Resources for teaching sustainability

Sustainable development requires informed decision-making (Photo credit: Silvia Hostettler)

UNESCO report on Education for Sustainable Development – Learning Objectives – A set of non-prescriptive learning objectives, topics and learning activities for the SDGs that can be adapted to fit different learning contexts.

The digital introduction of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into Higher Education Teaching – A toolbox of teaching materials for integrating the SDGs into university teaching developed by HAW Hamburg (registration required). The toolbox includes lecture slides, Teachers Handbooks, lists for supplementary reading materials, and example case studies.


SDG Academy Library – A searchable catalogue of video lectures and free educational resources on sustainable development and the Sustainable Development Goals created by the SDG Academy, an initiative of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network.


Snowflake Education – An online learning platform and toolkit of teaching materials (video lectures, participatory learning exercises, assignments, digital exams) which can be integrated or used as add-ons in courses (subscription required).

SDG Dashboard – An open-source online interactive tracking tool for SDG Targets and Indicators by iTech Mission.


SDG Index – A visualization of SDG performance by country based on the Sustainable Development Report 2019 of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network.


Gap Minder – Interactive data visualization tools for exploring global statistics, including key indicators on sustainable development.

Disterheft, A., Caeiro, S., Azeiteiro, U. M., & Leal Filho, W. (2015). Sustainable universities–a study of critical success factors for participatory approaches. Journal of Cleaner Production, 106, 11-21. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2014.01.030.


Leal Filho, W., Manolas, E. and Pace, P. (2015), “The future we want: Key issues on sustainable development in higher education after Rio and the UN decade of education for sustainable development”, International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, 16(1), 112-129. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSHE-03-2014-0036.


Lindstrom, T., & Middlecamp, C. (2018). Campus as a Living Laboratory for Sustainability: The Physics Connection. The Physics Teacher, 56(4), 240-243. https://doi.org/10.1119/1.5028242.


Lindstrom, T., & Middlecamp, C. (2017). Campus as a Living Laboratory for Sustainability: The Chemistry Connection. Journal of Chemical Education, 94(8), 1036-1042. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jchemed.6b00624.


Lozano, R., Barreiro-Gen, M., Lozano, F. J., & Sammalisto, K. (2019). Teaching sustainability in European higher education institutions: Assessing the connections between competences and pedagogical approaches. Sustainability, 11(6), 1602. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11061602.


Maher, R., Maher, M., Mann, S., & McAlpine, C. A. (2018). Integrating design thinking with sustainability science: a Research through Design approach. Sustainability science, 13(6), 1565-1587. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11625-018-0629-3.


Mihelcic, J. R., Naughton, C. C., Verbyla, M. E., Zhang, Q., Schweitzer, R. W., Oakley, S. M., … & Whiteford, L. M. (2017). The grandest challenge of all: The role of environmental engineering to achieve sustainability in the world’s developing regions. Environmental Engineering Science, 34(1), 16-41. https://doi.org/10.1089/ees.2015.0334.


Trencher, G., Yarime, M., McCormick, K. B., Doll, C. N., & Kraines, S. B. (2014). Beyond the third mission: Exploring the emerging university function of co-creation for sustainability. Science and Public Policy, 41(2), 151-179. https://doi.org/10.1093/scipol/sct044.


Trimingham, R., Lazzarini, B., Pérez-Foguet, A., Noble, N., Boni, A., Sierra-Castañer, M., … & Zolezzi, G. (2016). Integrating the global dimension in engineering education: experiences from a collaborative project. In Teaching Education for Sustainable Development at University Level (pp. 175-190). Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-32928-4_12.


Vehmaa, A., Karvinen, M., & Keskinen, M. (2018). Building a more sustainable society? A case study on the role of sustainable development in the education and early career of water and environmental engineers. Sustainability, 10(8), 2605. https://doi.org/10.3390/su10082605.