Environmental Handbook

Last changed: 10 April 2024

The Environmental Handbook contains documents about the environmental management work at SLU. Employees need to be familiar with the content of these documents.

All documents are available in Edda – the SharePoint-based document management system. Below, you will find a compilation of all common SLU documents and organisation-specific procedures and instructions, with links to Edda and SharePoint.

Organisational procedures - SLU-wide

The aim of having procedures is to prevent and reduce environmental impact by documenting best practice. The aim is also to ensure that laws and other requirements are complied with. Internal and external audits are performed to check if the instructions work well and are complied with. During an audit, an auditor can for example interview employees to see if they are following procedures.

SLU-wide procedures

Description of operations, the environmental policy and list of environmental features

Organisation and responsibility

In order for an organisation to meet the ISO 14001 requirements, it must establish, document, implement, maintain and continually improve its environmental management system. The Description of operations at SLU provides a summary of all organisations, including the departments at all four faculties and the university administration divisions. Detailed information about sites/locations, number of employees and operations and activities can be found in the List of SLU's operations

Environmental policy

The aim of the environmental policy is to express the management's will and ambition to reduce the operation's environmental negative impact and increase its positive impact. The environmental policy is the basis for the environmental objectives. 

List of environmental aspects and values

The aim of the list of environmental apects is to identify environmental impact causes – environmental aspects – in the institution's operations, what their effect is and to what extent the operation can reduce its negative environmental impact and increase its positive impact. All the environmental impact causes, relating to the operation, are listed and estimated in a list of environmental aspects concerning both direct and indirect environmental impact. All environmental aspects are followed up every third year, and the significant environmental aspects yearly. Direct environmental impact can for example be emissions or resource consumption. Indirect impact can be to increase the decision-makers' knowledge, leading to more environmentally sound decisions.

Environmental objectives and action plan

The aim of creating environmental objectives is to improve the operation in a way that reduces its environmental negative impact and increase its positive impact. The aim of establishing action plans for the environmental objectives is to show, in a concrete way, how to meet the objectives and how to check that they are realised.

The significant environmental aspects and the operation’s environmental policy make up the primary basis for the environmental objectives. The significant environmental objectives primarily comprise the prioritised environmental aspects, but you can also establish objectives for things that are easy to take care of and things that are symbolically important to employees or external stakeholders. The environmental targets must be quantifiable and range over a set period of time.

Non-conformities and improvement proposals

Non-conformities and improvement proposals are important in order to identify what does not work or what can be improved within the operation to fulfil the continual improvement requirement in ISO 14001. Non-conformities are requirements that have not been fulfilled. This applies to requirements at all levels within the operation, i.e. instructions, objectives and policy. For example, a non-conformity can be that an instruction is not followed or that employees do not work according to an adopted policy.

Non-conformities must always be addressed, and procedures must be checked in order to avoid similar events in the future. Improvement proposals do not result in absolute action requirements, but they are very important in order to fulfill the continual improvement requirement.

If you have a suggestion about how to reduce SLU’s environmental impact or you wish to draw attention to something that does not conform to SLU’s procedures, you can submit a report via the SLU reporting system IA (button below). All employees and students can contribute.

NB: When reporting an environment-related issue, select Environment in under the What? drop-down menu. A second drop-down menu will appear below: Underhändelsetyp [Event] where you can select either Avvikelse [Non-conformity] or Förbättringsförslag [Improvement proposal].


Internal environment and quality assurance audits

The internal environment and quality assurance audit involves random checks being made over a three-year period that look at all SLU's operations, law compliance and the requirements stipulated in ISO 14001/9001. Random checks of the SLU procedures will also be made. 

Internal audits are conducted through review of documents, workplace visits and interviews. The results of the audit are documented in an audit report. The audits are to be conducted by approved environment/quality auditors within SLU. 

External environment and quality audits

External environment and quality audits are conducted by RISE, an independent certification body. They check whether the SLU environmental management system meets the requirements stated in ISO standards 14001/9001 and EMAS ensure we follow environmental legislation and other relevant requirements. As with internal environment and quality assurance audits, random checks of the organisations will be carried out. External audits are an essential support in the work to maintain environment and quality assurance procedures at SLU.


Here is a list of which records must be kept and a link to a workplace/SharePoint where SLU environmental management work documents are registered, both university-wide and those for each faculty and university administration. There are direct links to analysis of interested parties and internal audit planning below.

Records from 2021 and onwards

  • Internal audit plan (SLU-68)
  • Stakeholder analysis (SLU-301)(only in Swedish)
  • Records (SharePoint)
    • External audits, program and report
    • Internal audits, program and report
    • Control of Law Compliance (LEK)
    • Management Review, records
    • Risk Assessment
    • Training plan, need of competence and completed training
    • Yearly summary of environmental matters
    • Other

Records until 2020

Environmental management system "Plan Do Check Act"

The environmental management system can be described as a circle of continual improvements, where the management are central. SLU's environmental management system follows the ISO 14001 standard accoring to the illustration below.

Illustrative picture "Plan Do Check Act"