LiU’s work with its environmental objectives
The background against which LiU strives to reach its environmental objectives has changed this year, given the COVID-19 pandemic and the activation of distance mode. Digital meeting formats and the cancellation of travel will give several positive environmental effects. It is, even so, important to examine what previous measures have resulted in, and how we can improve future work. Not least such that we can benefit from our experiences when we eventually return to normal campus-based operations.
Digital meetings increased by 70%
LiU’s environmental objective for air travel is to reduce the number of flights by 15% between 2017 and 2021. The number of flights increased somewhat during 2019, which may have been the result of a new measurement method and the use of a new travel agency. CO2 emissions have fallen by 7% since 2017, which is not sufficient. One positive trend is that emissions from short journeys (shorter than 500 km) in particular have fallen, which may be the result of replacing travel by digital meetings.
The number of digital meetings has increased by approximately 70% between 2017 and 2019, which means that a significant increase occurred even before the university prohibited in-service travel. The amount of technical aid available has been increased and training has been carried out to help folk get started with digital meetings. Further, information has been distributed giving good examples of eco-friendly travel.
Planned eco-friendly measures
The LiU management will focus on one environmental issue each term in dialogue with departmental heads and managers. The first issue will be reduced air travel. Material to stimulate discussion is planned, and information for workshops to be held during, for example, workplace meetings and divisional meetings at which researchers and teachers can give each other advice about measures and ways of working to reduce air travel.
Further examples of measures that have been carried out or are planned
- Reduction in the use of disposable items (catering, paper towels, printer paper, etc.).
- Extension of solar cell capacity. A total of just over 900,000 kWh has been produced at Campus Valla and Campus Norrköping.
- Measures to reduce the consumption of electricity by premises and tenants.
- Increase in the fraction of environmental requirements set during procurements.
- Collaboration with property owners concerning measures to reduce the consumption of cooling and heat.
- Continued collaboration with property owners concerning energy savings for illumination, ventilation, office equipment and research equipment.
- Increased fraction of “green rental agreements”, with at least two new agreements being signed. The purpose of a green rental agreement is that property owners and tenants agree together to reduce the environmental impact of the premises.
In February each year, all government agencies draw up an environmental management report to be submitted to the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, the Swedish Energy Agency and, in the case of LiU, the Ministry of Education and Research. The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency submits to the government on 15 April a summary report for all government agencies.
Translated by George Farrants
Last updated: 2020-05-11