Paving the way for sustainable consumption and production patterns through research of a European University Alliance

Publikation: KonferenzbeitragAbstract/ZusammenfassungBegutachtung


On 25 September 2015 the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution with the aim to protect our world from degradation and to transform it to a home for peaceful, just, prosperous, and inclusive societies without poverty or hunger. As a result, the UN defined 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with 169 targets.
The question arose as to how a Higher Education Institution (HEI) could make an effective contribution to the SDGs. For this reason, seven partner universities selected the Sustainable Development Goal 12 as a central theme in order to pioneer the way for sustainable consumption and production patterns and launched the European University on Responsible Consumption and Production (EURECA-PRO) with the support of the European Commission under the Erasmus+ programme. The consortium expanded by two more partners and as of January 2023, the consortium consists of 9 HEIs from 8 countries with about 120.000 students, 110 departments and 18.000 staff, with a common approach to higher education and research issues around SDG 12.
The creation of new interdisciplinary degrees with integrated mobility opportunities across all three study cycles, will lead to joint European degrees, increased student and staff mobility, it promotes integration, multilingualism and European identity. The long-term vision of EURECA-PRO is to be the European educational hub and leader in interdisciplinary research and innovation in sustainable consumption and production of resources, goods and materials by 2040. This will include technological, ecological, political, economic and societal aspects and their transfer into society and industry to achieve the targeted CO₂ reduction and sustainability practices associated with the EU Green Deal by 2050.
To achieve the ambitious goals, both high-quality education and cutting-edge research must be pursued. This practitioners’ contribution focuses on the research dimension of EURECA-PRO and shows how the European University strategically plans to pave the way for sustainable consumption and production patterns through research, and discusses the research-related activities carried out so far.
In order to screen the strengths and limitations of the partners, a EURECA-PRO research inventory of SDG12 projects resulted in 488 research projects covering 805 SDG12 research topics. The information was used to create the following 5 Research Lighthouse Missions (LHs) that focus on SDG12, taking into account Circular Economy, EU Green Deal and Planetary Boundaries: LH1 Responsible Material Flows, LH2 Environment and Water, LH3 Sustainable Materials and Products, LH4 Clean Energy, and LH5 Process automation and Industry 4.0. Research groups with scientists from all partner universities have been formed for each LH, lead universities have been installed and interdisciplinary cutting-edge research projects are being carried out. Interuniversity teams work on joint publications, the establishment of a joint Open Access Policy and Research Lighthouse Mission -related events, such as the annual EURECA-PRO conference, PhD Journeys and Summer Schools, supplement the research portfolio.
To raise awareness of the urgent need for transformative social change among citizens and industry, Citizen Science events are held alongside the research efforts.
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - Juli 2023
VeranstaltungSCORAI-ERSCP-WUR Conference: Transforming consumption-production systems toward just and sustainable futures - Wageningen University & Research (Omnia), Wageningen, Niederlande
Dauer: 5 Juli 20238 Juli 2023


KonferenzSCORAI-ERSCP-WUR Conference


  • European University
  • Sustainable Development Goals
  • Responsible consumption and production
  • European Higher Education Area
  • European Research Area

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