SLU news

SLU steps into the future

Published: 29 November 2017

The SLU management has adopted a new objective – achieving climate neutrality by 2027, the year SLU turns 50.

– We conduct research and teach about many of the great challenges facing the world, and we want to assume leadership on environmental issues, explains SLU Vice-Chancellor Peter Högberg.

– It’s important to show that we are contributing, both by reducing our direct emissions but also – through our research, teaching and environmental assessment – by developing and highlighting methods for reducing the negative environmental impact within the land-based industries.

In addition to the climate neutrality objective, SLU has tightened the objective for including sustainable development aspects on undergraduate and Master’s programmes.

What exactly does this 50th anniversary climate neutrality objective involve? For a university with such diverse and widespread operations, becoming climate-neutral, or even climate-positive, is hard. It’s all about the boundaries we set. SLU has picked 6 focus areas to follow up as part of our regular environmental management. All of SLU is certified under the ISO 140001 standard since 2016.

There is more to read about our objectives and focus areas, but among the goodies you will find fossil-free fuel for all SLU machinery, climate focus in all procurements and climate compensation for any emissions that cannot be avoided. There are also existing objectives for business travel.

– I’m really happy about this decision, says Head of Environment Johanna Sennmark. It gives us the opportunity to act more, and to act in a clearer way, and it’ll be easier to follow up our objectives. We have a lot of work ahead of us if we are to achieve these objectives.

When it comes to education for sustainable development, SLU has now opted to integrate this aspect in all degree programmes, and to move ahead with the sustainable development training for teachers.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor Karin Holmgren believes this decision is a natural part of the ongoing development in higher education.

­– We were recently given top ratings in the UKÄ (Swedish Higher Education Authority) evaluation of how Swedish higher education institutions are promoting sustainable development. This plan to make our ambitions even more concrete for the future confirms that UKÄ’s assessment was correct.

Roger Pettersson, Head of Educational Affairs, explains that this will provide even better support for the ambitious efforts already under way to provide CPD for teachers and making sure that all degree programmes at SLU cover aspects of sustainable development.


SLU’s focus areas to achieve climate neutrality by 2027

  1. All electricity purchased or consumed by SLU to come from fossil-free sources.
  2. All district heating/cooling purchased or consumed by SLU to come from fossil-free sources.
  3. All SLU-owned vehicles, machinery and tools to run on fossil-free fuel.
  4. Procurement of goods and services to be clearly characterised by climate awareness.
  5. Emissions from business travel to be reduced according to the existing action plan and objectives.
  6. SLU intends to compensate for any emissions that cannot be avoided or remedied. Exactly how this compensation will be done is still to be investigated.