(L-R) Norry Schneider, Nancy Thomas, Ariane König, Stéphanie Obertin, Luxembourg’s Minister for Research and Higher Education; Serge Wilmes, Luxembourg’s Minister of the Environment, Climate and Biodiversity; Jens Kreisel, rector of Uni.lu; Credit: University of Luxembourg

On Wednesday 27 March 2024, the University of Luxembourg and partner institutions presented SustainLux, a new online platform dedicated to sustainability.

Showcasing a broad range of initiatives and offering diverse functions, the website aims to inspire action for sustainability and to inform a wide public on essential sustainability issues.

SustainLux pursues three goals, namely giving visibility to diverse initiatives and actors of sustainability, fostering connections, research and mutual learning among them, and serving as an official government reporting tool for the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Individuals, schools and organisations can simply register on the platform and open their entry to showcase projects or initiatives.

SustainLux is an upgrade of the original website “Aktioun Nohaltegkeet” (sustainability action), a collaborative effort by the University and the High Council for Sustainable Development. The new platform offers a wider range of possible functions, enhanced flexibility and ease of use. It has now evolved into a central hub, connecting existing regional networks for sustainable practices. The first partners include the BiBe platform for digital citizen participation by the Centre for Ecological Learning Luxembourg (CELL), Gringgo for the sale of regional products and services and Edvance, the intranet for school projects by Luxembourg’s Ministry of Education, Children and Youth.

The platform will also be used for international reporting: “Apart from creating vital connections between actors working for sustainability, the platform is also used for the government’s reporting at the United Nations in New York to show progress on the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals,” said Serge Wilmes, Luxembourg’s Minister of the Environment, Climate and Biodiversity. The Ministry of the Environment, Climate and Biodiversity funds the platform.

Finally, SustainLux now offers easily configurable functions to organise, submit or collect applications to competitions, awards or funds. The first award process that is powered by the SustainLux platform is the IMS Sustainability Awards 2024 organised by IMS (Inspiring More Sustainability), a leading network in Luxembourg providing expertise on sustainable development to national economic actors. The call for participation in the IMS Sustainability Awards 2024 is now on SustainLux. Winners await a substantial award and opportunities to promote their initiative among a wide public and target groups, the University of Luxembourg noted.

As of October 2024, other organisations will be able to propose to organise calls or awards powered by the SustainLux platform.

More connections and learning from practices

Research and higher education play a crucial role in the process of sustainable development,” stated Stéphanie Obertin, Luxembourg’s Minister for Research and Higher Education. “They allow us to understand the causes and effects of various environmental, economic and social developments and to find innovative solutions that enable the transition to a sustainable society. In this sense, Sustain Lux is a step towards a more sustainable future and I am confident that it will help to drive the necessary change and achieve our common goals“.

The University has established sustainable and societal development as one of the strategic pillars,” stated Prof Jens Kreisel, rector of the University of Luxembourg. “Engaging residents and organisations in our research and educational activities is an essential step to building a fairer and more sustainable future for our society”.

SustainLux is one of the first and most prominent examples of outcomes from transdisciplinary and transformative research in Luxembourg”, said Prof Ariane König, who leads the Social-Ecological Systems research group at the University of Luxembourg and the SustainLux project. “The co-design is embedded in practice and engages actors across different sectors and governance levels to collaborate. It draws on concepts, methods and expertise from social or natural sciences and the humanities, ICT and geography. SustainLux is a learning organisation that will continue to evolve in function of the needs of the time. Future accompanying research and trend analyses will be subject to participatory evaluation by partners and content contributors, to inform policy making and practice”.