Active local environmental work behind Climate City of the Year Award

9 October 2018

Uppsala has been named Climate City of the Year in 2018. One important factor behind the award is the Uppsala Climate Protocol network that Uppsala University has participated in since it started in 2010.

Uppsala has been named Climate City of the Year in 2018 in the World Wildlife Fund’s One Planet City Challenge. Uppsala was named Climate City of the Year by 132 cities from 23 countries.

One of the reasons for the award is the systematic climate work initiated by the Municipality of Uppsala through the Uppsala Climate Protocol network.

“Uppsala University has been active in the network since it started eight years ago,” says Karolina Kjellberg, head of environment at Uppsala University.

The network members are local businesses, organisations and public bodies that are working jointly on various themes to achieve specific objectives.

“Uppsala University has, for instance, taken part in work on sustainable mobility in the city. One example here is that all our campuses are now certified as cycle-friendly workplaces.” 

Change to biobased plastics

Uppsala University is also active in work to reduce the quantity of fossil-based plastics sent to refuse combustion. In Uppsala emissions of carbon dioxide from plastics made from fossil raw materials are of around the same size as emissions from traffic. Uppsala University is working to reduce the quantity of plastics or to change over to plastics made from renewable raw materials so as to minimise the increase in carbon dioxide emissions.

“We use a lot of plastic, especially in all our laboratories. Our environmental representatives around the University have helped us get a picture of the use of plastics. We are now working on finding alternatives to fossil-based plastics.”

Uppsala University is also participating in work to minimise the negative effects of goods transport, food and greater use of solar cells.

New challenges in the autumn

This autumn the Uppsala Climate Protocol network will take its next steps and raise the bar so as to further minimise the City’s impact on the climate. The Municipality’s ambition is to be fossil free in 2030 and climate positive no later than 2050.

“In the Uppsala Climate Protocol network we will be given new challenges in the autumn in various areas including buildings, purchasing, air travel, plastics and transport.” Each organisation participating in the network has to choose at least five challenges, and they are tough challenges that have to be met by 2030.

A decision will be made in the autumn about what challenges in the Uppsala Climate Protocol will be taken up by Uppsala University.