Sustainable development

The Higher Education Act, Chapter 5 states that higher education institutions must promote sustainable development in their organisation. And the importance of climate issues and sustainable development through the 2030 Agenda is clear from the university’s vision.

At Umeå University, sustainable development means to "ensure that all people over time have the same opportunities regarding social, economic and environmental living conditions. To Umeå University this means that students through their education must be provided the knowledge and skills in sustainable development so that, when leaving the university, they have the ability to work for reaching the 2030 Agenda and the global sustainable development goals. Teachers who teach must have the knowledge and ability to put their subjects into a sustainable perspective."

Environmental policy

Using a proactive and innovative approach, Umeå University will take action for a sustainable society and make sure that the goals in the 2030 Agenda are met by:

  • Conducting education in a sustainable way that gives students relevant skills and qualifications for a future working life and for future roles as decision-makers when it comes to sustainable development, and make sure that teachers who teach have the knowledge and ability to put their subjects into a sustainable perspective.
  • Conduct research and doctoral education that contribute to increased knowledge of sustainable development.
  • Reach out to society for collaboration, participate in public debate and disseminate knowledge and good examples of sustainable development.

In our endeavour for sustainable development, we must also be active in other domains where the university's environmental impact is of significance. This means that we must set environmental demands on purchase and procurement whenever possible.

It also means that we, through innovative and climate-friendly solutions and sharing services, streamline energy use and increase the use of premises and other spaces. Furthermore, we always work towards the opportunity for travel-free meetings and that all travels should primarily be made through public transport, as safe, cost-efficient and environmentally friendly as possible.

By phasing out and substituting hazardous chemicals, reusing inventory, and separating and recycling waste, we act for a non-toxic cycle and reduced strain on natural resources.

Interim objectives 2018–2020

Umeå University strives towards a sustainable development.

  • The university's climate and environmental impact from energy use, travel and transport, and other goods and services must be reduced annually.
  • The number of study programmes containing a sustainable development perspective must increase.

Organisation and roles

The University Board makes the overall decisions on sustainability and environment, whereas the Vice-Chancellor is the ultimately responsible party for the university's environmental work.

The deans are responsible for the environmental work at their respective faculties

The head of department, manager or director is responsible for environmental management and other environmental initiatives at their respective departments, offices or equivalent. These individuals are also responsible for making sure the organisation works according to existing legislation and make sure that necessary permits are in place.

The environmental coordinator's task is to support the organisation in the environmental work, not least by supervising that central environmental targets are followed up and annually updated. The environmental coordinator is also the university's contact with other authorities in overall environmental issues.

Frida Fjellström