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Sustainability plan approved

A photo of a tree.

With a new sustainability plan, Lund University management wants to increase the level of ambition and develop sustainability work within the organisation. Education and research are to increase their positive impact, while the University is to halve its contribution to climate change by 2023.

In autumn 2019 a strategy for sustainable development was adopted. Now the sustainability plan sets goals and initiatives to implement the strategy. The aim of the sustainability plan is to specify the areas and the overarching goals identified by the sustainability strategy for both direct and indirect effects. The plan describes goals for first and second cycle education as well as for research studies, research, external engagement and management and support activities.

One of the goals concerns research making a more powerful impact in the field of sustainability, by facilitating research initiatives across subject boundaries and for collaboration between researchers and wider society.

Another goal concerns the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 50 % within 2023, which requires an average of 16 % per year (reference year 2018), in accordance with research findings, the IPCC, the Paris Agreement and the Climate Framework.

With the sustainability plan, Lund University wants to show that essential steps are being taken towards a sustainable organisation and a sustainable society. It is also to serve as a support for all faculties and organisations that are to draw up their own sustainability plans. The plan is to be revised in 2022, 2024 and 2026, which opens up the possibility of further raising the level of ambition and adding activities in the next few years.

How was the sustainability plan drawn up?

The work on the sustainability plan was led by environmental manager Claes Nilén with help from the assistant project manager Anna Ekberg, coordinator of the Sustainability Forum. Ten working groups with people relevant to each area were responsible for drawing up goals with indicators for their area. The areas are: education, research, external engagement, HR, procurements, divestment and investment (impact), business travel by plane/climate change, mobility/travel to and from work, chemicals safety and student influence. The working groups have determined which issues within the areas need to be prioritised. Their shared ambition was for the goals to indicate change – a forward movement towards increased sustainability. The plan was approved by the vice-chancellor on 12 November 2020.