United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

Creating a More Sustainable Future at Rutgers

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals are a blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. They address the global challenges we face, including those related to poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, peace and justice. The 17 Goals are all interconnected, and the goal is to achieve them all by 2030.

Sustainability in education, research and institutional operations has been a key strategic goal for Rutgers University for more than 20 years. The University is a proud member of the University Global Coalition and the U.S. Chapter of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN USA) and remains committed to finding solutions to global challenges.

Sustainability at Rutgers

Sustainability Centers and Institutes at Rutgers

Sustainability and SDGs at Rutgers: Centers, Institutes, and Resources

Rutgers is home to more than 100 centers and institutes that are focused on the UN-SDGs. These range from the Global Health Institute, a multidisciplinary institute that fosters collaboration across the university and with partners beyond Rutgers to improve the health of vulnerable populations, to the Institute for Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences whose mission is to cultivate a university-wide, interdisciplinary community for research, education, and public and policy engagement about the past, present and future of the Earth system. See the list of links below for a complete list of SDG-related centers and institutes. 

Honors Living Learning Community at Rutgers-Newark

Student Focus: Living-Learning Communities

Rutgers has developed new courses and created living-learning communities focused on global engagement. One example is the Honors Living Learning Community at Rutgers-Newark, which includes a curriculum centered on themes of social justice including poverty, discrimination and health disparities. Another example is the Global Village and Gender and Arts communities at Douglass College.

Students sitting around a table

SDG-Related Courses for Students

Students at Rutgers–New Brunswick and RBHS, Rutgers–Camden, and Rutgers–Newark, can take advantage of many undergraduate course offerings or service opportunities related to one or more of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Here is a database with information on courses. 

Rutgers students planting in garden

SDG-Related Events at Rutgers

Rutgers Global Events

Rutgers University Events

Resources and Links +

University Committee for Sustainability: https://sustainability.rutgers.edu/

Rutgers Climate Task Force: https://climatetaskforce.rutgers.edu/ 

Rutgers Global Health Institute: https://globalhealth.rutgers.edu/

University Alliance for Refugees and At-Risk Migrants: https://global.rutgers.edu/refugees-and-migrants/resources/uarrm

History of Sustainability at Rutgers

Timeline of Sustainability Initiatives at Rutgers

The Future

In 2019, the President’s Task Force on Carbon Neutrality and Climate Resilience was formed with the charge of the developing a comprehensive Climate Action Plan for the university to identify pathways to achieving carbon neutrality and ways to reduce the university’s vulnerability to climate impacts. The creation of a Climate Action Plan for the university necessarily will engage the broader university community and interested stakeholders statewide, while enhancing Rutgers’ contribution to climate-positive economic development in New Jersey. 

Rutgers continues to be a leader in energy research. The University will be among the leaders working with the NJBPU, Oersted and Atlantic Wind to study the wind currents off the coast of NJ/NY as part of the WIND Institute, established in April 2020 by Gov. Phil Murphy (NJ) to act as a center for education, research, innovation and workforce training related to offshore wind development in New Jersey, as well as the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic region.

Rutgers has also pivoted towards online learning programs that can provide international engagement for students and remote learning opportunities for our global partner institutions.