Sustainability is a vast concept. It comprises not only the environment, but also social justice, health and welfare, culture and economic livelihood. It revolves around awareness that nature sets the boundaries for human activities. It also involves acknowledgement that before all mankind lies the socially complex task of reconciling ideas and expectations about „the good life“ with natural limits.
The 2011-2016 policy of the University of Iceland states that the university will set an ambitious environmental policy and will build understanding and knowledge of sustainability both inside the university and out.
The university can contribute to sustainability in three ways: Firstly, through the search for knowledge itself and the work of teachers and students within the university.
Secondly, the University plays an important role in connecting scientific knowledge to the community in a responsible way.
Thirdly, the University can serve as a model of sustainability through its own organisation, management and overall policy.
As a powerful and comprehensive research institution the University of Iceland can contribute to knowledge and understanding in the field of sustainability at the national and international level. All five schools of the University are involved in this. There are currently various relevant areas of research and teaching ongoing at the University.
Education and research in the field of sustainable development often requires a cross-disciplinary approach and collaboration as well as depth and expertise in specific disciplines across all areas of knowledge.