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KTH sets new climate targets

Just before Christmas, KTH resolved on new climate targets. KTH aims to be a leading technical university when it comes to climate reset.

The climate challenge demands changes in all sectors of society. Universities and colleges have a key role in this work. We have an important duty to contribute to the climate reset via our teaching, research and partnerships, but we also need to reduce the climate impact of our own organisation. In 2019, Chalmers and KTH launched a joint initiative to develop a Climate Framework together with most other universities and colleges in Sweden. In signing up to the Climate Framework, all these universities undertake to:

  • via education, research and cooperation, contribute to enabling society to reach targets set.
  • reduce their own climate impact in line with societal undertakings that are delineated in national and international agreements.
  • set far-reaching goals for climate work and also allocate resources to enable us to reach these goals and monitor progress.
  • clearly communicate about our climate work to inspire and spread knowledge to other organisations and citizens in the community.

The resolution we have now agree concerning general targets and measures can be seen as our first step in fulfilling these commitments. The targets we have set concern education, research, cooperation, business travel, energy usage, new build construction and extension work on existing buildings, food, waste management, procurement and investments. There are both short-term and long-term targets. By working within these areas, we wish to contribute to helping Sweden and the world achieve the climate targets that have been set.

If we are to achieve our climate targets, most parts of the KTH organisation must be involved. This applies to teachers, researchers and other personnel. The journey we face is not self-evidently going to be easy. The sustainability work we have implemented over the past ten years has been successful in many respects.

We received a good assessment from UKÄ with regard to the work we are doing on sustainable development in education from the Swedish Environment Protection Agency for our environment management system, and we are a top ten university in the THE world rankings of Impact based on the global sustainability goals. However, when it comes to achieving our own climate targets, one problem is business travel related emissions. We are aware that we need to develop new ways of working and processes within these areas. One step in this direction is our new Climate Kitty that can be used for measures to reduce emissions.

Tip of the week: Watch the TV series Rapport from 2050, that features a number of KTH researchers.