Graphic with text for Voluntary University Review on SDGs

UC Davis Voluntary University Review: Creating Campus Momentum for the SDGs


UC Davis is pursuing a Voluntary University Review to measure university progress, bring together campus strengths, and inform future strategies within the globally-recognized SDG Agenda.

In a wide variety of settings and through interdisciplinary activities, UC Davis students, faculty, and staff are addressing all 17 UN SDGs in the US and across more than 70 countries around the world. UC Davis is actively supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through innovation and collaboration in teaching, research and service, focusing on two central goals:

1. To raise awareness and inspire involvement in the SDGs among the UC Davis community

2. To participate in meaningful ways in the SDG Agenda with collaborators around the world

To support these goals, in 2021, UC Davis plans to complete a Voluntary University Review (VUR), similar to Voluntary National Reviews, which governments around the world pursue to share experiences, strengthen policies and institutions, and mobilize stakeholders and partnerships to accelerate implementation of the SDG Agenda. UC Davis is pursuing this review to assess our performance and support our university’s role as a public land-grant institution in advancing the SDG agenda. UC Davis’ Global Affairs, Sustainability, and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion units are spearheading this effort. Members of the UC Davis community are invited to share their SDG efforts through an online portal.

This information is being used to inform the Voluntary University Review. It will also be displayed on a dashboard designed to facilitate SDG connections, collaborations and funding opportunities for faculty, students, staff, and others across UC Davis. We are also using data collected for other sustainability performance assessment, such as the Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System (STARS) report that our Sustainability office prepared. STARS has delineated the crosswalk between its metrics and the UN SDGs, which is valuable for the VUR.

Objectives for the UC Davis VUR are: 

  • Begin to measure UC Davis progress in addressing the SDGs 
  • Build SDG awareness and inspire involvement among faculty, students, staff across campus units
  • Bring together campus strengths in internationalization, sustainability and diversity, equity and inclusion towards the SDG Agenda 
  • Inform UC Davis SDG-related programs and projects with collaborators across campus, the community, region and globally 
  • Develop an additional assessment tool to help strategically guide campus sustainability plans and actions.

Results and impact measured or expected

The VUR process is designed to reach all current faculty, students, and staff at UC Davis. We developed and implemented a series of campus forums and coffee hours to raise awareness; over 350 campus members registered. We created an online SDG Activities Platform to collect input from all campus stakeholders, which builds on a previous faculty survey that reached 200+ faculty members from more than 40 different disciplines. We engaged all of our deans and associate deans to share the VUR process and the call for input with every department on campus. We are contacting over 50 centers, institutes, units, clubs and organizations for input. Our VUR will be organized by SDG/theme and geographic locations. Our metrics will show how many campus stakeholders we reached, participation levels in SDG-focused programming and funding opportunities, and new collaborations that result from the VUR process.

Read the full blog post at the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN) website on Accelerating Education for the SDGs in Universities.

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