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

Environmental Policy for Linköping University

Linköping University (LiU), as an educational institution, has a responsibility to contribute to economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable development. This policy applies to the environmental dimension of sustainable development.

Environmental Considerations in Relevant Processes

LiU's environmental policy should permeate all activities, meaning that activities should be conducted with environmental considerations in relevant processes. LiU should comply with applicable binding requirements and other environmental standards while working towards continuously improving environmental performance.

LiU should actively work to reduce its own environmental impact, providing all employees with the opportunity to contribute to collective environmental efforts.

Environmental Concerns in Education, Research, and Collaboration

Through education of students and research activities, LiU has significant potential to contribute to long-term sustainable development. Students at LiU should be provided with opportunities and encouraged to acquire sufficient knowledge to contribute to sustainable development and a healthy environment, both during and after their studies at LiU. To ensure that LiU contributes to society with strong environmental expertise, environmental-related research should be conducted, and other research should be encouraged to embrace sustainable development. Likewise, LiU should contribute to the development of knowledge about environmental issues through collaboration with the business sector, the public sector, non-profit organizations, and the public.

Systematic Efforts to Reduce Environmental Impact

Environmental impact should be reduced based on what is technically feasible, economically reasonable, and environmentally justified. Improvement of the university's environmental performance should occur through systematic work according to an environmental management system designed to increase knowledge and capacity for sustainable development, limit climate impact, use natural resources more efficiently, and minimize the spread of harmful and infectious substances from the activities. Environmental adaptation should be carried out from a life-cycle perspective and include minimization of waste generation and emissions, resource, and energy efficiency, as well as environmental requirements in procurement and in the planning of renovations or new construction for LiU'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 and capacity for sustainable development (environmental objectives 1 and 2)
  • Limit climate impact (environmental objectives 1 and 2)
  • Use natural resources more efficiently (environmental objective 6)
  • Minimize the spread of harmful and infectious substances from the activities (environmental objective 7)

Work on meeting the environmental objectives is carried out through environmental action plans that specify measures, responsibilities and timetables. Work on the measures in the action plan is followed up annually.

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.

2023: The target is expected to be met, with planned measures, by the end of 2024.

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

2023: The target is expected to be met, with planned measures, by the end of 2024.

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

2023: The target is currently not expected to be met by the end of 2024. Intensified action is required.

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

2023: Target met, energy consumption reduced by 20% compared to 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.

2023: The target is expected to be met, with planned measures, by the end of 2024.

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

2023: The target is expected to be met, with planned measures, by the end of 2024.

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

2023: The target is expected to be met, with planned measures, by the end of 2024.

Good examples from LiU’s environmental commitment:

  • Digital environmental and sustainability training is provided for all employees.
  • Collaboration takes place between LiU's laboratory departments to identify and share good examples and working methods to reduce climate impact and minimize the risk of spreading hazardous substances from the activities.
  • A cross-functional working group for sustainable internationalization has been formed with the aim of promoting internationalization while contributing to reduced climate impact from air travel.
  • Energy saving measures are continuously implemented in cooperation with property owners.
  • 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.