The Research Council of Finland is committed to promoting sustainable development. In line with our commitment, we require that the research projects we fund take into account the principles of sustainable development as part of responsible science. When applying for funding, researchers are encouraged to include in the societal impact descriptions of their research plans an account of how the project will promote sustainability. In the final reports, in turn, they should describe how the project and the results succeeded in this task.
Sustainable development at the Administration Office
At our Administration Office, we have systematically improved our working methods in line with the objectives of sustainable development. In the review of applications, for example, we now mainly organise online panel meetings.
Other ways in which we take into account sustainability include:
- cutting back on work travel
- reducing office space
- making the most of hybrid modes of working
- following principles of good governance
- upgrading our skills and competence.
This approach has successfully helped us reduce air travel by around a thousand international experts every year. We have also promoted sustainable development by limiting air travel by staff and by supporting remote and hybrid working. As a rule, our stakeholder events and meetings are organised as remote meetings. This reduces the need to travel. Sustainability is also a central theme in all procurements and services related to our internal services.
How we take into account the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
The objectives of the Society's Commitment to Sustainable Development cover a wide range of sectors in society and people’s everyday lives. The Research Council of Finland funds research broadly across all scientific disciplines and can thereby contribute to the attainment of sustainable development targets. In 2021, we selected four of the UN’s Agenda 2030 goals for closer monitoring as part of our sustainability reporting:
- Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
- Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
- Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation and foster innovation.
- Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.