What We Do: Research

What is Sustainable Research?

Research projects related to sustainable development involves creating an educational environment that can facilitate researching a variety of sustainability issues such as climate change, conservation, water use, sustainable urban planning and many more. At Sunway University we push for an innovative approach to thinking and enhance the interdisciplinary nature of intricate sustainability issues, in order to provide impactful solutions. 

What We Do: Research

Focus Areas


• Jeffrey Sachs Centre on Sustainable Development
The Jeffrey Sachs Center on Sustainable Development is a regional center of excellence that advances the achievement of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Malaysia and Southeast Asia, tackling the sustainability agenda through education, training, research and policy advisory. The Center has a focus on research and policy practice, delivering world-class programs to train students, practitioners and policy leaders on sustainable initiatives while working in collaboration with industry, government bodies, NGOs and universities worldwide, to develop solutions related to the SDGs.

Launched in December 2016, the Center operates out of Sunway University under the supervision of Professor Jeffrey D. Sachs, one of the world’s leading experts in sustainable development, the center now hosts the Asian regional hub of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network.



Jeffrey Sachs Centre on Sustainable Development



• SDGs in Research - Achieving Excellence in Sustainable Development Goals in Sunway University Malaysia
The Jeffrey Sachs Center in Sustainable Development’s work to amplify the SDG’s in Research is discussed in “Universities as Living Labs for Sustainable Development. Supporting the Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.” JSC’s research was analysed to understand how each SDG could be targeted by a University. From the book it states, “to enhance SDG 17: Partnerships for the goals, JSC has successfully conducted a series of well attended public lectures and workshops among Asean ministers, senior government officers, private enterprises and the public. Three additional core SDGs are identified for implementation: SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being; SDG 6: Clean Water and Sanitation; SDG 13: Climate Action. This paper outlines research and community outreach undertaken by JSC, in collaboration with local and international partners, to develop competences, expertise and talents in SDG 17 and three other core SDGs identified. On SDG 3, JSC advises Malaysian Ministry of Health in formulating model DEER for licensing of dengue vaccine Dengvaxia based upon a set of five criteria: safety, efficacy, equity, affordability and cost effectiveness. On SDG 6, JSC conducts field and laboratory experiments coupled with simulations using model E2Algae to implement effective measures for controlling eutrophication in a lake near campus. SDG 13 on climate action is intimately connected to SDG 14: Life under water and SDG 15: Life on land, viewed in the perspective of mangrove conservation.”

Achieving Excellence in Sustainable Development Goals in Sunway University Malaysia



• Masters In Sustainable Development Management
The Master in Sustainable Development Management (MSDM) at the Jeffrey Sachs Center aims to create a new generation of multidisciplinary practitioners adept at management and problem-solving using analytics and systems thinking guided by global concerns. The programme aims to equip students with necessary management skills and acumen to create innovative solutions to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It encompasses corporate sustainability strategies, social entrepreneurship, finance and sustainability, sustainable management and operations, as well as economics and development. This is built upon a broad knowledge base that covered critical areas like climate change, waste management, energy systems, agriculture and food systems, forestry, and biodiversity. Students are not only exposed to theories and concepts but also real-world practices and case studies to gain a holistic understanding of the opportunities and challenges to achieving the SDGs in scientific, economic, business, and technological aspects.

Sunway University Launches Master in Sustainable Development Management Programme



• Future Cities Research Institute (FCRI) Sunway University & Lancaster University
The Future Cities Research Institute (FCRI) was recently set up as part of the collaborative partnership between Sunway University and Lancaster University. The Institute complements the Jeffrey Sachs Centre on Sustainability Development’s efforts of advancing the sustainability agenda. It also capitalises on Sunway’s pioneering leadership in developing sustainable urban environments in Malaysia and Lancaster’s extensive track record and international status for research in ‘cities and surrounding hinterlands’.

There are two main research themes the Institute focuses on, which are Digital Cities and Sustainable Cities. A third theme, Liveable Cities, will be established later. The FCRI also represents a logical ‘next step’ in shaping agenda for future city development, and in building a better relationship between Sunway University and Lancaster University.

Tan Sri Dr Jeffrey Cheah said, “The FCRI will develop an innovative and agile portfolio of research, responding to the intractable challenges facing urban environments, and deliver critical step-changes relevant to their context. Our high quality interdisciplinary research will be leveraged to examine new areas of inquiry that may include design for healthy living; people-based infrastructure; night-time urban environments and urban food security.” 

Future Cities Research Institute (FCRI) Sunway University & Lancaster University

• Sunway University Sustainable Development Goals Reports
Sunway University publicly publishes an annual SDG Report to report progress and mobilise action needed for our university to better achieve Sustainable Development. It reports to various stakeholders such as students, future students, staff, visitors, researchers and any individual who cares to see how our University can engage the community.

These reports can be used to further research in understanding SDG’s in research and sustainable development from a national and global level.

Sunway University Sustainable Development Goals Report 
Environmental Sustainability

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