Environmental objectives

Last changed: 03 September 2019

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 1.1

Using 2014 as the base year, SLU will increase its self-sufficiency in energy (electricity) for all its properties (rented or owned) by at least 13% by 2020. For heating, the degree of self-sufficiency should continue to be above 90% in properties managed by SLU.

Follow-up: The degree of self-sufficiency in electricity in properties rented or owned by SLU increased to 11% renewables in 2018, in line with the objective. The degree of self-sufficiency in heating in properties managed by SLU was 83% in 2018, in line with the objective.

Objective 1.3

Energy savings for properties owned by SLU of at least 1% per square metre and year, with 2012 as the base year. This means total savings by 2020 of 9% per square metre and year.

Follow-up: Energy consumption for properties managed by SLU increased by 5% between 2012 and 2018.

Business travel

Objective 2.1

SLU will reduce carbon dioxide emissions from travel by 10% per full-time employee before the end of 2020, compared to 2013.

Follow-up: Compared to the first half-year 2013, in half-year 2019 CO2-emissions from travel had been reduced by 14 % per full-time employee. Compared to first half-year 2018 it is a reduction of 13 %.

Objective 2.4

Carbon dioxide emissions from domestic air travel to be reduced by 20% per full-time employee by the end of 2020, compared to 2013.

Follow-up: Compared to the first half-year 2013, in half-year 2019 CO2-emissions from domestic air travel had been reduced by 21 % per full-time employee. Compared to first half-year 2018 it is a reduction of 23 %.

Objective 2.5

The number of travel-free meetings (videoconferencing) to increase by 15% before the end of 2020, compared to 2016.

Follow-up: Videoconferencing has increased drastically since 2016. The number of meetings has increased by 222 %, and the total number of videoconference hours has increased by 167 %.


Objective 3.5

By 2019, all procured agreements where environmental criteria are deemed relevant based on an environmental risk analysis should offer options marked 'Bra miljöval' wherever possible. Goods and services that are or may become marked 'Bra miljöval' should, provided it is technically possible, be available in Proceedo and indicated by a green leaf symbol.

Follow-up: For all procurements that have resulted in agreements with a starting date between 1 January and 30 June 2019, an environmental risk analysis has been performed. In four of these cases (combine, tractor, fruit and chemicals), the analysis resulted in the introduction of environmental criteria.

Objective 3.6

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

Follow-up: Follow-ups of procurements of plant protection, plant nutrients and seeds are planned for 2019.


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.

Follow-up: See follow-up for intermediate objectives 4.4.1-4.4.3.

Objective 4.4.1

Integrate sustainable development in all degree programmes (100%) by 2020.

Follow-up: SLU has 23 degree programmes starting at undergraduate level (foundation year not included). Some of these are Bachelor's programmes, but most of them are professional programmes continuing at Master's level after three years. A majority (90%) of SLU programmes include sustainability aspects in the programme profile, and in 21 of 23 programmes, it is included in programme descriptions and syllabuses (clarification needed in two cases). SLU also has 20 Master's programmes, most of them with an international profile and taught in English. In all 20 Master's programmes, sustainability aspects are a clear part of the programme profile and included in the syllabus. In a few cases, clarifications are needed in the programme syllabus.

Objective 4.4.2

By 2020, at least 70% positive answers in course evaluations to the question on whether sustainability has been integrated in the programme.

Follow-up: In 2018, the average for this question was 4.1 out of 5 for all SLU courses. This corresponds to 80% which means the objective was fulfilled.

Objective 4.4.3

At least every two years, arrange a workshop for programme directors of studies for sharing experiences and developing education for sustainable development.

Follow-up: A workshop took place in August 2019.

Objective 4.4.4

By 2020, at least 80% of all course coordinators to have taken part in a one-day training in education for sustainable development.

Follow-up: So far, 75% (311 participants) have taken the training. By half-year 2019, another 9 have applied.

Objective 4.4.5

At least 70% of alumni queried to say that their programme has given them the tools needed, in their current profession, to work with all three aspects of sustainable development.

Follow-up: Alumni follow-ups are being developed and the plan is to do them every two years. This question will then be included.

Environmental monitoring and assessment

Objective 5

To contribute even more to the environmental efforts of society, SLU has adopted an objective to increase the use of data generated by environmental assessment by decision-makers, authorities, researchers and the public.

Objective 5.3

Within one and a half years from launch, or no later than 31 December 2018, work should be concluded and information, so-called metadata, on the environmental data available should be published on the SLU web.

Follow-up: This objective has been extended one year (from 2017 to 2018). At the end of 2018, 50 defined activities (66%) fulfilled the intermediate objective. The plan was for remaining activities to complete this work by the end of 2018, but this is not the case. Many of them have prioritised other tasks during the year, which means some work remains to be done. This will be followed up as part of the environmental assessment objective 5.4 for the period 2019-2020, where the focus is on an increase in the amount of open data that are published, making it more visible and accessible on the web.

Objective 5.4

By the end of 2020, at least 80% of all activities included in SLU's quality assurance to provide open data on the web in accordance with the quality guide for the management of environmental data.

Follow-up: This objective came into effect on 1 January 2019 and a follow-up is not yet possible.

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.

Follow-up: Only fossil-free electricity is purchased.

Focus area 6.2

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

Follow-up: Of the heating/cooling purchased in 2018, 71% was fossil-free.

Focus area 6.3

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

Follow-up: The distribution in 2018: electricity 3%, hybrid 4%, diesel 69%  and petrol 24%. Of the total diesel consumption, at least 40% was fossil-free.

Focus area 6.4

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

Follow-up: Objective broadly fulfilled.

Focus area 6.5

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

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

Focus area 6.6

Climate compensation.

Follow-up: To be investigated in 2020.


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.

Page editor: miljo@slu.se