Students: how can you support the UN Global Goals?

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City, University of London is taking action to embed the 17 UN Global Goals into our education, research, leadership, operations and engagement activities. But what are those Goals, and how can you take action to support them too?

The Global Goals

In 2015 UN member states agreed on the 17 goals we need to achieve by 2030 to end poverty, combat climate change and fight injustice and inequality. These are the UN Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs, and are commonly known as the Global Goals. Achieving the goals in just 15 years will take unprecedented international, political, scientific business and research collaboration. Everyone needs to do their part: governments, the private sector, civil society, universities and people like you.

Take a look at the 17 goals below. They cover everything from people, prosperity, peace and the planet.

Goal 1: No Poverty End Poverty in all its forms everywhere

Goal 2: Zero hunger End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture

Goal 3: Good health and wellbeing Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

Goal 4: Quality education Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all

Goal 5: Gender equality Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

Goal 6: Clean water and sanitation Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

Goal 7: Affordable and clean energy Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and clean energy for all

Goal 8: Decent work and economic growth Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all

Goal 9: Industry, innovation, and infrastructure Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation and foster innovation

Goal 10: Reduced inequalities Reduce inequality within and among countries

Goal 11: Sustainable cities and communities Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

Goal 12: Responsible consumption and production Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

Goal 13: Climate action Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

Goal 14: Life below water Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development

Goal 15: Life on land Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss

Goal 16: Peace, justice, and strong institutions Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels

Goal 17: Partnerships for the goals Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development


Each goal has a series of underlying targets. You can take a closer look at all the goals and each target here.

Supporting the Global Goals at City

There are lots of ways you can take action to support the Global Goals here at City! Check out our top 6 below:

1. Become a Sustainability Leader

Join one of our sustainability projects and get new skills as a Sustainability Leader! You’ll meet other like-minded students and work together to make a difference at City and in the local community. Find out more about Sustainability Leaders here.


2. Take part in the London Student Sustainability Conference 

The London Student Sustainability Conference highlights student research and projects which create positive impacts in the world. You could:

  • Apply to present your research, group project or academic work which relates to the Global Goals
  • Join us at the conference as a delegate to broaden your knowledge of the challenges and solutions to today’s most critical issues and network with other like-minded students, staff and professionals
  • Volunteer at the conference and help us with behind-the-scenes support

Find out more about the conference here.


3. Get involved in Global Goals Week

We’ll be hosting a range of activities, events, talks and stalls to talk about the Global Goals Week on Monday 4 – Friday 8 November. Check back here for more information, or consider applying for up to £500 to run your own event during the week. Find out more and apply here.


4. Join our beekeeping team or gardening sessions

  • Join us on the roof to help look after City’s beehives and learn about urban beekeeping! Email to find out more
  • Or why not drop-in to the Walled Garden and taste some of our City-grown veg! Join us to learn more about urban gardening, every Thursday from 12:00 – 13:30.


5. Enter the CitySpark competition to win up to £1000 for your green business idea

The GreenSpark Award (part of the CitySpark competition) rewards students with the best sustainable business idea! Find out more about the competition here.


6. Ask your lecturers to include the Global Goals in your course

The Goals think holistically about sustainability, including topics like gender equality, poverty, health and wellbeing, climate action, clean energy, and peace, justice, and strong institutions. This breadth means that all disciplines can identify meaningful links.Talk to your lecturers, your course officers or even the SU Sabbatical team about including the Goals in your course.


Of course there’s lots you can do to support the Goals! Take a look at the Sustainable City website to find out how you can support City’s endeavours, or click on the video below for more inspiration. Don’t forget to tell us what you’re doing! We’d love to hear from you, email the team at or send us a tweet @Sustain_City.


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