Sustainable campuses

The University of Oulu aims to implement its activities efficiently and environmentally friendly in accordance with the principles of sustainable development. Campus development and everyday activities take into account energy efficiency, encouragement of environmentally friendly commuting, and sorting and recycling.

Sustainable and responsible campus life

University of Oulu and Oulu University of Applied Sciences have drawn up a joint action plan regarding sustainable and responsible campus life. Our action plan focuses on measures aimed at reducing our carbon footprint. We have identified key areas for doing so: properties, travel, procurement and restaurant services.

Sustainable development is a goal in all operations of the University of Oulu. Sustainable development refers to ecologically, socially, culturally and economically sustainable development. Acting responsibly and taking responsibility are part of our values. We see responsibility as a comprehensive concept that involves observing the wide-ranging impact of higher education institutions in society. We produce expertise openly and extensively, and by doing so we strengthen our handprint in the development of society.

Our sustainability and responsibility work is guided by the United Nations (UN) Agenda 2030 and the Ministry of Education and Culture's Sustainable Development Guidelines. The University of Oulu is committed to the theses of Sustainable Development and Responsibility by the Universities Finland (UNIFI).

In our Action Plan, we are particularly committed to the following UN Sustainable Development Goals:

7 Affordable and Clean Energy
9 Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
11 Sustainable Cities and Communities
12 Responsible Consumption and Production
13 Climate Action
17 Partnerships for the Goals

Objectives of sustainable campus life

Our campuses offer a sustainable and inspiring environment for working and studying.

Our goal is to reduce our carbon footprint by 50% by 2025, compared to 2019. We commit to implementing various emission reduction measures, and we will monitor the development of our carbon footprint annually. The University of Oulu's carbon footprint working group has been working on the calculation since November 1, 2020. Check out the Carbon Footprint Calculation Project at the University of Oulu and its results.

The most important aspects of reducing our carbon footprint have been identified as properties, travel, procurement and restaurant services. In this action plan, we highlight the objectives and key measures for both University of Oulu and Oulu University of Applied Sciences.

Monitoring and reporting

Sustainable development is a goal in all of the operations at the University of Oulu. By implementing the action plan for sustainable and responsible campus, we want to bear our environmental responsibility in the everyday activities of campuses. The diversity and well-being of the environment is the basis for other sustainability activities.

At the moment, the outcome looks positive for our goals. We have made choices and actions related to sustainability. However, there is still work to be done.

Our carbon footprint at 2019

19072 t CO2e

Our carbon footprint at 2021

10714 t CO2e

We are monitoring the development of a carbon footprint in different areas (properties, travel, procurement and restaurant services). We will monitor the progress of the measures on an annual basis and, if necessary, we will specify our objectives and measures. We will look for new openings to achieve our goals during the action plan period. Going forward, the Sustainable Campus Life survey will serve as a tool for engagement and influence and as a part of monitoring.

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