Environmental objectives

Last changed: 27 October 2022

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: 1.4

By 2027, 50% of electricity consumed and 95% of energy used for heating is to come from renewable sources, primarily solar. This applies to all properties managed by SLU.

Action plan: Draw up a proposal for investing in a minimum of 3,000m2 of solar panels. Division of Real Estate Management prepares the matter for decision. Must be support for the decision from the Vice-Chancellor’s Management Group.

Follow-up: In 2022, we produced fossil-free energy corresponding to 48% of our electricity consumption and 102% of our heating needs. This calculation was done based on all the properties we manage.


Objective: 1.5

By 2027, SLU will have streamlined all energy use (electricity, heating, cooling) by at least 8% per rented m2, compared to 2019. This is the equivalent of energy streamlining of at least 1% per rented m2 per year, and will not have any detrimental impact on SLU’s operations and tenants.

Action plan: Follows maintenance plan. Transition to LED lighting, improve ventilation, replace windows, etc.

Follow-up: Energy consumption for properties managed by SLU decreased by 2% between 2019 and 2022.


Objective: 1.6

By 2027, SLU and Akademiska hus will save a minimum 15% of energy in the properties SLU rents, based on usage information from 2019. The target includes electricity, heating and cooling and is calculated at kWh per rented m2 and will not have any detrimental impact on SLU’s operations and tenants.

Action plan:

Continually: each building and campus must draw up its own list of actions based on saved kWh. Must be updated annually.

During 2021: create energy groups for each campus or building and include representatives from the local units, SLU and Akademiska hus. Create a specific list of actions for each group.

During 2022: review rental contract in a bid to optimise the incentive to invest in energy-saving measures.

New builds: install submeters (electricity). Make environmental silver standard a requirement.

Follow-up: The energy consumption in 2022 was 217 kWh/m2, a 4% increase since 2019.

Business travel

Objective: 2.6

By 2025, SLU will have reduced its total fossil fuel emissions from air travel by 60%, compared to 2019 per full-time equivalent. This could be the equivalent of a 90% reduction in domestic flights and 50% reduction in international flights.

Action plan: The action plan is divided into three areas: Infrastructure, behaviour and work culture, and air travel emissions. Examples of activities in the action plan: continual collaboration with the travel agency regarding knowledge of environmental impact and alternative routes and modes of transport; communicate travel guidelines and business travel objectives, and follow up on statistics and explore the possibility of purchasing carbon offsets as compensation.

Follow-up: At the end of 2022, SLU had reduced fossil emissions from air travel by 14% per full-time equivalent (FTE) compared to 2019. Fossil emissions from domestic flights schrunk by 52% and from international flights by 5% per full-time equivalent compared to 2019.


Objective 3.6

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

Action plan: Procurement decisions to be followed up are taken by the head of procurement in consultation with the Environment Unit before each financial year.

Follow-up: So far in 2022, one follow-up have been conducted: fruit baskets. The supplier has submitted proof that requirements have been fulfilled, such as certificats proving the fruit are accoring too the requirements. Follow-up has started regarding: Delivery of Operation of restaurant and café as well as internal catering SLU Alnarp. By the end of the first semester 2022, the supplier had yet not submitted any evidence that requirements are fulfilled.

Objective 3.7

In cases where it is relevant from an environmental risk analysis perspective, environmental requirements must be listed in all procurements.

Action plan: Available in the procedure for collaboration between the Procurement Unit and Environment Unit.

Follow-up: An environmental risk assessment has been performed for all procurements that resulted in a signed agreement by the end of the first semester of 2022. In four of these procurements, the risk assessment resulted in environmental requirements and the green leaf indicator being used in Proceedo where possible.

Objective 3.8

Increase the number of call-offs with environmental consideration for focus areas with fixed terms. For 2020-2022, the focus area is domestic hotel nights.

Action plan: Use several methods to spread information about the environmental considerations that can be taken when procuring. If possible, simplify making environmentally friendly choices in different systems. Follow up environmental performance.

Suggested focus areas:

  1. purchasing IT products
  2. purchasing office materials
  3. fuelling stations for SLU vehicles
  4. purchasing conference venue facilities.

Follow-up: Of SLU's 20 most booked hotels during the first semester 2022, 46% of the hotel nights were booked in an environmentally certified hotel. This is an increase compared to 2021, when 32% of the hotel nights were booked in environmentally certified hotels.


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 interim targets.

Interim target: 4.4.1

Integrate sustainable development to all programmes (100%) by 2025.

Action plan: Programmes review sustainability aspects and ensure that knowledge about sustainable development is anchored in all programmes.

SLU’s training in teaching and learning in higher education includes a module on sustainable development training. Equivalent module offered to all course coordinators. All other SLU teacher training and learning in higher education courses contain elements of sustainable development training.

Follow-up: At the end of 2021, SLU offered a total of 48 degree programmes at undergraduate and Master’s level (excluding foundation years). All SLU programmes incorporate sustainability aspects, but some of the programmes have concretised this further in the syllabus.

At the end of 2021, just over 90% (409) of SLU’s course coordinators had taken the sustainable development training. SLU’s basic course on teaching in higher education also has a component on incorporating sustainable development in teaching.

Interim target: 4.4.2

By 2025, course evaluation reports should score an average of at least 3.5 (of a possible 5.0) in response to questions regarding the extent to which sustainability has been integrated into education.

Action plan: The programmes review sustainability aspects and ensure that knowledge about sustainable development is anchored in all programmes, with previous course evaluations in consideration.

Follow-up: The average of the course evaluation question in 2021 was 4.1 out of 5.

Interim target: 4.4.5

At least 70% of alumni asked will agree that their programme has given them the tools to work with all three aspects of sustainable development in their current professional life, and that they feel they use these tools and contribute to a more sustainable world.

Action plan: Create a method to ask alumni about their careers. Follow-ups should enable identifying the extent to which alumni believe they were been given tools for economic, social and ecological sustainability.

Follow-up every third year: The average score in the 2021 alumni survey was 7.02 on a scale of 1–10. One of the questions asked students to what extent their studies had equipped them with good tools for working with sustainability issues.

Environmental monitoring and assessment

Objective: 5.4

To further SLU’s contributions to society’s environmental work, one of the university’s general environmental objectives is to increase the use of data generated from SLU’s environmental monitoring and assessment amongst national decision-makers, public authorities, researchers and the general public.

By the end of 2025, at least 90% of participants* in SLU’s quality enhancement activities are expected to openly publish their data, as outlined in the environmental data management quality guide**.

Action plan: The Unit for Data Management Guidance and Development is working actively to support groups with publishing data and description of data by:

  1. identifying groups without published data files and/or descriptions on SLU’s open data pages;
  2. providing these groups with targeted information about the file publication methods and formats, and maintaining a dialogue with them for compiling sufficient information about publishing data descriptions as per the recommendations on the SLU “open data” page;
  3. following up to see whether the groups have published data on the website/project page) and that data descriptions are available on the SLU “open data” pages;
  4. the person overseeing the activities sending the data description to the Unit for Data Management Guidance and Development for entry into the SLU open data pages.

The groups assure the quality of the data and ensure that it:

  • is available on a page accessible via www.slu.se;
  • comes in a machine-readable, ideally open format (CSV or other text format);
  • is accompanied by a data description as per the recommendation.

Follow-up: At the end of the first semester of 2022, 24 per cent of participants published open data; an action plan has been approved meaning the objective is expected to be reached as planned.


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.

Action plan: The energy contract must be clear and state that SLU only purchases fossil-free electricity.

Follow-up: Only fossil-free electricity is purchased in 2021.

Focus area 6.2

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

Action plan: Information to those responsible for the agreements. Dialogue with Akademiska hus and power plants to be conducted and documented.

Follow-up: Of the heating/cooling purchased in 2021, 68 % was fossil-free.

Focus area 6.3

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

Action plan: SLU owns around 230 vehicles, of which 67 are tractors, 66 light lorries, and 65 passenger cars. The remaining vehicles include quadbikes and mopeds. SLU also owns boats and ships. Approximately 10% of these vehicles are electric, 17% run on petrol, 40% HVO100 (green diesel), and the remainder are diesel-powered. Some vehicles will be decommissioned, others exchanged for electric, biogas or ethanol-powered vehicles, and the remainder will run on HVO100. The action plans are specific to each vehicle and have not been published externally.

Follow-up: SLU's vehicles are distributed by fuel type as follows: diesel 77%, petrol 17%, electricity 6% and methane 1%. An increasing number of SLU’s diesel vehicles run partly or entirely on HVO. In 2021, 37% of the fuel used was fossil-free. Converted to CO2 equivalents, this corresponds to 14% of the emissions caused by fuels. If the research vessel R/V Svea is included, the figures are 64% and 39% respectively.

Large investments are needed to fulfil this objective, a challenge in times when we need to cut back. HVO100 is also expected to increase in price during 2022 and 2023, and this could decide whether the objective can be fulfilled or not.

A large share of our vehicle fleet is made up of tractors, non-road mobile machinery and light lorries such as four-wheel-drive pickups. Finding fossil-free alternatives for them is difficult.

Focus area 6.4

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

Action plan: See objective 3 (procurement).

Follow-up: See objective 3. Largely satisfactory results. When relevant, energy consumption must be acknowledged as much as possible for procurement of products, services and buildings. The number of procurements with environmental requirements are affected by the type of procurement in question. SLU operations are broad, and it is not unusual that very specific products are procured. In most cases, there is only one supplier, which affects environmental requirement.

Focus area 6.5

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

Action plan: See objective 2 (business travel).

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

Focus area 6.6

Climate compensation.

Action plan: Ongoing project into exploring the practical steps SLU can take to bind carbon, for example using biochar.

Follow-up: There is an ongoing project to investigate what SLU can do in practice to bind carbon dioxide, e.g. by producing and disposing of biochar.

Local environmental objectives


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