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SDG Observatory

Goal 17: Partnerships for the Goals

Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development.

 

Partnerships for the Goals Globally

In order to successfully accomplish the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, collaboration must occur between and within communities. The UN recognizes that in order to achieve international collaboration, investment and support must go towards technological development, fair market access, and reducing inequalities. The COVID-19 pandemic is just one example of a global disaster that will require collaboration to bounce back from. Only when the whole world works together, both developing and developed countries, will we truly be able to achieve sustainability.

 

Partnerships for the Goals Locally

The Dallas sustainability sector includes stakeholders from a variety of fields, including business, higher education, nonprofit, and governmental actors. Throughout all of the Sustainable Development Goals, UT Dallas has made a significant effort to form partnerships with the surrounding community to find solutions. Whether it be local partnerships such as Air North Texas or the North Texas RCE [Regional Centre for Expertise] Network, or national partnerships such as Bicycle Friendly University and Bee Campus USA, UT Dallas strives to follow the best practices of other sustainability leaders. Learning, collaborating, and informing each other proves for the most successful initiatives. Below, we go into further detail about some partnerships within UT Dallas and extending past our campus community.

 

Highlights

Sustainability Service Honors

SDG 1: No Poverty
SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities
A group of students under a tree holding certificates.

2023 UTD Sustainability Service Honors Graduates

Sustainability Service Honors is an award given to honor UT Dallas graduating students whose service advances any of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Student leaders may provide volunteer service that advances global sustainability efforts both at UT Dallas and in the community. Nearing graduation, students will be recognized at a sustainability service ceremony organized by the Office of Sustainability. To receive the honor, students must register on the Office of Sustainability website, log 150+ hours throughout their college experience, and then attend the ceremony. This honor recognizes the interdisciplinary nature of the SDG [Sustainable Development Goal] s and encourages students to seek out their own partnerships within their community.

 

Texas Regional Alliance for Campus Sustainability (TRACS)

SDG 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities
A group of Eco Reps and staff standing together.

Eco Reps and staff at the
2023 TRACS Annual Summit

The Texas Regional Alliance for Campus Sustainability (TRACS [Texas Regional Alliance for Campus Sustainability] ) fosters a statewide network that embodies inter-campus collaboration and aspires to lead the world into a sustainable future committed to environmental preservation, economic development, and social equity. The mission of TRACS [Texas Regional Alliance for Campus Sustainability] is to provide resources, expertise, education, peer to peer support, and training to advance sustainability in Texas higher education through an annual statewide summit and diverse member-driven network of students, faculty, and staff. As a member of TRACS [Texas Regional Alliance for Campus Sustainability] , we are able to connect with Texas-specific institutions and share best practices for sustainability.

 

Association for Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education

Students in protective beekeeper gear open a hive.

Photo Source: UTD Newsletter

The University of Texas at Dallas has been a member of the Association for Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHEAssociation of Advancement in Higher Education) since April of 2013. AASHEAssociation of Advancement in Higher Education’s reporting framework, the Sustainability Tracking Assessment and Reporting System (STARS) is intended to engage and recognize the full spectrum of higher education institutions, from community colleges to research universitas. STARS encompasses long-term sustainability goals for already high-achieving institutions, as well as entry points of recognition for institutions that are taking first steps towards sustainability. In partnering with AASHEAssociation of Advancement in Higher Education, UT Dallas is provided with a framework for understanding sustainability in all sectors of higher education. Additionally, we have the ability to enable meaningful comparisons over time and across institutions using a common set of measurements developed with broad participation. This partnership has allowed UT Dallas to create incentives for continual improvement towards sustainability and facilitate information-sharing.

 

Sustainability Committee

A student transfering aplant from a pot to the soil.

Photo Source: Sustainability in Engagement Article

The mission of the Sustainability Committee is to cultivate a culture of environmental responsibility in which the entire UT Dallas community is aware of, engaged in and committed to advancing environmental awareness and sustainable practices through education, research, operations, and community service activities. This coalition of faculty, staff, and students allows for a broad range of sustainability concerns to be addressed. The committee meets monthly to discuss new initiatives in the areas of energy, water, waste, buildings, transportation, purchasing, grounds, food and dining, social equity, academics, research, education, and outreach.

 

Sustainability Planning

SDG 13: Climate Action
SDG 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Both the University of Texas System and University of Texas at Dallas strategic plans identify themes that are connected to the Sustainable Development Goals. UT Dallas’s strategic plan was adopted in 2019, and explicitly identifies sustainability as 1 of the 6 goals for the institution and 1 of the 9 strategic themes. Over 50 students, faculty, and staff participated in creating this vision for the University, which is supplemented by plans, policy initiatives, and metrics at lower levels. The language for Goal 5 is as follows: “The University of Texas at Dallas aspires to be a responsible global citizen that enthusiastically attends to our duty to create a sustainable environment.” Having sustainability incorporated into campus planning facilitates partnerships to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals on campus.

 

Centers for Students in Recovery & Community Garden

SDG 3: Good Health and Well-Being
SDG 15: Life on Land

Students with the Center for Students in Recovery (CSR) have adopted stewardship of the pollinator garden adjacent to the UTD Community Garden. The stewardship for the garden is utilized in order aid students in recovery while providing service to the University and the community garden. Student programming through the Center for Students in Recovery requires weekly stewardship, including watering, weeding, labeling plants, mulching, and planting. The CSR students are also helping with the pilot project to label pollinator plants with branded, educational material in support of UTD’s Bee Campus USA certification. This partnership highlights the connection between good health & well-being and environmental conservation.

 

Sustainability and Art

SDG 3: Good Health and Well-Being
SDG 4: Quality Education

The Office of Sustainability has partnered with the Art UTD student organization on three occasions to have sustainability-themed art installed on campus. Two murals were placed on the walls of the shed at the community garden and students also installed murals on three walls of the water catchment at the Blanca Botello Garden. Most recently in 2022, the new Eco Hub shed was decorated by several murals detailing the positive impact of environmental stewardship on student life. All the installations are meant to build a culture for sustainability on campus while providing student artists high-visibility art installations on campus. Past this initiative, a UT Dallas Master’s student created a sustainability-themed art project during the Oddities Exhibit and the SPN Art Gallery. The exhibition was intended to raise awareness of sustainability initiatives.

 

Volunteer Opportunities

SDG 2: Zero Hunger
SDG 15: Life on Land

The Office of Student Volunteerism (OSV [Office of Student Volunteerism] ) frequently identifies local community service partners on their community volunteering collaborative platform GivePulse. UT Dallas students who are interested in volunteering can visit the site to find a cause or event they are passionate about. For example, the OSV [Office of Student Volunteerism] currently has a dedicated community partner every month for donation drives, and over 200 affiliate partners to engage students in volunteering. Through these partnerships, UT Dallas is able to build lasting relationships with organizations in need in our community.

 

Goals / Future Work

Continue efforts to increase collaboration between UT Dallas members and the community to further the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals

 

Learn More

  • Take the online courses regarding Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions from SDG Academy
  • Learn more about the targets and indicators at the UN Global Goals website