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SDG Group 

The Durham University Sustainable Development Goals Group (SDG Group) is a University-wide group that has an advisory function to support the Global Strategy Group (chaired by PVC Global), which in turn is an advisory Group to University Executive Committee (UEC).  


The SDG Group, established in 2019, focuses on supporting and communicating Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) oriented research, teaching, the overall student experience and global strategy. With Sustainability gaining prominence within the university, especially in the ongoing refreshment of the university's strategy, aligning all activities with the UN SDGs is a key vision. The group plays a pivotal role in developing strategies, policies, and action plans to support this vision. It's recognised that universities committed to SDGs at senior leadership levels are influential in transferring knowledge to industries, supporting institutions, promoting peace and justice, and fostering partnerships for global goals.

The SDG Group not only enhances Durham University's activities and reputation locally and globally but also brings tangible benefits such as improved recruitment, internationalisation, external funding, governmental support, policy influence, and staff development. It underscores the university's commitment to the SDGs by focusing on academic dimensions, including research, teaching, impact, engagement, and overall coordination. By measuring and reporting on SDG performance, the group ensures progressive incorporation of SDGs, thereby fostering a culture of sustainability across various university initiatives. Additionally, the SDG Group collaborates closely with other university bodies like Greenspace, the Estates Environmental Sustainability Strategic Planning Group, Colleges and Student Societies and its faculties to ensure operational elements of SDG implementation are effectively pursued, creating a synergistic approach to sustainability efforts.


Our group has a set of objectives, which encompass promoting Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) within all our University's activities, both locally and globally. Additionally, the group aims to align with International Standardisation Organisation guidelines on net-zero strategies, conduct research to identify best practices and gaps in SDG implementation, and develop, evaluate, and disseminate best practices across the university and more widely. Moreover, it endeavors to contribute to policy-relevant research, engage with local authorities such as Durham County Council, and involve students, student societies, and alumni in the SDG implementation process.


The membership of the group is 

  • An academic Chair. 
  • One representative from each faculty, nominated by the respective Executive Deans. 
  • Three representatives of Colleges, nominated by Pro-Vice Chancellor (Colleges and Wider Student Experience). 
  • Durham Student Union nominee (post-graduate research student). 
  • Student representatives (Climate Society and the Environmental Law Society). 
  • Representative of the Environmental Sustainability Strategic Planning Group. 
  • Representative for Estates/Greenspace. 
  • Representative from Research and Innovation Services. 
  • Representative from Strategic and Planning Insight Team. 
  • Representative from Marketing and Communications. 
  • Representative from International Office. 


The group convenes every six weeks and additionally holds weekly meetings with smaller task and finish groups to accomplish specific objectives.