work with
local authorities, NGOs, civil society organisations and policymakers to bring the latest research and best practice to bear on producing solutions for the SDGs.