Reporting principles

The Sustainable Development Report of Tampere University is the result of a pilot project and still in many ways a work in progress. We hope the report evolves into an important avenue for the members of our community to share information about their expertise and celebrate their achievements. When compiling this report, we took inspiration from conventional responsibility reports but chose to highlight the sustainability achievements and progress made by our community instead of opting for a more traditional reporting format.

This report is based on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which provide a common language for talking about sustainability across geographic regions and disciplinary boundaries. Among other things, the University of Manchester’s extensive SDG report set an example for this report.

Community activity was the key

The university community had an active role in providing information about the steps taken in 2020 to promote sustainability. To invite the community to share information about their activities, we posted news on the intranet and sent messages to faculty-specific mailing lists and the bulletins published by sustainability networks. We also received tips to contact individuals engaged in sustainability activities.

We have compiled a brief description of the activities, identified contact persons and created a web page that offers more information. We grouped the activities into SDG categories based on their primary impact. In addition, we classified the activities based on the social, cultural, environmental and economic dimensions of sustainability and indicated whether the reported activities relate to our research, education or societal impact.

Please consider the following points when reading this report:

  • It has been necessary to make some simplifications in the report for purposes of clarity. The boundaries between research, education and societal impact are not necessarily clear-cut, and some of the reported activities could be grouped under social, cultural, environmental and economic sustainability. The classification of activities into the SDG categories is especially challenging because the majority of activities have an impact on multiple SDGs. We opted for a simplified reporting model in case there are people who are not yet that familiar with the SDGs.
  • The report is a collection of stories describing both large-scale and small-scale sustainability actions, which may seem confusing. Still, we wanted the report to highlight the breadth and depth of our community’s sustainability actions, both the small steps and the major international research projects.
  • We are aware that this is by no means an exhaustive report, although creating a comprehensive report may not be possible or even necessary. We hope this report encourages you to reflect on the impact of your activities on the SDGs, sheds light on the manifold nature of sustainability actions and perhaps helps you find potential new collaboration partners.
  • We have received many extensive, well-written documents describing the activities underway within our community, which we have been forced to shorten while preparing this report. We will look into the possibility to further highlight these activities in other contexts.
  • The process of drawing up our next sustainable development report will begin in the spring of 2022. For the next report, we are developing a clear and consistent framework for sharing information and ensuring that the different voices of our community members are heard.

Was there something missing?

Are you involved in sustainable development activities that were not included in this report? What tools could be used to measure our sustainability performance and impact against the SDGs? Let us know by filling out this form!