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Sustainability and Resilience Institute (SRI)

Sustainable Development Goals

Find out more about our SDG work including our SDG Report, university sustainability operations, commitments and activities.

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) frame all the work of the Institute and the wider University. 

Our SDG work

The Sustainability and Resilience Institute is undertaking analysis of the Sustainable Development Goals work across the university in four key areas: research, education, engagement and operations.

Sustainable Development Goals reporting at the University of Southampton


To examine our research output the methodology adopted to generate research metrics in relation to each of the SDGs is based on the Elsevier 2022 Sustainable Development Goals Mapping search queries. The Elsevier SDG Queries are specific sets of keywords used to query research publications through Scopus to identify their associated SDGs to develop research publication datasets for analysis. This methodological approach is used by universities globally and bodies such as Times Higher Education to quantify the SDG research output by institutions. By using these standardised queries the University of Southampton can be benchmarked against other Higher Education Institutions globally.

Preliminary analysis of the University of Southampton’s research between 2020 -2022 in relation to sixteen of the SDGs (Goal 17: Partnerships for the Goals is not included in these metrics due to the difficulty in quantifying keywords related to this goal) indicate our research output for each SDG performs highly compared to other institutions globally. For example, our field weighted citation impact (FWCI) is citation impacts normalised for the field of study and type of publication, demonstrates we perform at least 50% above average for all SDGs. The below image shows our FWCI for each included SDG with the dotted line indicating the score of 1 which is the global average for the field.

Field Weighted Citation Impact (FWCI) for the UN SDGs Research at the University of Southampton (2020-2022)
Field Weighted Citation Impact (FWCI) for the UN SDGs Research at the University of Southampton (2020-2022)

To conduct further analysis SRI is exploring case studies of activities related to each SDG across all University departments and services to highlight our overall work on SDGs across the entire institution. Case studies are analysed and considered on their contributions to an SDG and their associated targets and indicators. SRI is analysing the University’s current policies, activities and operations in relation to the SDGs, identifying key polices and practices that support the SDGs.

Our Sustainable University

We are creating a more sustainable University of Southampton by working with students, staff and the local community.  This is delivered through the following routes: 

Sustainability Strategy

Our Sustainability Strategy which sets out our ambitious vision for a more sustainable University and how we will get there through time-bound targets and performance indicators.

Internationally certified Environmental Management System

Our internationally certified Environmental Management System accredited to ISO14001 for our whole university estate to improve sustainability across our university and our surroundings - you can access our ISO14001 certificate and view our University Environment & Sustainability Policy.

University Strategy

Our University Strategy which outlines our whole institutional approach and how we embed Environmental Sustainability in everything we do as one of our key values under the leadership of our Vice-Chancellor & President and our University Executive Board Sustainability Champion Prof Phillip Wright.

Education and Student Experience Strategic Plan

Our Education and Student Experience Strategic Plan “ensures our curriculum design, content and education practices reflect our University’s priorities on equality and inclusivity, and sustainability”, and our Sustainability Strategic Plan commits us to “embedding sustainability across all our programmes by 2025”.

Partnership work with our Southampton University Students’ Union

Our sustainability partnership work with our Southampton University Students’ Union (SUSU) and their Head of Sustainability ensuring sustainable practices and engagement across the Union.

Civic University Strategy

Our Civic University Strategy where we work in partnership with key regional stakeholders including Southampton City Council.

Travel Plan

Our well established and successful Travel Plan that sets out our sustainable travel options to support staff, students and visitors in adopting more sustainable travel options.

Institutional strategic and operational sustainability work

To read about our Institutional strategic and operational sustainability work in more detail please visit the University Sustainability main site.

Contact us

We welcome correspondence with new and existing partners about our interdisciplinary research, education and enterprise work.
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