The world is facing both a climate and biodiversity crisis, with severe inequality and poverty across the population. The South Yorkshire Sustainability Centre is bringing the region together to realise a just and sustainable future.


Led by the University of Sheffield through a partnership that includes  the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority, the four South Yorkshire local authorities, Sheffield Hallam University, and a range of private and voluntary sector organisations, the South Yorkshire Sustainability Centre connects world-leading research with regional partners to develop and implement plans to reduce emissions, while also providing jobs and economic growth

Using the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the centre will help organisations to consider not only the environmental aspects of sustainability challenges, but also balance these against economic and social factors in finding solutions.

The UN SDGs are often quoted as the “to-do” list for people and the planet, aiming to tackle climate change, wipe out poverty and fight inequality, and are applicable worldwide. The goals cannot be considered in isolation and are designed to encourage people to think holistically about sustainability issues.

For example, when considering the agriculture and food processing needed to meet SDG2 Zero Hunger, we also need to consider health benefits (SDG3) of the food, water and carbon footprints (SDGs6,11,13), labour (SDGs1,5,8,10), land use (SDGs11,15), energy requirements (SDG7) and waste production (SDG12) of potential solutions. These potentially conflicting angles often stifle innovation and implementation at a policy level. The South Yorkshire Sustainability Centre helps organisations to avoid solutions that may be beneficial in one area but so detrimental in another they are worse than business as usual.

Graphic showing the SDGs

Organisations at the regional level need support in helping to navigate these varied and sometimes conflicting agendas. The South Yorkshire Sustainability Centre is uniquely placed to apply cross-disciplinary expertise to the sustainability challenges faced by organisations in the region.