Questions and answers

Last changed: 02 November 2021

Questions and answers on environmental management at SLU.

Frequently asked questions on environmental management at SLU

Environmental management nano training?

The Environment Unit has produced a short introduction, available as a web-based nano-learning course, to environmental management at SLU. A link to this training was sent to all students and staff in autumn 2019. New students and staff get an email with a link to the training once their AD account has been registered. If you missed the training, that and the accompanying test are available on the Environmental training page. As the training is only available for SLU staff, you first need to log on to the staff web using your AD account.

Improvement proposals and non-conformities, what are they?

Do you have a suggestion for how something could be done in a more environmentally friendly way at SLU? Are you aware of practices that go against regulations or SLU’s environmental management procedures?  Then you can report this in the IA reporting system, which you can find via the button Emergency or incident on the staff web start page. When filling in the web form, it is important to choose the right location (the campus/building concerned) to make sure the report is sent to the right environmental coordinator. If your report concerns an environmental matter, select Environment under What?. You can also report working environment and security issues in the reporting system. If you are reporting an environmental matter, choose e.g. “SLU Uppsala”. More information is available by clicking Emergency or incident on the staff web start page.

Where can I read about environmental management at SLU?

As a government agency, SLU must have an environmental management system. We must also submit an annual report on our environmental management work to the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency. This reporting is done using web forms and covers, e.g., our direct and indirect environmental impact, environmental objectives including action plan, measures and results. More information on the environmental impact reports (only in Swedish).

All of SLU received its environmental certificate under ISO 14001 in 2016, as of 2019 we are also registered under EMAS. EMAS is the EU’s environmental management audit scheme and is a more ambitious scheme than the ISO 14001 standard. EMAS is a more ambitious scheme than the ISO 14001 standard. To be registered under EMAS, in addition to fulfilling the ISO requirements, an organisation needs to submit an annual environmental audit reviewed by a third party. View the environmental reviews.

Is there a news letter?

We publish a newsletter with information and news about SLU’s environmental management work about five times a year. The newsletter is primarily intended for environmental coordinators and environmental representatives at SLU departments and divisions, but anyone interested can subscribe. Contact miljo@slu.se if you want to be added to the distribution list. As for now, the news letter is only available in Swedish.

Can I influence what is served in the restaurants on campus?

You are welcome to submit your opinions directly to the restaurant, or via the restaurant councils, where there are employee and students' union representatives. There are restaurant councils in Alnarp and Ultuna, the campuses where we have procured catering and restaurant services (Pembert & Gustavsson in Alnarp and Ulls restaurang, including Moccado and Amigo, at Campus Ultuna). For contact details, email miljo@slu.se.

Does SLU include any environmental requirements when goods ande services are procured?

SLU annually buys goods and services at a value of around SEK 1.7 billion. As of 2019, the Purchasing and Procurement Unit handles all procurements that exceed the direct procurement threshold. The Environment Unit analyses all procurements that include environmental requirements.

What about our IT equipment?

When we procure a framework agreement for IT products, we apply very strict environmental requirements. The standard computers for staff fulfil these requirements. Written recommendations for how long IT products should be used are not seen as useful. Instead, the Division of IT can give advice taking functionality and security into account. They will never suggest replacing an IT product unless this is necessary.

In IT procurements, suppliers will benefit financially if they can show that they take proactive measures for increased sustainability, for example through environmental audits, working to reduce the use of conflict minerals and using smart solutions to increase recycling of superannuated/used products. The same applies if they offer joint deliveries for the whole of SLU, using vehicles only powered by fossil-free fuel. Suppliers must also ensure that the SLU standard range, at any time, offers at least one product in each product segment that can be defined as top of the range environmentally, and which has a TCO certification or similar. Additionally, cables must not contain phthalates.

As of autumn 2020, our IT supplier Atea offers a scrapping service that is both safe and environmentally friendly. At Ultuna, there is a locked storage space where IT equipment that is no longer used (stationary computers and laptops, mobile phones and Ipads) can be placed. Atea collects the equipment and makes sure that anything that can be reused is. Products that cannot be reused will be sent for environmentally correct recycling. All handling of equipment is done based on strict requirements, high levels of safety and according to methods certified under ISO 9001 and ISO 14001.

When you need to get rid of an old computer, that counts as scrapping. The computer must be disposed of and deregistered from SLU inventories and the register at the Division of IT. You can find more information in the Financial Administration Handbook (in Swedish only). Previously, onsite services at our main campuses collected scrapped computers, smashed them and transported the electronics waste to a municipality recycling centre. If the scrapping service trial is a success, the method will be rolled out to our other main campuses. Handling old electronics is a supplementary service, and the pricing policy for this will be reviewed.

Is the climate fund a climate compensation tool?

No, the SLU climate fund is not a climate compensation tool. The purpose of the fund is to minimise the environmental impact of air travel and promote changed behaviour when it comes to travel – the choice of transport, using online solutions etc. Every flight is subject to a fee. The size of the fee depends on the destination. Once a year, employees can apply for funding for projects that will have a positive effect on SLU’s climate impact through an estimated reduction of carbon dioxide equivalents. Read more about the climate fund.

What about waste management?

At SLU, the whole university uses the same waste management procedures. According to national and municipal legislation, we must sort our waste and we constantly strive to make this work satisfactorily in all our locations. Please talk to colleagues, students, guests and others who use our premises about our waste sorting procedures – together, we can get better at this.

How do we work with Agenda 2030 at SLU?

Agenda 2030 and the 17 sustainable development goals were adopted by the UN in 2015. The aim is to reduce poverty and ensure food security, improve education and health, mitigate climate change and make sure seas and land-based ecosystems are used sustainably. Education, research and environmental monitoring and assessment at SLU contribute to realising these goals. Read more about SLU and Agenda 2030.

What is SLU doing to become fossil-free?

SLU has adopted a vision for the university to be climate-neutral by 2027. We have defined focus areas with objectives such as for all electricity and heating we use to be fossil-free, and our own vehicle fleet, machinery and equipment to run on non-fossil fuel.

How can we reduce the number of printouts made?

The default setting on SLU printers is double-sided, black and white printouts. The Education Planning and Administration Handbook also has printing guidelines for teachers.

What about integrating sustainability in courses and programmes?

There is an environmental objective stating that SLU degree programmes should provide all students with a solid foundation, with a view to their future professional roles, for working with all the sustainability perspectives (financial, social, and environmental).