2017-11-20 14:45

Pass with credit from audit of sustainable development work

In early November, the university’s sustainability work was reviewed by RISE Research Institutes of Sweden in a recertification and upgrading audit. The grade was Pass with credits.

”Sustainable development has become a natural part of the business. The sustainability diploma of courses is a driving force in this context”, says Vice-Chancellor Björn Brorström.

The audit report also points out that management as well as interviewed employees show a strong commitment to sustainability issues.

Examples of implemented improvements, in addition to the work with making sustainable development a natural part of the activities as well as diploma of courses, are that the quality of student papers has improved in terms of integrating sustainable development; that integration of sustainable development in research has increased; that the aim to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 5 percent has been achieved with a good margin; and that the amount of combustible waste has decreased. Tina Ottosson, officer for sustainable development, and Mikael Lövgren, service coordinator at Campus and IT Services, explain reasons for such a reduction:

”When it comes to the reduced amount of carbon dioxide emissions from flights, this could at least in part be linked to the university’s policy and guidelines for business travel and meetings, which are well-established at the university, as well as the management’s systematic follow-up”, says Tina Ottosson.

”The reduced amount of emissions in the university’s premises can be linked to an increased number of recycling stations, which makes it easier for students and staff to sort their waste. Also, we have reduced the number of garbage bins for combustible waste in lecture halls and also on trial in several offices, which makes more people take their garbage to a recycling station”, says Mikael Lövgren.

Collaborations with external actors have increased, both in terms of research projects within the university’s research areas locally as well as regionally. The university has also initiated a position for a chemical coordinator, and environmental demands are required for procurement, for example in terms of cleaning.

The deviations noted in the report mainly concern documentation regarding the new requirements stated in the updated version of the environmental management standard ISO 14001.

The university thus meets the requirements of the new standard and is re-certified for a new three-year period.

Next revision will be conducted in November 2018.

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The audit report states:

“The conclusion of the audit is that the organisation in a trustworthy way maintains their environmental work at a good level. Sustainable development permeates the activities, and the management system is an excellent tool for handling this. This shows that focus is directed to the most essential areas, i.e. education and research, which also gives the largest effect of working with sustainable development. Management as well as interviewed employees demonstrate a great deal of commitment.”

Read more about the work with sustainable development at the University of Borås.

Text: Solveig Klug
Translator: Linda Lindstedt