Sustainability at the University of Oulu

Sustainable development as a continuous and organized societal change seeks to secure the prospects for good life. University of Oulu is committed to act responsibly towards the society and the environment, to seek solutions to the sustainable use of earth’s resources, and to make ecologically responsible choices in its own operations. We advance sustainable development by way of education, research, societal interaction, and campus development.

Research for more sustainable world

At the University of Oulu, topics related to sustainable development are being researched from diverse points of view. Environmental sustainability is being researched in many projects in collaboration with Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE) and Natural Resources Institute Finland (Luke).

Our research strengths are around

  • sustainable and responsible use of natural resources,
  • bio and circular economy,
  • the effect of environmental factors on human health,
  • research on the changing environment at the Arctic and Subarctic climate and  
  • the effects of globalization and environmental change on human interaction and societies.

Advancing sustainability and responsibility through education

At the University of Oulu sustainable development has been included in the degree programs of all fields, and our sustainability related course selection is being developed actively. Regarding study contents, we emphasize our university’s multidisciplinary research and the sustainability matters of the Arctic region. All faculties offer courses connected with sustainability, and minor subject ‘Sustainable Development’ enables all degree and exchange students to include sustainability courses in their degree. We support sustainability awareness and participation in the society also by offering sustainable development courses that are open for all.

The objective of education that is in accordance with sustainable development is to support students to make well-argued and responsible decisions at different levels and sectors of society taking the wellbeing of people, cultural heritage, the diversity of cultures, environmental and ecological sustainability and technological and economic preconditions into account. Students are encouraged to question conventions, to be innovative, to participate in interdisciplinary dialogue and to be in interaction with the society. Also, fostering local, national, and international cooperation and taking account of intergenerational and intragenerational justice are an essential part of sustainable development education.

Socially sustainable university community

The entire staff of the university has the opportunity to influence the sustainability of the university. The Sustainable Development Advisory Board of the University of Oulu is a forum for discussion open to all members of the university community to present sustainability and accountability initiatives for consideration by the Sustainable Development Working Group.

The Sustainable Development Working Group of the University of Oulu has prepared the first Action Plan on Sustainability and Responsibility during its 2020-2021 term. The Action Plan focuses on education, research, societal impact, and the university’s own administration, and contains a presentation of existing sustainability activities as well as targets related to sustainable development activities for the coming year 2022.

More information on sustainability themes:

Social sustainability is taken into account in the University's operations, and the University has a gender equality and equal opportunities plan. Equality work is visibly carried out by Equality contact persons, working groups and the Equality Opportunities Committee.

Sustainable campuses

At two of our campuses, Linnanmaa and Kontinkangas, sustainable development is taken into account by improving the energy efficiency of the facilities, encouraging staff and students to cycle, and paying attention to the environmental aspect in procurement.

100 %

of electricity is produced from renewable energy

100 %

fair trade coffee served in meetings

Shared responsibility for a sustainable future

The University of Oulu cooperates with national and international networks weighting on sustainable development and social responsibility.

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