Environment and sustainability

Environmental and sustainability work

The university's primary role in its environmental and sustainability work is to provide research, to educate in the field and to contribute, through cooperation with other societal stakeholders, to the achievement of national environmental quality objectives and the sustainable development goals, according to Agenda 2030. LiU shapes its own development in different ways and strives to be a model in minimising the climate impact of its activities.

Environmental management system

Linköping University operates in accordance with an environmental management system, which includes all parts of operations and all campuses. The aim of the environmental management system is to carry out continuous improvements in a systematic way. The environmental management system also provides the conditions for integrating environmental considerations into operations and for LiU's management to track progress. The current environmental management system is not third party certified, but LiU's management has decided that the environmental management system must meet the requirements of the ISO 14001 environmental standard.

Policy and objectives

Linköping University’s environmental policy

As an institution of higher education, Linköping University has a responsibility for progress towards a better environment and towards a societal development that is sustainable in the long-term.

The university's environmental policy is to be implemented in all operations, which means that activities shall be carried out with regard to health and the environment, shall comply with relevant health and environmental legislation and shall be continually improved to reduce the burden on health and the environment.

Through the education of students and its research activities, the university has great potential to contribute to long-term sustainable development. Students at the university shall be given the opportunity and encouragement to acquire the knowledge necessary to contribute to the environmental work of their future workplaces. In order to ensure good environmental competence, environmental-related research shall be conducted and other research shall be encouraged to also cover environmental consequences. The university shall also contribute to knowledge development on environmental issues through contacts with industry, the public sector, non-profit organisations and the general public. The university shall also aim to reduce the environmental impact of its own activities.

Greening shall be based on what is technically possible, economically reasonable and environmentally justified. Greening shall include minimising waste generation and emission volumes, saving resources and energy, and imposing environmental requirements in the procurement and planning of new buildings, or the improvement of buildings, for the university's operations.

Environmental objectives, 2022-2024

The environmental objectives take into account the national environmental quality objectives, the Higher Education Ordinance, the ordinance on environmental management systems in government agencies and the ISO 14001:2015 environmental management systems standard. The environmental objectives are grouped into four areas:

  • Increase knowledge about and action on sustainable development (environmental objectives 1 and 2)
  • Limit climate impact (environmental objectives 3, 4 and 5)
  • Improve natural resource use efficiency (environmental objective 6)
  • Minimise the spread of harmful and infectious substances from the organisation (environmental objective 7).

Environmental objective 1
All co-workers understand how they in their professional role affect the environment and how they can contribute to a sustainable society.

Environmental objective 2
LiU’s environmental management system is integrated into business management and follow-up processes.

Environmental objective 3
The climate footprint (CO2e) from LiU flights shall be reduced by 30% by 2024 from the level in 2019.

Environmental objective 4
The energy consumption (kWh) of LiU shall be reduced by 10% by 2024 from the level in 2019.

Environmental objective 5
Implement working methods to reduce the climate impact of purchases when signing framework agreements that have a great potential to reduce climate impact.

Environmental objective 6
LiU has, from a life-cycle perspective, a good housekeeping of goods, services and products.

Environmental objective 7
Minimise the risk of spreading of harmful substances from laboratory activities through measures taken when procuring, substituting and using such substances.


Good examples from LiU’s environmental commitment:

  • The carbon offsetting fund. For all travel by air, LiU allocates funds that are distributed to various
    initiatives to reduce the energy consumption or other environmental impact of the university.
  • Återbruket. This activity acts to bring a lot of unused furniture to new users.
  • Green sections – a diploma system for student sections that adapt their operations in an eco-friendly manner.
  • The digital and physical environmental exhibition Walk the Talk at Campus Valla and Campus Norrköping.

Climate Framework

Higher education institutions collaborate for the climate

LiU has joined the Climate Framework, where universities and colleges aim to reduce the climate impact of their own activities and contribute to society at large meeting set targets in the area.

The work at national level takes place through the Higher Educations’ Climate Network and through the creation of focus groups in different areas. It is possible for those who want to register interest in participating in these focus groups. The internal work to reduce LiU's climate footprint is carried out through environmental goals and measures according to action plans both at the central level and at the department/equivalent. LiU's climate footprint has been calculated and areas that have been identified as particularly important to work with are Energy and premises, Travel, and Procurement and purchasing.

Read more about the Climate Framework

Climate Framework (PDF)

Read more about the Higher Educations’ Climate Network

Higher Educations’ Climate Network (link to slu.se/en)

Dark blue background with a light blue leaf and white text Climate Framework for Universities and Colleges.
The Climate Framework for universities and colleges

Agenda 2030 work at LiU

Our world is facing critical sustainability challenges. In response, the UN has drawn up Agenda 2030 with its 17 sustainable development goals. These goals are to contribute to development that is socially, economically and environmentally sustainable. It is the UN ambition that all goals should be achieved in all countries of the world by 2030. They are related not only to climate and environmental objectives, but also to finding solutions to poverty, ill-health and inequality.

Sustainable development has a strong profile at Linköping University, and we are well prepared to continue our work with these challenges. Our long experience of collaboration and the ability to work across traditional subject boundaries have brought us to a place in which a major part of university operations is already focussed on solving problems and meeting challenges.

Linköping University carries out research and knowledge dissemination relevant to all of the sustainable development goals, with some areas in which we are particularly strong. LiU has considerable activity and publishes many scientific articles related to the following goals:

  • Goal 3: good health and well-being.
  • Goal 7: affordable and clean energy.
  • Goal 9: industry, innovation and infrastructure.
  • Goal 11: sustainable cities and communities.
  • Goal 12: responsible consumption and production.
  • Goal 13: climate action.

Research in sustainability

Exhibition on sustainability and energy efficiency

Submit questions, deviations, and suggestions for improvements

Please contact us if you have seen anything that deviates from the way LiU works with environment and sustainability or if you have ideas on how the work can be continuously improved.

Send email to miljoforslag@groups.liu.se.

Incoming cases are handled by the Environment and Security Office at Linköping University.