How can we get to grips with societal challenges, without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs? This is the question that defines sustainable development, formulated in Agenda 2030 and the UN’s 17 sustainable development goals. It concerns the environment and climate, but also sustainable health, and societies that are socially and economically sustainable. Linköping researchers are deeply involved with preparing the pathway to a more sustainable society.

Doctoral student Daniela Parker works on a project developing electronic plants to store energy. Photo credit Thor Balkhed

Articles on sustainable development

Graphic illustration of green economy.

Possible models for a sustainable economy

What are the factors that influence the introduction of a circular economy? How would such a conversion affect the environment and business? And how can you make such predictions – is it even possible? These questions are the focus of a new thesis.

Östergötland’s future – forest fires and drought?

The Climate Change Megagame was held on 21 November. This is a huge online game that simulates future climate change in Östergötland, with participants playing the part of various local actors.

Mikhail Vagin and Penghui Ding working in the laboratory.

Fossil freedom comes from LiU labs

The transition to fossil freedom can’t happen overnight, but it can go much faster than it is. The technology is available, and in many cases is commercially available or nearly so. The labs at Linköping University hold hope for the future.

Alternatives to throwaway thinking

We must change our patterns of consumption if we are going to reach global climate and environmental objectives, says professor Mattias Lindahl. He has since 2015 led a research programme in the circular economy and resource efficiency.

Kids playing football.

Studying the role of sporting activities in social sustainability

Sporting activities have become common in socioeconomically vulnerable areas. Politicians hope they can promote integration and bring down crime. But research shows that other initiatives are necessary in long-term work with social sustainability.

Woman at railway station.

Eco-friendly transports - how?

More sustainable transport – how is it possible? Using new technology and fuel from renewable sources is not enough: how the transport is organised and how consumers act are just as important. Do you really need to have these goods tomorrow?

Uno Wennergren in front of a stable and a pile of fertiliser.

Sustainable agriculture to reduce hunger and eutrophication

From farm to fork and back again – that’s how nutrients should travel in a cycle. Professor Uno Wennergren carries out research into how we can use fertiliser better in order to prevent both hunger and problems with eutrophication.

Children in the forest

Tomorrow’s citizens learn about sustainable development

The teachers working in some Norrköping preschools have been given a tough assignment: teach children aged from 1-6 years about sustainability. The work in the preschools is part of a research project at LiU.

Mixed photos of research group, pregant woman and cellphone.

Digital apps for sustainable health

It starts even before birth. Many aren’t aware that physical activity can affect the baby during pregnancy. Digital tools can support both child and parents.

Trafficjam in the city.

How municipalities can make a difference

Agenda 2030 was adopted by the world’s leaders in 2015. “We have to make these disparate goals manageable in practice. Municipalities are extremely important in achieving this”, says researcher Sara Gustafsson.

Jan-Ingvar Jönsson, Vice-Chancellor at LiU.

“LiU is helping to build a sustainable society”

Sustainable development is and must be a strong profile element at Linköping University. “We are already doing a lot. LiU has excellent researchers contributing knowledge that benefits society”, says Vice-Chancellor Jan-Ingvar Jönsson.”

Mats Eklund.

Biogas solves several environmental challenges

Biogas doesn’t solve just one or two of the world’s huge environmental challenges: it solves three! Or it would, if countries used the Nordic model. In fact, biogas can play a part in achieving all 17 sustainable development goals.

Research on sustainable development

Facing climate change

From the global UN climate conferences to the work done by local municipalities to face climate change. Researchers at the Centre for Climate Science and Policy Research, CSPR, are involved in and study how climate policy and practical work is designed around societies' adaptation, emission reductions, and transition processes.

More research in the spotlight