At ISEG we understand that the quality of life for future generations depends on how carefully we manage the sustainable challenges of today. ISEG promotes a culture of solidarity and collaboration and through our plural approach we help to develop Open Minds for a Better World.
In everything we do, we are deeply committed to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. Our faculty, students, alumni, and partners, with whom we develop activities, are all committed to improving and expanding the work carried out on issues that relate to and enhance the SDGs. ISEG is committed to integrating sustainability in all of its core operations: research, education, the campus, and community/partnerships.
ISEG formed a team to lead the SDG@ISEG initiative in 2019, which is composed of seven faculty and a SDG project team leader. The objective of this initiative is to integrate the SDGs in ISEG in four fundamental areas: teaching, the campus, education, and community-based activities. This team was also responsible for writing ISEG’s 2030 Sustainability Strategy, which was coordinated by a specialist in this area. Furthermore, the initiative counts with more than 110 SDG Champions and many volunteers, who jointly developed 16 Action Plans during the workshop held in December, 2019. These Action Plans were the first step taken to develop sustainability at ISEG.
ISEG Contribution to SDGs
The main contribution of universities to the SDGs is through scientific research and training. The identification and quantification of ISEG’s contribution over the last 10 years was mapped out as part of a Master’s thesis in 2020.
As a result of this work, ISEG’s contribution to the SDGs can be summarised as follows:
There is no doubt that ISEG has contributed to the various SDGs. However, the main challenge that lies ahead is to be able to develop more research, theses, and knowledge which is capable of connecting the different SDGs and of understanding the interdependencies between them.
ISEG’s 2030 Sustainability Strategy
ISEG launched its 2030 Sustainability Strategy in January, 2021, which is designed and based on biannual action plans, in line with the SDGs. This strategy represents ISEG’s commitment for the next years. The conception of this strategy is the result of both the sounding out of opinion through surveys and interviews and also the participatory process of the workshop, which resulted in the 16 Action Plans. All of these processes were key for the design of this strategy, which is also composed of an Action Plan for 2021/2022 and the Sustainability Policy. ISEG plans to build a School which is ever more sustainable. The 2030 Sustainability Strategy aims to be an inspiration and an action guide for ISEG’s departments, research centres, partners, and other institutions and entities.
Examples of ISEG’s activities which promote the SDGs
“Masters in Management” with focus on Sustainable Development Goals
The first edition of the Masters in Management (MiM) focusses on understanding and discussing innovative topics which are strongly orientation towards sustainability, with the aim to contribute with answers for today’s challenges for society. This Masters degree has the potential to contribute to the personal growth of our students and to educate new leaders who are capable of leading with greater management objectives which contemplate environmental, social, and ethical issues in decision making.
Executive course on “Sustainable Finance: Green and Climatic Finance”
The first edition of the Sustainable Finance course counted on the contribution of national and international experts on various topics, such as biodiversity, energy and carbon, the circular economy, green financial products, regulation, and ESG risks, among many others. The first edition counted with the institutional support of the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Action. A key partner, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, provided four scholarships and recognizes that sustainable finance can play a central role in organization. The course started on the 17th of September, with 32 participants. Further information here.
Online course on “Ecosystem Services, Business, and Finance”, financed by the Environmental Fund of the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Action
ISEG designed and launched a 30 hours online course on “Ecosystem Services, Business, and Finance”. The course receives financial support from the Environmental Fund of the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Action. This course provides information about how companies and countries influence and depend on ecosystem services and how nature is related to a country’s GDP. The next editions of the course will take place in March/April 2021 and October/ November 2021.
The eGROUNDWATER platform for participatory and sustainable groundwater management
The objective of a project that uses the eGROUNDWATER platform is to support sustainable subterranean water management. The ISEG team will be responsible for the participatory process of involving users and water managers in the collaborative construction of the eGROUNDWATER platform. In another phase, the ISEG team will promote the debate to agree the dimension of the groundwater management strategies to be tested at the national level. The ultimate goal of the project is to support sustainable groundwater management, using the eGROUNDWATER platform. The new technologies for monitoring and self-monitoring which directly involve users in the collection of information and water management will result in new knowledge and will thus enhance the studies that the team from Universidade do Algarve has been developing.
SustInAfrica – Sustainable intensification of food production through resilient farming systems in West & North Africa
The objective of SustInAfrica is to enable small farmers and SMEs (small and medium) agricultural enterprises in West and North Africa to practice intensive and sustainable agriculture in these regions. The fieldwork will be carried out in five African countries – Ghana, Burkina Faso, Niger, Egypt, and Tunisia – and will adopt a systemic approach to intensify self-sustainable and resilient primary production. In particular, the project aims to develop technological solutions to support production which will be implemented in pilot communities. The ISEG team will lead the first tranche of work, which will carry out a basic analysis of the agricultural systems in the regions and the planned pilot projects, as well as the design and follow-up of the monitoring. It will also participate in the development of training and capacity-building methods for those communities involved in the project.
Forest Biomass in Portugal
ISEG is heading up a consortium for the preparation of a study on the contextualisation and operationalisation of small forest biomass plants in Portugal, which is financed by ICNF’s Permanent Forest Fund. The project aims to satisfy multiple objectives, among which a principle one is the preservation of forest areas by improving their economic sustainability and fire prevention.