Sustainability and responsibility
We promote sustainable development as well as equality and non-discrimination in all of our operations. We are Finland’s largest and oldest research university, with long-term research as our strength. We foster our history while actively working for a better future. We are contributing to the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN through the power of knowledge – for the world.
Research-based knowledge on sustainability and responsibility

We conduct extensive research on sustainability and responsibility. Among other things, we examine society, equality and social structures as well as climate change and biodiversity. We are developing the University and our community into a sustainable and safe work and learning environment.

Read current news about our latest research or explore our responsibility efforts.

Sustainability and responsibility science news
Values and strategy guide our actions

Our values and our strategy 2021–2030, "With the power of know­ledge – for the world", guide our choices and actions.

During the next ten years:

We will cultivate our global responsibility and sustainable development by actively participating in international debates, projects and the drafting of research programmes and policies. As the knowledge generated by the University will support society in its path towards sustainability, we will be considered a knowledgeable and attractive partner. The goals of the UN’s 2030 Agenda will provide a framework for sustainable development and responsible action.

Specialists of sustainability and equality

Themes related to sustainable development and responsibility are researched and taught at almost all of the faculties of the University of Helsinki – from the Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences to the Faculty of Social Sciences – under topics ranging from circular economy and food production to Baltic Sea conservation and climate research.


A sustainability and responsibility committee established by the rector is responsible for the development, monitoring and reporting of the University’s sustainability and responsibility. The committee organises activities related to sustainable development on the University level. The committee consists of specialists developing the University’s sustainability and responsibility efforts, representatives of faculties and administrative sectors, and student members.

The committee is chaired by Tom Böhling, vice-rector in charge of sustainability and responsibility.

The Equality and Diversity Committee is a body under the vice-rector, representing the whole spectrum of the University community. The members of the Committee are appointed to include representatives of different genders, all staff groups of the University, students, and members of the University community of different ages as well as groups with particular insight or experience regarding equality issues.

The Committee’s duties are to 

  • Promote the achievement of the objectives outlined in the Act on Equality between Women and Men and the Non-Discrimination Act, monitor the development of equality at the University and report on it;
  • Influence the University community so as to strengthen pro-equality attitudes, opinions and structures at the University; and 
  • Prepare an equality and non-discrimination plan as specified in the Act on Equality between Women and Men and the Non-Discrimination Act. 

The Committee chair is Vice-Rector Tom Böhling. The Committee secretary is Equality Advisor Timo Valtonen. In matters pertaining to equality, you can write to

In addition, the University has equality and accessibility contact persons working in HR Services and Teaching and Learning Services. The University has also appointed harassment contact persons. Further information can be requested by writing to

Please contact us if you wish to know more about the University’s efforts to promote sustainability, responsibility and equality.

Riina Koivuranta, senior specialist in sustainable development and responsibility

Timo Valtonen, HR specialist

Virpi Kuitto, sustainability specialist

Elina Tanninen, sustainability and responsibility coordinator

Henna Puustinen, sustainability and responsibility coordinator

Kati Salmivaara, coordinator of sustainability and responsibility communications

Jarna Heikkilä, environmental specialist, HY247

Tom Böhling, vice-rector for social responsibility

In matters pertaining to equality, you can write to