Climate call Lund University's Students

The students of Lund demand a 50 % reduction of LU’s emissions within 4 years

ūüáłūüá™ L√§s uppropet p√• svenska

It is time for Lund University to take a leading role in the transition towards a society that is sustainable within the planetary boundaries. With this petition, the students of Lund University stand behind the debate article where 18 Swedish scientists demand action from the Swedish universities. The students of LU demand at least a 50 % reduction of LU’s greenhouse gas emissions within 4 years to be able to reach the goal of the Paris Agreement.

This petition is addressed to the university board as well as the faculty leadership, to emphasize the responsibility you have in determining the direction of the university. With this petition, we also want to show support for the students and employees of Lund University who are already involved in these issues. We stand together!

Below, we have listed suggested actions, all possible for the university to implement today. It is evident that an actual 50 % reduction of LU’s carbon footprint is not limited by a lack of practicable measures, nor by access to technical innovation. We, the students, require immediate action led by clear and unequivocal leadership from the university to propel the necessary transition.

Let this petition urge everyone at Lund University to take our own research seriously and to become a driving force in the transition our society needs.

1. Travels

In 2017, flights were responsible for 94 % of the transportation related carbon dioxide emissions, amounting to a total of 5.7 million kg of CO2 or 16 000 flights, making this the indisputably most important area to address for a quick reduction of the university’s emissions.

Formulate a more ambitious action-plan with clear guidelines to reduce travel related emissions. Include emissions by external researchers invited to the university in statistics of the university’s climate impact, and push for use of alternative means of travel.

Introduce control measures in order to promote sustainable means of travel. An example of such would be to introduce internal taxation on greenhouse gas emissions when travelling.

Prioritize digital meetings and administer larger economic means to provide support, education, and accessible information about digital meetings, as detailed in the LU-report ‚ÄúResfria m√∂ten‚ÄĚ (travel-free meetings). This will enable employees to reduce the number of trips.

Ban all plane-travel between √Ėresund, Stockholm and Gothenburg, and demand that the travel agency Egencia always primarily suggests means of travel that do not involve flying for distances less than 1000 km, and that they ensure fossil-free cars are used as rentals where possible.

Reduce the number of parking spaces for cars to free up space for e.g. greenery or bicycle parking. Increase comfort for bike commuters by introducing changing rooms as well as bicycle garages. A larger share of bicycle racks on campus should enable securing the frame of the bicycle and make room for freight bicycles. Introduce charging stations for electric cars, and lockers for secure charging of electric bike batteries.

2. Resource management

Food and ‚Äúfika‚ÄĚ served at various events and meeting hosted by the university should be as sustainable as possible. Local, organically produced, vegetarian and vegan food should be prioritized, and exceptions should be motivated.

Demand that cafeterias and restaurants operating at the university at all times offer at least one vegetarian and vegan alternative. Also, demand introduction of a cost for disposable articles such as coffee cups, cutlery and meal packages with the long-term goal of eliminating all use of single-use products on campus. Moreover, students and employees should have the option to receive take-away food in self-brought containers.

Recycling stations should be available to all students and employees. Restaurants and cafeterias should have recycling requirements and introduce measures to reduce their food waste.

The university facilities need to be utilized in an energy-efficient manner, and energy-saving measures must be taken.

3. Capital investments

The university's work for sustainable capital investments must be taken to the next level. An ambitious plan is required to divest the Foundation Funds, which account for a vast majority of the university’s total capital investments.

The university should collaborate with all Swedish universities and set requirements for fossil free divestment of pension funds.

Investigate the university’s choice of bank from a sustainability perspective. The current choice, Nordea, is the lowest ranked bank in Sweden when it comes to sustainability according to reports from Fair Finance Guide.

4. ‚ÄúGreen Office‚ÄĚ

Despite the abundance of sustainability initiatives within the university, overall coordination and collaboration is lacking. Today, Sustainability Forum connects and supports the research on climate, energy and sustainability, but we need an organization which encapsulates the full range of the university’s activities, including internal issues. To address this, establish an organization consisting of both university staff and student employees tasked with evaluating, coordinating and supporting processes and projects at the university to reach the Sustainable Development Goals.

A Green Office is a platform for sustainability work at the university. The platform acts as a point of contact and support for new as well as established sustainability initiatives. The strengths of a Green Office lie in its cross sectional work model with university employees as well as student employees. The employees contribute with their wealth of previous experiences and continuity, while the students bring different perspectives and new energy.

Let the students and employees be proud of a university which continuously and vigorously works for a better future.