Enhancing Rio+20 in Nordic Higher Education Institutions

The Nordic Council of Ministers has granted two year’s funding for a new Nordic project called ”Rio+20 implementation in the Nordic HEIs: inventorying and exploring new steering measures to integrate sustainable development and ESD into all operations.”


  • inventory the steering measures used in guiding sustainability work in Nordic higher education institutes (HEIs)
  • find central drivers and barriers in the sustainability work in Nordic HEIs
  • find measures to overcome the most severe barriers and ways to improve the steering measures
  • create joint Nordic guidelines for enhancing sustainability in HEIs

We additionally aim at having even more members to join NSCN and to participate into this project.


Rio+20LogoIn 2012 UN had a global conference on sustainability in Rio de Janeiro. Parallel to the main conference, higher education institutes gathered in WSSD-U – the World Summit on Sustainability – Universities, and initiated a sustainability declaration for HEIs. After WSSD-U 2012 HEIs all over the world have little by little committed to these targets by signing a commitment (see for example the commitment from WSSD-U 2012,  or the newest Rio +20 Treaty on Higher Education by Copernicus Alliance).

During this project we aim at making Nordic HEIs more familiar with Rio+20 commitments, and to challenge even more Nordic universities to sign a commitment for supporting Rio+20 sustainability goals. Through these targets the project works as a follow-up of Rio+20 in Nordic HEIs.

We are most delighted for the confidence the Nordic Council of Ministers has showed us by granting this funding. The two-year project means, that NSCN has a coordinator at least for two more years, and we are able to make a real effort for enhancing sustainability in our universities.

As the project proceeds, we will send all NSCN member universities and relevant stakeholders in all Nordic countries a questionnaire concerning the different angles of universities’ sustainability work, and we wish for close collaboration with all of You. The real impact our work is able to gain, depends on the facts we are able to collect, and the participation we are able to reach during the next two years. So get along!

Project Partners

  • Universities of Iceland
  • KTH in Stockholm 
  • LUT in Lappeenranta 

More Information

For more information, check out the Survey Report

Latest update: 08.11.2023