Sustainability (SUS) education aims at ensuring that future higher education graduates master sustainability competences in three learning domains: cognitive, socio-emotional and behavioral. These competences are framed by the 17 Sustainable Development Goals formulated by the UN, and include a holistic systems thinking approach, draws on normative and strategic cross-disciplinary collaboration, critical thinking, self-awareness and integrated problem-solving competency.

The two SUS workshops were conducted in AAU and in UPC, respectively. AAU has a number of study programmes with main focus on sustainability, and the PBL approach applied is ideally suited for education for sustainability, while UPC is the host of a UNESCO Sustainability Chair, in recognition of the strong focus on sustainability that is an institution-wide priority, with compulsory modules on sustainability in all Bachelor programmes.
Main points in the program for SUS workshop 1 were the following:

  • Holistic sustainability and Sustainable Development Goals;
  • Sustainability competencies and sustainability competencies maps;
  • Pedagogical approaches to learning for sustainability, including assessment;
  • Experiences with sustainability training in AAU.
ToT sustainability

Internal study visits in workshop 1 were to the AAU Green Task Force, as well as to students’ groups working with sustainability in their project work, and the external study visit was to Waste Processing Company Vendsyssel West that in 2019 received the World Target Prize, because of their major efforts to reuse, recycle and upcycle waste.
During the online session, phase 3, trainees were requested to design a sustainability competency map and to reflect on pedagogical strategies for learning sustainability, relevant to their institution and make a short presentation of both assignments for the second workshop.
The second SUS workshop in UPC focused on the following areas:

  • Sustainability competencies maps, presentations and group reflections;
  • From competencies maps to curriculum contents;
  • Design of learning activities according to the sustainability competencies maps.

ToT Sustainability

External study visits in Barcelona included: Besòs Littoral Project, the aim of which is to turn the mouth of the river Besòs, and its surroundings, into a reference territory in terms of innovation in sustainable development for large metropolitan cities. The project focuses on energy efficiency, waste treatment, electricity generation, water cycle management and other measures. The project is funded by the European Regional Development Fund; The Ecoparc in Barcelona is an environmental facility treating waste from the metropolitan area of Barcelona. Municipal waste is treated in various ways, such as recycling, composting and methanization; The waste management plant for the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona (AMB) has established a new waste management model with focus on prevention, separation for reuse, selective collection at source and recycling, and for contribution to the circular economy. Municipalities intend to make the necessary changes to reach collection and recovery rates of 70% by 2025.
Internal study visits within UPC included visits to: UPC Centre for Development and Cooperation, with academic activities in information technology (IT), sustainability and entrepreneurship; the project Reutilitza, combining recycling of computer equipment with IT learning and social services; Living Lab LOW3, a tool for education, research and innovation in sustainable architecture, energy efficiency and renewable energy, with the main objective to foster experience-based learning, co-creation and collaborative learning processes in an international framework.