Sustainable Development Goals at the University of Alberta

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were adopted by the United Nations in 2015 and set out a blueprint for achieving peace and prosperity for people and planet by the year 2030. They recognize that ending poverty and inequality goes hand-in-hand with protecting the environment and building the economy.

The SDGs align well with the University of Alberta’s vision to build one of the world's great universities for the public good. As part of placing Canada on the forefront of global change, through discovery and learning, our academic community is helping to pave the way toward achieving these “global goals” in the ten years that remain.

Read on to see the ways that the University of Alberta is advancing the SDGs through teaching and learning, research and creative activity, community involvement, and partnerships.

Advancing the Goals

Nurses and midwives key to achieving health targets in low- and middle-income countries

Around the globe, non-physician health professionals are critical to the effective delivery of care and services that protect and improve the health of their communities. This has been especially apparent during the coronavirus pandemic.

Major investment from Shell helps U of A biofuel spinoff company build commercial-scale production plant

Forge Hydrocarbons, a University of Alberta spinoff company producing renewable gasoline and diesel, has received a major investment from Shell Ventures to help build a $30-million, industrial-scale production plant. The new facility is expected to produce 25 million litres of renewable biofuels annually.

U of A students look to cut plastic waste with hemp-based feminine hygiene products

Hempact project manager Nicole Sanchez hopes the startup’s prototype for a biodegradable, hemp-based menstrual pad will be ready for market in time for the federal government’s proposed ban on single-use plastics.

Perspectives on the SDGs


Get involved

World's Challenge Challenge

The World's Challenge Challenge invites student teams to propose an innovative solution to a major global issue. Thanks to the Lee Global Education Awards, the team with the best proposal will win $10,000 to make their solution a reality and will represent UAlberta at the Global Finals at Western University, with a chance of winning an additional $30,000.

The World's Challenge Challenge is an exciting way to engage in discussions about the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and the complex global problems that they seek to overcome. It challenges the university community to be a source of new ideas and inspiration and brings together active global citizens who seek to make a positive and tangible impact on the world.

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International Week

International Week is the largest annual extracurricular educational event on campus and fosters global citizenship through engagement with today's most pressing issues.

Established in 1986, International Week (or I-Week) is one of the University of Alberta’s signature events, featuring free events designed to instigate new thoughts, inspire discussions and animate debates on current global issues. I-Week's award-winning program provides a forum for all segments of the U of A community—students, staff and faculty—as well as government departments, non-governmental organizations and civil society to present their own particular views on global issues and share their solutions to create a better world.

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Certificate in Sustainability

The Certificate in Sustainability rewards your choice to focus on human and environmental issues that are increasingly important in today’s world. Study across disciplines to understand issues such as: climate change, food security, renewable energy, biodiversity and social inequality.

Among the 150+ courses counting toward the certificate are several focused on the SDGs. See what you could be studying today with our SDG topic list.

Coming Summer 2020

Sustainability Awareness Week

Sustainability Awareness Week has been one of the University of Alberta's largest event series since it launched in 2008. The whole campus community gets involved in highlighting campus sustainability initiatives, social and environmental issues, and building connections beyond campus. Events include very popular walking tours, hands-on workshops, speaker panels, film screenings and explorations of local food.

Running annually in late October, each day focuses on a different theme inspired by the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.

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Thanks for reading

This webpage is maintained by the Sustainability Council and University of Alberta International, as part of our joint work advancing and promoting the Sustainable Development Goals.