The development of the three dimensions of society, economy, and environment is essential for the advancement of humanity. The Sustainable Development Goals aim to address the social, economic, and environmental issues encountered in the path of human development in an integrated manner.

As an IGEM team, we realize that we need to take sustainability into account when making our products, and we want to use our actions to promote the impact of sustainable development on our lives.

In our activities, we achieved the goal no.3, no.12, and no.17 respectively:

3.8 Achieve universal health coverage, including financial risk protection, access to quality essential health-care services and access to safe, effective, quality and affordable essential medicines and vaccines for all.

At present, acne has become a popular disease in the adolescent group, but the current treatment methods are poor in effectiveness and have large side effects, thus slowing the treatment of acne.

Our acne patch project uses bacterial cellulose as a material, designed a suicide system to kill germs, and uses high-quality ingredients to improve the patch's safety. Bacterial cellulose was a good patch material since it has little stimulation to wound, has good water retention and air permeability, and can accelerate wound recovery. After fatty acid degradation, silver ion sterilization is a good choice for its fast and efficient. Additionally, it cannot form drug resistance. We use growth factors to promote wound healing and prevent scar formation.

As an adolescent medication, we believe the patch should be designed to be safe, effective, high quality, and affordable. Our goal is highly correlated with the Sustainable Development Goals of "Good Health and Well-being" issued by the United Nations. We hope our product can improve more people’s lives.

12.5 By 2030, substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling, and reuse

According to the official website of Sustainable Development Goals, “unsustainable patterns of consumption and production are root causes of pollution. Its related environmental degradation threatens human well-being and achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.”[2] Concerning these threatening problems, our products have made efforts in sustainable consumption and pollution reduction.

We used the bacterial cellulose products from the Squirrel - Beijing -1 team (which is described in detail in goal 17). We believe that this patch material is more environmentally friendly than other existing products for acne treatment. Because our bacterial cellulose comes from nature, which means it’s degradable. Thus our product will not have an impact on nature after being discarded.


17.17 Encourage and promote effective public, public-private, and civil society partnerships, building on the experience and resourcing strategies of partnerships

We have also worked on the 17th Sustainable Development Goal proposed by the United Nations in 2015: Strengthening the means of implementation and revitalizing the global partnership for Sustainable Development.

In the process of conducting the experiment, we found that the raw materials needed for the experiment could not be obtained in time, but fortunately, with the help of another team, they donated the cellulose results of their project to us and solved our problem.

In addition, we conducted a seminar on the theme of sustainable development, appealing to igem teams and interested audiences. Our team actively discussed with them, helped them find sustainable development behaviors in their own teams, and cooperated with them to hold this workshop. Our goal is to share more ideas and perspectives, explore more possibilities and opportunities, and contribute to the sustainable development of our country and the world.

We see these partnerships of mutual support and advice as a truly sustainable relationship based on our shared desire to develop results and our passion for IGEM synthetic biology.

Recording file:

Sdg seminar
Donation ceremony

In conclusion:

In our igem project, we are working to promote Sustainable Development Goals 4, 12, and 17. By selecting patch materials, we amplified the environmental protection of the project. On this basis, we care more about connecting with the world. Through the seminar, we try to connect more people who want to promote sustainability and stimulate discussion on sustainability.

Obviously, short-term efforts are not enough, we also need to practice sustainable development from a long-term perspective and bring this concept to the eyes of more people. It is believed that the convergence of synthetic biology and sustainable development will greatly help in this process.

In the future, we will not give up promoting and practicing sustainable development. Constantly improving our products, we are committed to providing a more livable environment for future generations.