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The Université of Paris-Saclay has long been committed to researching environmental issues and the effects of climate change, including its impact on our societies and living organisms. Université Paris-Saclay also recognises its responsibility to disseminate knowledge and to take action to limit detrimental impacts of its activities on the environment. It has thus made a commitment, through its sustainable development charter, to be a lever for socio-ecological transition. This commitment translates into the support for the production of knowledge on environmental changes, on the associated risks and on the means (technical and natural) of transformation for sustainability. It also involves supporting the training and raising awareness of our communities, particularly our students, who are called upon to experience these  changes and to be actors in societal transitions. We will continuously deepen our strategy to reduce our own environmental impacts.

Back to the Université Paris-Saclay Scientific Framework

Promoting a sober, sustainable campus. In the years to come, important efforts are required to reduce the environmental impact of our teaching or research practices. Sufficiency is a major aspect of these efforts, in parallel with longer-term decarbonisation actions. Many of the involved changes require an in-depth transformation of our existing work and study practices. However the urgency of the challenge requires us to implement the required changes as quickly as possible. The action plan currently being discussed within the whole Université Paris-Saclay community relies on four major impact areas:

  1. Procurement - a thorough analysis of current practices aims at ensuring that we buy less and better, through a better screening of needs and mutualisation of resources.
  2. Transportation - as home-to-campus and on-campus mobility are a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions, Université Paris-Saclay is implementing a  transportation blueprint to offer sustainable alternatives (bike, public transport, car pooling, etc).
  3. Energy consumption on campus - a process is underway to improve the energy efficiency of our real-estate, and requires a multi-year planning and investment process.
  4. Food and catering - discussions are underway with the catering providers for students and staff to diminish their environmental impact.

Developing research on sustainable development. Université Paris-Saclay has identified seven major interdisciplinary societal challenges. Many of them (Health & well-being; Energy, climate, sustainable development; Biodiversity, agriculture and food; Transport and mobility) are key for sustainable development. The breadth of the research carried out at the University in this area is presented in the dedicated section below, and deals with:

  • The better understanding of environmental changes and associated risks for human societies and living beings.
  • Solutions for a sustainable future.
  • Issues related to equity in resource distribution and use.

The urgency of the environmental crisis raises deep issues, which are currently being debated collectively throughout the university, in the wake of recent seminars and conferences - among others, to what extent should we actively prioritise research directly relevant to sustainability concerns, or to what extent should we refrain from engaging in research which into research lines which might favour non-sustainable applications.

Orienting research practices towards sustainability. At the same time as our research teams explore the mechanisms of environmental changes and possible solutions,  research activities themselves generate a significant environmental impact. We cannot ignore this tension. Université Paris-Saclay is taking active steps to analyse the  carbon-footprint of its research activity, and promote accessible practices, adapted to each lab on a case-by-case basis.

Raising awareness and reaching out. Université Paris- Saclay offers a significant number of study paths which are directly relevant to sustainable development and train future professionals equipped to tackle the challenges of the environmental transitions: five professional undergraduate degrees, more than 30 Master’s tracks, more than 15 engineering specialisation tracks are currently being offered within departments ranging from natural sciences (geosciences, engineering, etc.) to humanities and social sciences (law, economics, public policy, etc.). Université Paris-Saclay has been also a pioneer with the introduction, as early as 2020, of a large-scale undergraduate teaching module dealing with ecological transition, accessible as a SPOC and mandatory for second-year undergraduate students. A  result of the collaboration of more than 40 academic staff from many disciplinary fields, this module is the basis for the open access book, Enjeux de la transition écologique.


This initiative is a scientific, educational and institutional project that aims to mobilise the academic community to analyse the actions taken as part of the European Green Deal presented by the European Commission in December 2019, with the aim of making Europe climate neutral by 2050. Nearly 150 legislative and non-legislative initiatives have been launched by the European Union, providing fertile ground not only for research but also for teaching.

Led by researchers at the Université of Paris-Saclay, the Green Deal Observatory relies on contributors in domestic law, European law, international law and political science, who can publish their work on the dedicated website with the aim of centralising ideas and gathering information useful for understanding the issues at stake in this vast  political programme.

Our commitments for better science

Research-based education

At a time when information is freely available in our pockets and many of the jobs in which our students will be employed in ten years’ time do not yet exist, it is clear that our educational models

Innovation and technology transfer

The cutting-edge tools and methodologies currently being transformed by innovation, from artificial intelligence to personalised medicine, require the combined efforts of researchers and practitioners

Open Science

Open science fortifies the integrity and transparency that we view as fundamental to research. It fosters a more democratic, inclusive culture where knowledge is more widely accessible and ensures

Ethics and scientific integrity

Public trust in science is currently faltering. Scientific integrity has never been so present in the news with cases of plagiarism, data alteration, and problematic links with funders highlighted


Universities are born from a powerful ideal: a community which is organised around the quest for knowledge and ideals of openness and respect. The real-life translation of this ideal is far from