Sustainable Development Goals

Sustainable Development Goals

In consulting about our Aberdeen 2040 strategy, our academic and student community highlighted the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a framework that should inform our academic and operational sustainability activities.  We are committed to working with the SDGs to help us articulate the positive sustainability impacts of our research and teaching, and to help us prioritise improvements in operational practice. 

SDG Accord

As part of the formal launch of our Aberdeen 2040 strategy, we signed the global SDG Accord (external site). 

In June 2020, we submitted our first annual SDG Accord Report as our key commitment to that initiative. The report collates activity across all 17 SDGS and forms part of a global report on the contribution of the tertiary education sector to tackling the SDGs.

As our approach to sustainability develops, we intend to investigate options for the production and sharing of other sustainability and SDG reporting.

Times Higher 'Impact' Rankings

We entered the inaugural Times Higher Education 'Impact' Rankings in 2019 and have participated actively since.  We welcome the increased awareness these rankings have given to the SDGs across the global HE sector.

This year, we have been ranked among the top 60 universities in the world in terms of our positive impact on society:

  • The University has been placed 57th out of 1,115 institutions worldwide
  • Aberdeen is also 12th in the UK rankings, rising from 16th place last year.
  • Areas in which we have excelled include Partnership for the Goals (SDG17) and Sustainable Cities and Communities (SDG11) where Aberdeen has been placed 27th globally for both.
  • We are ranked top 10 in the UK for 11 of the 17 SDGs, and top in Scotland in six
  • We are also ranked in the top 20 in the UK across all 17 SDGs.
Collaborative Networks

The SDGs also inform much of the work we are doing with our partners in the Aurora Universities Network, including initiatives on the bilbliometric analysis of our various research outputs, through to a shared SDG-themed public lecture series across the network.

Case studies