Sustainable development and the university

What is sustainable development? 

Sustainable development means a sustainable path of development that seeks a balance between meeting the planetary boundaries and meeting the needs of humanity so that the well-being of future generations is not compromised. This approach encompasses all areas of life, from energy and resource use to health, education, policy-making and culture.

The global Sustainable Development Goals are set out in the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Estonia has also signed up to this agenda and aims to meet development goals at home and help the most vulnerable elsewhere. In addition, the state must make sure that its policies do not have a negative impact on sustainable development elsewhere, because the world is a whole and we do not want to leave it worse off for our children than it is now.  

The goals supporting the sustainable development of the Estonian state are formulated in the national development strategy "Estonia 2035", which is also the basis for the current strategic plan of the University of Tartu.  

Research done at the University of Tartu helps to meet the sustainable development goals and solve societal challenges: curb global climate change, adapt to population change, ensure security and safety, improve and promote human health, preserve biodiversity, manage the state wisely and reduce societal divides.   

We support the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals through multi-disciplinary research, high-quality teaching and cross-sectoral cooperation.


Centre for Sustainable Development 

The Centre for Sustainable Development brings together researchers, students and the knowledge of the University of Tartu across fields of research to search for solutions to the insidious challenges of the climate crisis, which transcend national and disciplinary boundaries. The centre is a cooperation platform for both the creation of new knowledge and advising society as well as for collaboration with external actors.  

Centre for Sustainable Development


Education and research for a sustainable society

The university shapes a sustainable society by providing high-quality higher and continuing education and by integrating new knowledge from research into everyday life. The challenges facing Estonia and the rest of the world require cooperation across disciplines and sectors. Research and teaching done at the University of Tartu Faculty of Arts and Humanities, the Faculty of Social Sciences, the Faculty of Medicine, and the Faculty of Science and Technology support the achievement of the European Green Deal and the Sustainable Development Goals. The university's colleges across Estonia help this knowledge to spread and develop.

Research for sustainable development


Sustainable university 

We are an innovative organisation focused on sustainable development, providing equal opportunities and following best practices. We move towards a more open, environmentally aware and cooperation-minded organisational culture. We increase the opportunities for the university members to develop and use their potential in the best manner, carrying the university's values and taking pride in the university and their participation in the everyday life and development of the university.   

We attach importance to environmentally sustainable solutions in the development of the campus.  

Well-being of university family