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Chalmers steps up climate work

​Chalmers is now taking another big step to strengthen its work for the climate. With the help of a new climate strategy, the University's emissions of greenhouse gases from its own operations will be halved by the year 2030, with the goal that by 2045, net emissions will be reduced to zero. 
Chalmers has offered education and conducted research in the field of environmental science for over 40 years, and since 2008 the University's vision has been “For a sustainable future”. As part of consolidating that vision, the University is now launching Chalmers' climate strategy. It contains seven vital areas and includes actions to reduce emissions from the University's own operations, with the goal that by 2045, net emissions of greenhouse gasses will be zero. 

Chalmers previously, together with KTH, initiated the Clim​ate Framework for higher education institutions​, through which 37 universities and colleges pledged to implement actions in line with the so-called 1.5-degree target by 2030. 

A thorough overview
The new strategy is based on the Climate Framework. By first doing a thorough overview, Chalmers identified the areas within the University with the greatest potential to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions. 

“Our main contribution to the necessary societal transformation within climate action work is of course through our research – ensuring that our results are spread in society and that students take the new knowledge to their future workplaces, but we must also practise what we preach,” says Chalmers president Stefan Bengtsson. “So by also examining our own operations, we want to be a pioneer in how a university can reduce its own climate impact.” 

Researchers, management groups, students and employees have been given the opportunity to come up with their own proposals and ideas, and thereafter our focus and action plans have been based on the initiatives that have the greatest opportunity to contribute to a real effect. Each area is also measured against the UN's global sustainability goals, in order to identify both synergies and conflicts with Agenda 2030. 

Inspiring others to chang​e
“Our climate strategy shows how we will reduce our own climate impact and help prevent global warming,” says Fredrik Hörstedt, Vice President for Utilisation, with responsibility for sustainable development.  
“We strive to be transparent in how we plan and fulfil our strategic approaches and goals, with the hope of inspiring others to change as well. Therefore, we will continuously provide access to the IT tools that we develop, as well as describe the working methods that we choose to reduce our climate impact.” 

As part of further making Chalmers' commitment to the climate issue more visible, the new portal Chalmers for the climate is now available on the homepage chalmers.se. It leads to, for example, research, experts, utilisation and education from Chalmers which in various ways contribute to the transformation of society as a whole, as well as to the work of reducing the University’s own emissions. 

Text: Helena Österling af Wåhlberg / Johanna Wilde / Joshua Worth

Published: Wed 16 Sep 2020.