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Science for Sustainability

How do we create an ecologically healthy, socially just and economically viable world for current and future generations? In the profile theme Science for Sustainability, VU students and academics study the conditions for a future-proof balance between people, the environment and the economy.

For decades, we have been pursuing infinite economic growth on a finite planet. The earth is becoming exhausted and the climate is being disrupted. Animal species are becoming extinct and our very existence is under threat. We are at a critical juncture for charting sustainable development paths for the 21st century and beyond. We must act now to ensure a world that is inhabitable for all life forms.

Mission profile theme Science for Sustainability
We want our planet to remain inhabitable for all forms of life. The dramatic changes that humans have caused in the natural environment call for research into the conditions under which humans, the environment and the economy can come into balance with each other—without exhausting the earth. The world is at stake. Through integrated research into complex interactions between society, culture, values and the earth system, VU brings together the knowledge that is needed for society to make sustainable choices, now and in the future.

Science for Sustainability contributes to SDGs
This profile theme contributes to the following Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): behaviour and governance in the context of sustainability science (SDGs 12 and 17), plastics, environment and society (SDG 12), urban futures (SDG 11), climate change and energy transition (SDGs 7 and 13), food, agriculture and land use (SDGs 2,3 and 12) and water safety, migration and justice (SDGs 6 and 16).