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Climate neutrality at UiB

The road to 2030: This is how UiB will become greener

"Climate accounting shows that cuts in CO2 will be necessary until the year 2030. The objective of climate neutrality must be reached, but we need help from students and staff, says Deputy University Director Tore Tungodden. 

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Management has implemented a number of initiatives that we will yield results in terms of a reduced climate impact. "As a social actor, we will take our share of the responsibility to cut emissions," says Deputy University Director Tore Tungodden.

Energy consumption must be reduced. Solar cells must be increased. Meat consumption must be reduced, ICT equipment must have a longer lifespan. More travellers should choose trains.

The target of climate neutrality must be achieved. We go systematically through all aspects of operations to find out how we can reduce the carbon footprint at UiB. This does not mean that we consider the job as done: Further reductions will be necessary in the years to come, says Deputy University Director Tore Tungodden.

While UiB reduces its own carbon footprint, the greatest contribution to the green shift will be through research and education.

"We deliver knowledge and we build the programme of study that provides the expertise to address major sustainability challenges, such as the relationship between inequality and energy changeover. We must also think wisely about how we run our own organization, and UiB must demonstrate that there is a connection between life and learning, "says Annelin Eriksen, Vice-Rector for global relations.

Will turn every stone

The work of becoming a climate-friendly university has been going on for some time. And it will intensify in the years to come.

The UiB management now asks for your proposals on the road to climate neutrality, and invites all employees and students to participate in a brainstorming as to where the next CO2 cuts should be made.

“The green shift starts with ourselves. We are happy to listen to initiatives and new ideas as to how we can make appropriate cuts in CO2 emissions related to the operation of UiB ,” says Tungodden. 

The sun and the fjord

In 2009, UiB decided to prepare to reduce energy consumption by 2 percent annually over the next ten years. This target has been met. A district heating installation with heat absorption from Puddefjorden helps reduce energy consumption in several buildings by more than 60 percent. In the future, UiB will not only obtain energy from the fjord, but also from the sun. Both the Odontology building, Alrek Health Campus and the incubator building will in the near future be able to obtain energy from solar systems on the roofs.

Saves six transatlantic flights

The procurement department, together with Lyreco, the supplier, looked at the kind of office supplies that the university should use from now on.

“A large proportion of the products we purchase are replaced by products that are eco-labelled. We have seen in the product catalogue that the vast majority of the products we use can be replaced by environmentally friendly products, says Ove Botnevik, advisor to the Procurement Section, to UiB.no.

A calculation made for the Procurement Section shows that UiB can reduce its carbon footprint by 9 tonnes of CO2 a year by making this move. That corresponds to more than six round trips Oslo-New York-Oslo.

The Procurement Section also introduces a reduction in the procurement of ICT equipment, and enforces the main rule of purchasing ICT equipment with a 5-year guarantee. 

Changed travel policy

The second largest contributor to CO2 emissions is travel. 

In November, the University Board will discuss an item on climate neutrality. The item has previously been discussed by UiB’s highest body. At that time, the Rector notified that the updated guidelines for travel were in the making. The travel guidelines will be made available at UiB.no in week 44, and will be discussed during a climate debate in Teglverket on 1 November.

Today, the majority of business trips that UiB employees make are domestic trips. At the same time, intercontinental travel is considerably worse for the climate. By 2025, the Rectorate wants to cut emissions from travel by 50 percent – which is equivalent to approximately 5,000 trips annually.

Vegetarian food will be the default 

The University of Bergen will soon be announcing a competition for a new catering agreement. Based on the climate footprint of various food products, it has been decided that vegetarian food should be the default value when purchasing catering, but it should be possible to actively choose both meat and fish as well as vegan options at meetings and conferences.

Good starting point

This year, for the first time, Times Higher Education has an international ranking of “impact” within the UN sustainability goals. The results that arrived last week rank UiB as high as 53th place in the world when you see the overall results. In the "Responsible Consumption and production" area, UiB is ranked in 14th place. 

Students and staff will notice in the future changes to the way they work, travel and communicate. Students and staff will notice in the future changes to the way they work, travel and communicate.

... but the climate warnings are serious

"The reports of climate researchers give us clear recommendations to reduce emissions. We take the climate crisis seriously, and will make carbon cuts that make a difference. As a social actor, we will take our share of the responsibility for cutting emissions. We hope and believe that staff and students are with us in this work, says Tungodden.

Do you have any suggestions as to how UiB can reduce its carbon footprint? Send an email to klima2030@uib.no.