Environmental objectives

Last changed: 13 June 2022

SLU has the vision to be a climate-neutral university by 2027. To achieve this, six focus areas have been identified. SLU has also adopted university-wide environmental objectives in the fields of energy use, business travel, procurement, education and environmental monitoring and assessment.

Here, you can read more about our environmental objectives and the most recent follow-up. Some of the objectives are followed up every six months, others once a year.

Energy use

Objective: 1.4

By 2027, 50% of electricity consumed and 95% of energy used for heating is to come from renewable sources, primarily solar. This applies to all properties managed by SLU.

Annual follow-up: In 2021, we produced fossil-free energy corresponding to 23% of our electricity consumption and 79% of our heating needs. This calculation was done based on all the properties we manage.

Objective: 1.5

By 2027, SLU will have streamlined all energy use (electricity, heating, cooling) by at least 8% per rented m2, compared to 2019. This is the equivalent of energy streamlining of at least 1% per rented m2 per year, and will not have any detrimental impact on SLU’s operations and tenants.

Annual follow-up: Energy consumption for properties managed by SLU increased by 3 % between 2019 and 2021.

Objective: 1.6

By 2027, SLU and Akademiska hus will save a minimum 15% of energy in the properties SLU rents, based on usage information from 2019. The target includes electricity, heating and cooling and is calculated at kWh per rented m2 and will not have any detrimental impact on SLU’s operations and tenants.

Annual follow-up: The energy consumption in 2021 was 186 kWh/m2, a 7% reduction since 2019. The reduction is mainly due to energy-saving measures, it is not the result of reduced presence during the pandemic.

Business travel

Objective: 2.6

By 2025, SLU will have reduced its total fossil fuel emissions from air travel by 60%, compared to 2019 per full-time equivalent. This could be the equivalent of a 90% reduction in domestic flights and 50% reduction in international flights.

Bi-annual follow-up: By 2021, the CO2-emissions from air travel had been reduced by 85 % per full-time employee, compared to 2019. Fossil emissions from domestic travel have decreased by 84 % and emissions from international travel by 85 %, per full-time employee. The large reduction is due to travel restrictions caused by the corona pandemic.


Objective 3.6

Follow-up of at least three procurement annually to determine if, and to what extent, the environmental impact has been reduced.

Bi-annual follow-up: During 2021, three follow-ups have been conducted: window cleaning in Uppsala, medical consumables and species-specific medical consumables for animal healthcare as well as fuel for the research vessel Svea.

Suppliers have submitted proof that requirements have been fulfilled, such as the requirement to use environmentally friendly detergents for window cleaning and approved materials for packaging of consumables. For Svea, a number of fuel invoices were checked.

For medical consumables, proof of audit and revision by a third party of the suppliers’ environmental work is missing.

Objective 3.7

In cases where it is relevant from an environmental risk analysis perspective, environmental requirements must be listed in all procurements.

Bi-annual follow-up: An environmental risk assessment has been performed for all procurements that resulted in a signed agreement by the end of the first semester of 2021.

In 12 of these procurements (technical consultancy services for agricultural operations and labs; plant protection products, plant nutrients and seeds; third-party certification; tractor Lanna; work clothes; printing services; consumables and services for agricultural operations; servers, storage and networks; lake sampling with helicopter; promotional items for SLU; interim agreements on hay harvest and abstract systems in IT), the risk assessment resulted in environmental requirements and the green leaf indicator being used in Proceedo where possible.

Objective 3.8

Increase the number of call-offs with environmental consideration for focus areas with fixed terms. For 2020-2022, the focus area is domestic hotel nights.

Bi-annual follow-up: Of SLU's 20 most booked hotels in 2021, 32 % of the hotel nights were booked in an environmentally certified hotel. This is a decrease compared to 2020, when almost half of the hotel nights were booked in environmentally certified hotels.




Objective 4.4

To prepare them for the labour market, all SLU graduates should be given a solid base for managing all aspects of sustainability - economic, social and environmental. To achieve this, intermediate objectives have been defined.

Annual follow-up: See follow-up for interim targets.

Interim target: 4.4.1

Integrate sustainable development to all programmes (100%) by 2025.

Annual follow-up: At the end of 2021, SLU offered a total of 48 degree programmes at undergraduate and Master’s level (excluding foundation years). All SLU programmes incorporate sustainability aspects, but some of the programmes have concretised this further in the syllabus.

At the end of 2021, just over 90% (409) of SLU’s course coordinators had taken the sustainable development training. SLU’s basic course on teaching in higher education also has a component on incorporating sustainable development in teaching.

Interim target: 4.4.2

By 2025, course evaluation reports should score an average of at least 3.5 (of a possible 5.0) in response to questions regarding the extent to which sustainability has been integrated into education.

Annual follow-up: The average of the course evaluation question in 2021 was 4.1 out of 5.

Interim target: 4.4.5

At least 70% of alumni asked will agree that their programme has given them the tools to work with all three aspects of sustainable development in their current professional life, and that they feel they use these tools and contribute to a more sustainable world.

Annual follow-up: The average score in the 2021 alumni survey was 7.02 on a scale of 1–10. One of the questions asked students to what extent their studies had equipped them with good tools for working with sustainability issues.

Environmental monitoring and assessment

Objective: 5.4

To further SLU’s contributions to society’s environmental work, one of the university’s general environmental objectives is to increase the use of data generated from SLU’s environmental monitoring and assessment amongst national decision-makers, public authorities, researchers and the general public.

By the end of 2025, at least 90% of participants* in SLU’s quality enhancement activities are expected to openly publish their data, as outlined in the environmental data management quality guide**.

Bi-annual follow-up: Of the organisational units that take part in the quality work, 8% met the requirements in 2021. Even though we still have some way to go, we expect to fulfil this objective within the set time limit.

A climate-neutral university

Vision 6

SLU has the vision to be a climate-neutral university by 2027. To achieve this, the following six focus areas have been defined.

Focus area 6.1

All electricity purchased or consumed by SLU to come from fossil-free sources.

Annual follow-up: Only fossil-free electricity is purchased in 2021.

Focus area 6.2

All district heating/cooling purchased or consumed by SLU to come from fossil-free sources.

Annual follow-up: Of the heating/cooling purchased in 2021, 68 % was fossil-free.

Focus area 6.3

All SLU-owned vehicles, machinery and tools to run on fossil-free fuel.

Annual follow-up: SLU owns 217 vehicles distributed by fuel type as follows: diesel 77%, petrol 17%, electricity 6% and methane 1%. An increasing number of SLU’s diesel vehicles run partly or entirely on HVO. In 2021, 37% of the fuel used was fossil-free. Converted to CO2 equivalents, this corresponds to 14% of the emissions caused by fuels. If the research vessel R/V Svea is included, the figures are 64% and 39% respectively.

Large investments are needed to fulfil this objective, a challenge in times when we need to cut back. HVO100 is also expected to increase in price during 2022 and 2023, and this could decide whether the objective can be fulfilled or not.

A large share of our vehicle fleet is made up of tractors, non-road mobile machinery and light lorries such as four-wheel-drive pickups. Finding fossil-free alternatives for them is difficult.

Focus area 6.4

Procurement of goods and services to be clearly characterised by climate awareness.

Annual follow-up: See objective 3. Largely satisfactory results. When relevant, energy consumption must be acknowledged as much as possible for procurement of products, services and buildings. The number of procurements with environmental requirements are affected by the type of procurement in question. SLU operations are broad, and it is not unusual that very specific products are procured. In most cases, there is only one supplier, which affects environmental requirement.

Focus area 6.5

Emissions from business travel to be reduced according to the existing action plan and objectives.

Annual follow-up: See the follow-up of the business travel objective.

Focus area 6.6

Climate compensation.

Annual follow-up: There is an ongoing project to investigate what SLU can do in practice to bind carbon dioxide, e.g. by producing and disposing of biochar.

Local environmental objectives


Status indicators

 The objective can be fulfilled within the given timeframe.

 The objective can be fulfilled within the given timeframe if appropriate action is taken.

 The objective cannot be fulfilled within the given timeframe.

Follow up of previous environmental objectives.