fish in a research tank


Sustainability evolves at the intersection between society and the environment. Much of scientific research is aligned along this same interface, so a more refined attention to sustainability illuminates our thinking about how we engage in research. We start toward this Target simply by understanding these parallels through a comprehensive sustainability research inventory. We will also vigorously expand our work beyond the walls of academia, making our campuses and surrounding communities living laboratories that provide rich collaborations and shared positive outcomes.

See the target actions

Status updates

FY 2022 progress

Target actions for 2022

  • Develop sustainability research catalog
  • Expand campus as a living laboratory

This target has presented challenges, including the difficulty of defining “research” at an institution with many different scales and kinds of research, ranging from large grant-funded projects to student-driven independent efforts. This target lacked clarity on the desired outcome(s) for doubling sustainability research projects. The UW Sustainability team also realized that increasing the number of research projects may not be the most effective and impactful way to reach UW’s sustainability goals. 

In the upcoming year as we undergo the process of creating a new Sustainability Action Plan for UW, we will work with faculty, researchers and academic departments to re-examine goals around academic research for sustainability, including alignment with our SAP guiding principles.

Under the current target, UW Sustainability has had conversations with stakeholders regarding how to support and expand campus as a Living Lab efforts at the UW and will continue this work.

Previous status reports

Guiding principles of this target