Solutions to global challenges – VTT's research activities support the UN Sustainable Development Goals


The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a global description of issues that need to be resolved to enable sustainable development and an opportunity to enjoy peace and prosperity for everyone. VTT has identified five SDGs on which its activities have the greatest impact.

At the core of responsibility at VTT are the content of research and our solutions that promote sustainability. Our goal is to minimise negative impacts (footprint) and to maximise positive impacts (handprint). 

“As part of our corporate responsibility work, we have identified on which of the UN SDGs our activities have the greatest impact,” says Tiina-Liisa Forsell, Vice President, Operational Excellence, who leads VTT's sustainability working group.

These five SDGs are:

  • 7 Affordable and clean energy
  • 8 Decent work and economic growth
  • 9 Sustainable industry, innovation, and infrastructure
  • 12 Responsible consumption
  • 13 Climate action
UN sustainable goals: 7. Affordable and clean energy 8. Decent work and economic growth 9. Industry, innovation and infrastructure 12. Responsible consumption and production 13. Climate action

Our research choices provide solutions for promoting the achievement of SDGs

At VTT, all research is carried out in projects. Forsell says that VTT started linking its projects to SDGs in 2021 and will continue to do so more systematically this year. In practice, this is done by answering the following questions during the project preparation phase:

  • What UN sustainable development goal is the project believed to have the most positive effect on and why?
  • What other SDG goals does the project affect positively?
  • What goals could the project affect negatively and why?

“We use the data thus collected to support the reporting, targeting and communicating on the impact of our research agenda,” says Tiina-Liisa Forsell. In addition, data will be one of the elements in the evaluation of VTT's carbon handprint. The carbon handprint indicates the positive climate impacts generated by the organisation, product, service, etc.

The UN SDGs are also visible in VTT's Research Information Portal. There, publications made by VTTers are automatically linked to the SDGs. In addition, everyone can link the SDGs whose achievement their work has promoted to their own researcher profile. The topics of VTT's research agenda, the ‘challenge frame’, have also been linked to SDGs. 

“Sustainability work can never be fully done,” says Tiina-Liisa Forsell. However, we have a wonderful situation here at VTT because our work is based on sustainable grounds. In addition to research solutions, we are constantly taking steps of all sizes in corporate sustainability,” Tiina says with joy. As an example, she mentions the transition to renewable electricity certified with a guarantee of origin in January 2021, which significantly reduced VTT's annual fossil greenhouse gas emissions.

Read more about our sustainability