Environment and Climate Action Plan 2021–2024

The Environment and Climate Action Plan 2021-2024 covers KI's environmental and climate work. The action plan is a way of contributing to the fulfilment of KI's Strategy 2030, but also aims to contribute to the commitments that KI has as a government agency. The action plan concretises KI's climate strategy and is part of KI's environmental management system.

Overarching objectives to 2030

  • KI will significantly increase education and research efforts related to climate change and health.
  • KI will at least halve its greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, with the aim of becoming climate neutral in accordance with international and national agreements.

We do this by:

  • having a climate-neutral energy use
  • more than halving greenhouse gas emissions from travel
  • significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions from goods, food, services and waste

Education at undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral level

By 2024

► there are intended learning outcomes in all educational programmes where students will acquire knowledge and skills in the field of climate change and health as part of teaching related to sustainable development.

KI is constantly working to develop support for teachers in integrating sustainable development into their teaching. Read more about Integrating sustainable development into higher education at Karolinska Institutet 

Examples of activities:

  • Promote learning outcomes in courses in all undergraduate and graduate programmes that provide students with knowledge and skills on climate and sustainable development
  • Promote learning outcomes on climate and sustainable development in relevant postgraduate courses


By 2024

➤ KI's research has increased in the areas of climate change and health, climate-friendly health care, and behavioural science research and prevention of climate change-related ill health.

➤ KI has one or more positions as professor, lecturer, associate professor or postdoc in one or more of the areas of climate change and health, climate-friendly health care, and or behavioural science research and prevention of climate change-related ill health.

KI conducts research at the forefront of international research to promote better health for all.

Read more about KI's research in sustainable development and health

Examples of activities:

  • Strengthen communication and visibility of health research related to environment, climate and sustainable development
  • Organise an annual research conference, seminar or workshop on the theme of health in relation to sustainable development
  • Call for research funds that contribute to sustainable development
  • Encourage researchers to apply for research funding, for example by making it easier for researchers to relate their research to sustainable development

Collaboration for utilisation

By 2024

► the climate issue is an integral part of the KI's interaction with its most important partner, the health sector.

► the climate issue is addressed in all major collaborative projects in which KI participates.

► KI contributes with its expertise on health linked to climate in several society-wide projects.

► KI has an important role in the university sector in working on climate issues

Collaboration is an important task for a university. Today, KI collaborates in a variety of contexts locally, nationally and globally to contribute to sustainable development.

Read more about collaboration for sustainable development

Examples of activities:

  • Ensure that climate and sustainable development are an integral part of collaborative projects
  • Work for increased collaboration with the health and medical services regarding environmental and climate aspects of health care
  • Develop collaboration with NGOs and municipalities on climate and sustainable development issues
  • Work to ensure that the Stockholm Trio collaboration actively promotes the environment, climate and sustainable development
  • Develop collaboration and cooperation with students on issues related to the environment and climate
  • Participate actively in the Climate Framework to make the activities and responsibilities of universities visible together with other higher education institutions

Meetings and travel

By 2024

► carbon dioxide emissions per annual employee from business travel are 40% lower than in 2015.

Between 2015 and 2019, emissions from KI's travel decreased by about 20 percent. Emissions come mainly from air travel within Europe.

Examples of activities:

  • Promote travel-free meetings and conferences, including internationally, among own staff and partners
  • Work to maintain low levels of air travel after the pandemic and make greater use of rail when travelling
  • When organising meetings and conferences, use the Sustainable Meetings Guide
  • Conduct a dialogue with research funders on digital meetings and that travel under the grants should be by the lowest possible emission means of transport
  • Establish new guidelines for business travel highlighting travel-free meetings and trains
  • Providing and developing technology and resources to organise meetings and scientific conferences that reduce air travel, and disseminating knowledge of such

Energy and buildings

By 2024

► carbon dioxide emissions from KI's energy use will have been reduced by 50 per cent per square metre, compared to 2019.

► KI's energy use will have been reduced by 15% per square metre, compared to 2019.

Energy use at KI has been reduced by around 10% between 2019 and 2020. KI has no independent control and works with landlords. Among other things, KI has solar panels on most of its properties.

Examples of activities:

  • Make energy use more efficient, e.g. by reviewing the use of fume hoods, freezers and ventilation
  • Choosing energy-efficient products when purchasing electronics
  • Setting environmental and energy requirements for new buildings, renovations and extensions
  • Promote efficient use of premises
  • Working with property owners to reduce energy use
  • In cooperation with property owners, promote the continued development of sustainable campuses with, for example, smoke-free environments, plenty of green space and access to sufficient secure bicycle parking

Procurement and purchase

By 2024

► KI will have knowledge of its emissions from the consumption of goods and services.

► sustainability and climate requirements will be included in all relevant procurements, calls for tenders and purchases, where possible. The requirements are monitored.

Starting in autumn 2021, KI will investigate the climate impact of all its activities. A process is in place to centrally assist with sustainability and climate expertise in larger and more climate-influencing procurements.

Examples of activities:

  • Reduce the consumption of goods, e.g. by borrowing products from each other, coordinating the purchase of chemicals and reviewing the use of disposable products
  • Ensure that climate and sustainability requirements are set in procurements in order to ensure that what is purchased has as low environmental and climate impact as possible
  • When serving food, choose options with low environmental and climate impact in accordance with the Guide for Sustainable Meetings
  • Develop collaboration with restaurants on campus in order to reduce the environmental and climate impact of food served.
  • Investigate the climate impact of goods and services purchased.
  • Investigate how KI can reduce the use of plastic products.

Waste management

By 2024

► the total waste per annual employee in KI's premises will have decreased by 10 per cent from 2019.

► food waste collection will be available in all penthouses of KI premises.

Current waste statistics are not available for 2020. Food waste collection is not currently available on any of KI's campuses.

Examples of activities:

  • Facilitate and inform about recycling opportunities in the organisation.
  • Introduce food waste collection in all kitchenettes on campus
  • Facilitating the re-use of furniture and furnishings
  • Ensure take-back of end-of-life computers


By 2024

► work on substitution, phasing out and reducing the quantity of hazardous chemical products will have progressed.

KI is constantly working to reduce the risks associated with the use of chemicals.

Examples of activities:

  • Work actively to substitute hazardous chemicals
  • Streamlining the purchase and use of hazardous chemicals with the aim of reducing both purchases and waste
  • Ensure that risk assessments are carried out for the handling of chemicals and that waste management is included in these
  • Ensure that all employees who supervise or personally carry out work with chemical products attend a risk assessment course
  • Organise training in risk assessment and risk management for teachers and laboratory staff

Communication and competence

Increased knowledge and awareness of environmental and climate issues in the organisation is a prerequisite for KI to achieve the goals in the action plan. Communication and skills development will take place in all areas of the action plan and support the work to achieve the goals. In this way, all students and employees at KI are given the opportunity to contribute to creating sustainable development based on their role and mission.

Examples of activities:

  • Introduce all new employees to KI's environmental and climate work
  • Regularly inform and inspire about KI's environmental and climate work
  • Organise an annual sustainability day for KI staff and students
  • Provide training for employees on the environment, climate and sustainable development
  • Provide an updated website where KI's information on sustainable development is collected
Content reviewer:
Maya Petren