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Sustainable Development Goals

What are the sustainable development goals?

A collection of 17 global goals were introduced by the United Nations as a set of targets through which the world can tackle the biggest economic, social and environmental challenges we currently face. Each of the sustainable development goals relates to issues that have widespread and damaging impact on the world such as poverty, hunger, health, education, climate change, gender equality, water, sanitation, energy, urbanization, environment and social justice.

As the University for the Common Good, Glasgow Caledonian University was quick to identify and build on the correlation between these global goals and our own mission and University strategy.

The Sustainable Development Goals apply to all nations of the world, and, in this sense, they represent the most visible statement of our global needs."
Professor Cam Donaldson, Pro Vice Chancellor Research

What is Glasgow Caledonian University’s role?

GCU was the first University to use the SDG global goals objectives to help shape its research strategy. As The University for the Common Good, it is natural and logical for Glasgow Caledonian University to inspire, celebrate and advance the role of education by helping to delivering the global goals which aim to end poverty; protect the planet; and ensure prosperity for all.

In signing the accord, launched by the Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges EAUC, GCU continues in our commitment to the goals, to report annually on progress and to share learning with other signatories around the world.

We were the first Scottish University to sign the UN Global Compact, which is essentially the world’s largest voluntary corporate responsibility partnership aimed at aligning companies’ operations with the universal principle of human rights, and we are one of only 30 members of the global Principles of Responsible Management Education PRME Champions Group in recognition of our academic leadership in this major initiative.

Ending poverty, protecting the planet and ensuring prosperity for all

Glasgow Caledonian University is one of many learning institutions around the world working to solve real societal challenges.

What I love about the SDGs is there are intermediary things that we can measure. We now have evidence that we can share with businesses, that shows them that if they don't engage with the goals then their profitability and their productivity will suffer. Paying more to employees on the ground, and creating educational and health opportunities, can impact productivity by 4.2 percent. Measurement is critical; it's the evidence base that can actually shape a new future."
Professor Pamela Gillies CBE, FRSE , Principal and Vice-Chancellor of Glasgow Caledonian University