Take part in the promotion of sustainability

The University of Helsinki invites members of the University community and its stakeholders to contribute to developing an increasingly sustainable and responsible University. Join us on a journey to make the University of Helsinki a leader in sustainability and responsibility.
Sparkle – Apply for funding for your sustainability idea

The University of Helsinki invites the whole community to build a sustainable future. You can now apply for funding to implement your sustainability idea, or Sparkle.  

We encourage all members of the University study and work community to come up with ideas and pursue actions that support the University goal of being a leader in sustainability and responsibility and familiarise the community with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Whether it relates to climate change, biodiversity, corporate social responsibility or social and economic sustainability, each Sparkle helps us take a step towards a more sustainable and responsible organisational culture. You or your group can now apply for €1,000 to €10,000 to implement your Sparkle.

Sustainability and responsibility network of the University of Helsinki

The sustainability and responsibility network of the University of Helsinki promotes the transition towards an increasingly sustainable University and society. The network provides a place for learning, networking and influencing related to sustainability and responsibility. 

We invite students, employees and alumni of the University of Helsinki to join sustainability-themed events and be part of a dynamic community. No advance knowledge of sustainability and responsibility is required. Instead, an inquisitive mindset and interest in building an increasingly sustainable world are enough. The network’s operations stem from its participants, reflecting their attitudes and goals.

The network is open to the whole university community - no membership required.

Activities of the sustainability and responsibility network

The sustainability and responsibility network meets four times a year. The thematic meetings include panel discussions, workshops, excursions and information on the University’s sustainability and responsibility efforts.

The network operates throughout the academic year in the network’s own Teams area. Please contact the network's coordinator, Elina Tanninen, if you would like to be involved in the network and become part of the network's Teams group.  

Meeting of the Sustainability and Responsibility Network – Community's ideas for the process of the University's new Sustainability and Responsibility Program 2025-2028

Join us to hear about the current state of the University's sustainability work, including biodiversity promotion at the University, and future plans. The network meeting will also give you the opportunity to participate in the process of making our new University Sustainability and Responsibility Programme 2025–2028. In small groups, you will have the opportunity to go through the new programme's policies so far and reflect on what they mean in concrete terms for the members of the university community.  

Event Agenda 

Refreshments: Coffee, tea and small vegan snack available. 

3:30 PM-4:00 PM Opening of the event and the current state of the University's sustainability and responsibility work (hybrid) 

4:00 PM-04.15 PM Case: Natural capital and ecosystem service assessment of University of Helsinki campuses (hybrid) 

  • Jussi Lampinen, HELSUS post-doc, University of Helsinki 

4.15–04.25 PM Process of the new Sustainability and Responsibility Plan 2025–2028 (hybrid)  

4:25 PM-5:30 PM Small group work: what the programme's guidelines mean in practice 

  • Small group work for on-site participants only 

A Warm Welcome!

Time: Thursday, 7 March from 3.30 PM to 5.30 PM 

Place: Kaisa house, 7062, Kaisa-sali 7th floor, Fabianinkatu 30. At 3.30-4.30 PM also in zoom

For whom: University of Helsinki Staff, Students, and Alumni  

Language: The event is in English and Finnish. Instructions and presentations will be given in English. During the event you can participate in the discussion in Finnish, English and Swedish. 

Accessibility: The Library’s accessible entrances are the main entrance on Fabianinkatu and the lift from either the University of Helsinki metro station or Kaisaniemenkatu. There is a lift to 7th floor. For assistance or guidance, please call the porter on +358 50 318 5411 or 02941 23265 (Aleksandria) or the library information desk on 02941 23920. For more information about accessibility, please visit Kaisa library's website

Meetings of the sustainability and responsibility network

Incoming meetings

7th March 2024, from 15:30 to 17:00​. Partly hybrid event: Kaisa house, Kaisa-sali (7062) and Zoom

Theme: University's sustainability actions in the future and promoting biodiversity​

25th April 2024, from 15:00 to 17:00​. Partly hybrid event: Viikki Info Centre Korona, room K1088 and Zoom

Theme: Sustainability expertise

Past meetings

November 23, 2023 - Network meeting. Theme: Sustainability and Responsibility actions by University community members and also Sparkle.

September 19, 2023 - Network meeting. Theme: Sustainability Pecha Kucha

April 19, 2023 - Network meeting. Theme: Climate work and carbon neutrality.

February 28, 2023 - Network meeting. Theme: Responsible encounters in the university community.

December 15, 2022 - Network launch event

Sustainable entrepreneurship and innovation activities

The University's Incubator and Entrepreneurship Services offer easily accessible programmes, courses, and services to support the development, launch, and growth of business ideas. The services are open to all members of the university community who are interested in entrepreneurship.

Thematic pre-incubator and incubator programmes exist on each campus and many of the programmes are related to sustainability solutions.

Open morning coffee sessions on biodiversity

Morning coffee sessions focused on biodiversity and open to the entire University community will be held regularly throughout the year. In the sessions, those interested in biodiversity have the chance to listen to expert introductions. Also participating in the sessions will be people involved in campus development at other universities. The goal of the coffee sessions is to exchange experiences of boosting campus biodiversity and share news on relevant projects from the perspectives of different universities and stakeholders. In addition, the morning coffee sessions are dedicated to networking. 

Further information on the sessions will be published on Flamma and the ‘Biodiversity on campus – Luonnon monimuotoisuus kampuksilla’ Teams channel. For enquiries related to the organisation and content of the events, please contact Campus Architect Suvi Nenonen (suvi.nenonen[at]helsinki.fi) or Academy of Finland Research Fellow Anne Duplouy (anne.duplouy[at]helsinki.fi). 

On-campus gardening on all campuses

On-campus gardening is possible on all University of Helsinki campuses. Gardening opportunities are available to the University’s undergraduate and postgraduate students as well as staff. The inspiration for gardening originates in students, and the first grow bags were placed in the courtyards of the Snellmania and Topelia buildings at the City Centre Campus in 2013. 

Fairtrade University

As a Fairtrade university, we are committed to promoting the use and availability of Fairtrade-certified products in our procurement, as well as increasing the University community’s awareness of Fairtrade and its significance to global production and consumption networks. The University’s Fairtrade team, composed of students and staff, plans and implements the University of Helsinki’s Fairtrade activities, including communications, campaign weeks and thematic days. 

Interested? Please reach out to Elina Tanninen

Get involved in the Student Union

The Student Union of the University of Helsinki (HYY) offers students opportunities to promote sustainability and responsibility. Find out more about HYY's activities, committees and organisations.