Buffett Institute tags undergraduate classes that encompass United Nations Sustainable Development Goals


Daily file photo by Catherine Buchaniec

The Buffet Institute of Global Affairs. It launched its new sustainability tagging program for classes this spring.

Joanna Hou, Assistant Campus Editor

As undergraduate students continue to register for fall classes, they now have an option to see which classes meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, Northwestern announced in April. 

Launched by the Buffett Institute for Global Affairs, the initiative aims to identify courses related to social, economic and environmental sustainability. 

“The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals provide an internationally recognized blueprint for our collective prosperity and a common vernacular for addressing our greatest global challenges,” Annelise Riles, Buffet’s executive director, said in a news release. “This new initiative is a reflection of our commitment to preparing the next generation of global leaders.” 

Students can view eligible courses on NU’s class descriptions website. Currently, five of the University’s six undergraduate schools offer qualifying classes. The site also lists which SDG each course corresponds to. 

The UN adopted 17 global goals in 2015, based on decades of research from multiple countries. Together, these goals work to create global peace and prosperity, according to the UN’s website. 

Some of the goals range from ending global poverty to creating sustainable cities. 

“(These goals) recognize that ending poverty and other deprivations must go hand-in-hand with strategies that improve health and education, reduce inequality and spur economic growth – all while tackling climate change and working to preserve our oceans and forests,” the UN’s website reads. 

The Buffet Institute will work to continue increasing the number of courses that qualify for this designation and is developing a global sustainability certificate program. 

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