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Lassonde is tackling the world’s greatest challenges – one SDG at a time

Nearly a decade ago, the United Nations proposed a comprehensive set of goals to unite all countries in global partnership and help build a safer, healthier and more just world. Seventeen goals were created, known as the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), addressing urgent, global issues which impact diverse areas ranging from infrastructure to education.

SDG Week Canada is celebrated during the first week of March to spread awareness of the goals and increase engagement across universities and colleges. This year, the Lassonde School of Engineering is celebrating SDG Week Canada by highlighting the School’s commitment to tackling the goals through research efforts, publications and more.

In 2023, Lassonde researchers published over 120 publications addressing one or more UN SDGs. This collection of work addressed nearly 90% of the UN SDGs, demonstrating the versatile expertise of researchers at the School.

The greatest number of contributions at Lassonde were made to SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy and SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure. Lassonde’s contributions to these goals created a significant impact on SDG-focused research across York University. In fact, among all publications at York in 2023, Lassonde contributed to more than 60% of publications addressing SDG 7, and nearly half of the papers addressing SDG 9.

By prioritizing a range of UN SDGs in their work, Lassonde researchers help strengthen York University’s standing as one of the top 2% universities worldwide addressing UN SDGs.

sdg 7 icon (SDG week)
sdg 9 icon (SDG week)

UN SDG icons for SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy and SDG 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure.

Lassonde also helps support many UN SDGs through fieldwork, ongoing research and government-funded projects. From establishing the Safe Water Optimization Tool (SWOT) to ensure usable drinking water in refugee and internally displaced person (IDP) settlements, to implementing green hydrogen plants across Ontario to support economic growth and sustainable cities and communities – Lassonde is actively working towards a better future.

Many faculty members also made contributions to biomedical research and SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being, by developing and investigating innovative health technologies, such as wearable devices for disease detection. Other researchers focused on addressing microplastic contamination and remediation efforts, addressing UN SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation.

In addition to faculty members, student researchers at Lassonde are making a mark on UN SDGs through various projects and initiatives. For example, the Lassonde Undergraduate Research Award (LURA) Program supports dozens of student researchers as they tackle SDG-focused projects throughout the summer. This year, students will work on ambitious projects while contributing to goals such as SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being, SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation and SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities, to name a few.

Through commitment and dedication, Lassonde researchers will continue to do their part in making the world a safer, healthier and more just place – one SDG at a time.

Happy SDG Week!