Education for Sustainable Development

From Competendo - Digital Toolbox
Jump to: navigation, search
Activists, interest groups, politicians, or companies – each makes a contribution or has the potential to contribute to societal development. Sustainable Development is a vision, which is promoted through individuals. Education for Sustainable Development is empowerment for sustainable change. Learning and education builds a bridge between the content of sustainability and the initiative of the people.

Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)

Empowers learners with knowledge, skills, values and attitudes to take informed decisions and make responsible actions for environmental integrity, economic viability and a just society. UNESCO.

A detailed description of Education for Sustainable Development's learning objectives can be found in the brochure: ESD Learning Objectives

The subject of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) is defined by the term "sustainability", coined by the United Nations Commision "Our Common Future". Although environmental issues are central to this approach to education, this definition shows that they are not the sole core. Sustainability here is related to the environment, the social, the economic. In addition, "development" refers to the fact that ESD is a transformative approach to education - towards a more sustainable world.

This also shows how strongly ESD is linked to active citizenship education, the commitment to a democratic and sustainable society.

Sustainable Development: Definition

“Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” (United Nations Commission Our Common Future)

"Education is a human right with immense power to transform. On its foundation rest the cornerstones of freedom, democracy, and sustainable human development.” Kofi Annan

Video: What is Education for Sustainable Development?

GreenComp - EU Competence Framework


The European sustainability competence framework, created in 2022 by the European Commission/Joint Research Centre.

GreenComp identifies a set of sustainability competences to feed into education programmes to help learners develop knowledge, skills and attitudes that promote ways to think, plan and act with empathy, responsibility, and care for our planet and for public health.


Materials: Education for Sustainable Development/ Global Learning