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Working for a sustainable future

​Transport Area of Advance is actively working to link research to UN’s sustainability goals. In November, the Area of Advance will host an event during the Act Sustainable week, and recently a well-attended lunch seminar was held.
Working for global sustainability is more and more pressing. Transport Area of Advance is therefore investing in educating researchers in relating research activities to the Agenda 2030 and implementing the UN’s sustainable development goals (SDG:s).

As part of that work, Transport Area of Advance represented Chalmers in the Vinnova K3 project AGERA. The idea of the project was to use SDG:s as framework to develop new ways for academia to evaluate and follow up the effects of collaboration with society, and thereby strengthen sustainable development.
“Maria Djupström, Chalmers’ sustainability strategist, guided our management team through a number of workshops with the aim to educate us on how to work with the SDG:s. Implementation of the SDG:s on our research activities is not a straightforward task. We had to develop our way of looking at research, and the activities at Transport Area of Advance, with the SDG-glasses”, says Sinisa Krajnovic, Director of the Area of Advance.

“A common trap when working with SDG:s is to prioritise only one or two of the goals, but that can potentially be harmful for some other SDG. One needs to consider all of them at once. This was a useful exercise for us as it showed how we can use SDG:s to identify the sustainability goals with our research, but also how SDG:s can show us the way for new research questions.”

Hosting an event at Act Sustainable

On November 16, Transport AoA will host an event during the sustainability week Act Sustainable. Challenges and solutions for a sustainable transport system will then be discussed. Chalmers Associate Professor Frances Sprei will introduce the event and moderate the discussion. There will also be insights from two ongoing research projects; one on infrastructure and reducing emissions from road construction, and one on a new way of producing environmentally friendly batteries, essential for the electrification of transport. Read more about the event here.​

Thinking about the sustainable development, and not least working actively with the global sustainability goals, is becoming increasingly important.
“We see that more and more research agencies, for example Vinnova and EU, require that researchers reflect over SDG:s when formulating their research proposals. Thus, Transport AoA has early introduced requirements that our researchers must address SDG:s when applying for funding from us”, says Sinisa Krajnovic.
“With that, and the education through lunch seminars and workshops for our researchers, we hope to prepare our researches for future funding calls and enable them to use their research for a sustainable development.”

Well-attended lunch seminar about IT tool

On September 7, Transport AoA arranged a lunch seminar with Maria Djupström. At the seminar, the new SDG Impact Assessment tool was presented. The tool is an IT tool, available for all to be used to map how, for example, operations, research or education relate to the global sustainability goals. SDG Impact Assessment tool has been developed by the Gothenburg Centre for Sustainable Development, in collaboration between Chalmers and the University of Gothenburg. With the help of this, you can – by your own – estimate how the sustainability goals are affected by business or activities. The tool can also be used, for example, to produce supplementary information in connection with research applications. Read more about SDG Impact Assessment tool here.
For questions about the tool, contact Maria Djupström or Innovation Adviser Pip Dragonetti.

Text: Mia Malmstedt
Photo: Pixabay, Mia Malmstedt

Published: Tue 29 Sep 2020.