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Institute for Sustainable Development

Building knowledge, capacity and institutions to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals through good governance and the European Green Deal

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted by world leaders at an historic UN Summit  in September 2015, represent a tremendous opportunity and an enormous challenge. Formally known as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, they are set to mobilize efforts globally to ensure sustainable economic development, end poverty and hunger, fight inequalities, tackle climate change and protect the planet.

The European Green Deal with its Investment Plan and the Just Transition Mechanism provide an answer to tackling climate change and the environment-related challenges, so that the European Union will be transformed to a “resource-efficient and competitive economy where there are no net emissions of greenhouse gases in 2050 and where economic growth is decoupled from resource use”, leading the EU to a sustainable course.

Making both the SDGs and the European Green Deal a reality involves the participation and collaboration of diverse stakeholders: governments, civil society, finance, and the private sector are all expected to contribute through revitalized partnerships at local, national and international level.

This requires aware and trained human capital coupled with well-governed institutions that have the capabilities, structures and policies to operate effectively across sectors and successfully integrate social, economic and environmental strategies and initiatives.

The Institute for Sustainable Development addresses this need by supporting public and private sector organizations with expert knowledge, practical skills and modern tools.


Overview/ Who we are

The mission of the Institute is to build implementation and governance capacity to deliver the SDGs, and to promote Sustainable Development and the European Green Deal, by strengthening the knowledge, capabilities and structures of public and private sector institutions in the developed and developing world.

The Institute for Sustainable Development is an initiative of the European Public Law Organization (EPLO) and its European Law and Governance School (ELGS). Drawing on the experience and expertise of its founding institutions and its human potential the Institute is uniquely positioned to support both the public and private sector in the implementation of its mission.

Physically based in the EPLO offices, the Institute operates as a virtual center bringing together knowledge and expertise across different resources and geographies and making them accessible to organizations world-wide. The Institute delivers its face-to-face programs and services on site, at the ELGS academy in Athens, and at the EPLO offices around the world.

Core activities/ What we do

The Institute for Sustainable Development services include:

  • Capacity building and training programs, including masterclasses, training seminars, and a Master’s Degree (under establishment) enabling organizations to develop the knowledge, skills, leadership and practice relating to Sustainable Development, the implementation of the SDGs and the European Green Deal, including strategy, operations, and monitoring;
  • Strategic guidance and operational support, to help institutions in the public and private sectors address the complexity of cross-sectoral policies and activities and develop structures and systems to optimize funding, partnerships and impact in relation to sustainable development;
  • Research, to support implementation and establish best practice in the areas of governance, collaboration, institutional capability and leadership to deliver the SDGs and to facilitate the implementation the European Green Deal, providing practical tools and methodologies.

Programs and services will be informed by the latest academic insights and leading practice, including in Sustainable Development, the implementation of the SDGs, the European Green Deal and its Investment Plan, and in accordance with the activities of United Nations entities, European Union structures and the principles and frameworks of relevant international organizations and bodies.

Key audience/ Who is it for

The Institute’s programs and services are aimed at institutions tasked with or involved in the delivery of Sustainable Development, the SDGs and the European Green Deal, including:

  • Government departments and agencies at all levels
  • Independent public agencies and operational units
  • Regional bodies and intergovernmental institutions
  • Development agencies, programs and funds
  • State-owned and private sector companies
  • Foundations and funds
  • Civil society and academic institutions

The Institute has the objective and the capacity to deliver its work globally and provide post-graduate course and diplomas.

Founding organizations/ About us

The Institute for Sustainable Development is affiliated to the European Law & Governance School (ELGS) of the European Public Law Organization.

The European Public Law Organization (EPLO) is an international organization dedicated to the creation and dissemination of knowledge in the area of Public Law and Governance, including comparative and European public law, human rights law and environmental law and the promotion of European values.  

The European Law and Governance School (ELGS) is the Higher Education Institution of EPLO, founded upon the belief that the European Union plays a crucial role in ensuring global stability, promoting democracy, and the overall progress of mankind.


The Institute, in co-operation with EPLO, takes all the necessary measures to ensure that all appropriate procedures and means are utilized to ensure that its activities are implemented in the most sustainable ways, including reduction of emissions, minimization of waste, and paper-free practices.

Institute Director

Spyros Kouvelis - Senior Advisor on Sustainable Development, Environmental Economist, Former Minister of State of Foreign Economic and Development Affairs, Former MP

Public Policy Officer

Christina Deligianni – Political and Public Affairs expert,  worked at the Hellenic Parliament, the U.S, French and Australian Embassies.

Advisory Council of the EPLO Institute for Sustainable Development 

The Advisory Council is composed of globally top-ranking scientists and experts of fields relative to Sustainable Development, offering academic and technical experience:

•  Mr. Arab Hoballah, Team Leader of SWITCH-Asia SCP Facility. Mr. Hoballah served as UNEP Chief of Sustainable Consumption and Production, 2005-2016. Prior to that, he served in senior positions for 20 years in the UNEP/Mediterranean Action Plan and in development projects. He has launched various global Initiatives and Partnerships, related to buildings and cities, food and lifestyles. 

•  Dr. Johan Kuylenstierna, Vice chair of the Swedish Climate Policy Council and adjunct professor at the Stockholm University. During 2012-2018, Johan was the Executive Director of the Stockholm Environment Institute, As of May, he is also Director of the Navarino Environmental Observatory, Stockholm University's research station in Greece. Johan also serves in numerous boards (public and private sector) and works as a consultant.

•  Mr. Aris Vrettos who leads the Centre for Business Transformation at the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership which convenes forward-looking companies, and explores innovative strategies and mechanisms to enable business to play a transformative role in delivering sustainability. Between 2012 – 2020 he was the Global Director for The Prince of Wales's Business & Sustainability Programme and was responsible for the growth of CISL’s executive programmes and partnerships in the Middle East, China & South East Asia, Latin America and Australia.


Contact us


T:+30 210-3622966

Post: 2-4 Polygnotou st., Athens, GR-10555