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Tila- ja kiinteistökeskus

Fabianinkatu 32 (PL 53)
00014 Helsingin yliopisto
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University of Helsinki Strategy of Sustainable Development


Since 1997, the University of Helsinki has been committed to following the principle of sustainable development in all its activities. In December 1997, Rector Kari Raivio nominated a working group to draw up a strategy of sustainable development for the University. A preliminary environmental audit and the preparation of the practical aspects of the strategy were assigned to the Department of Limnology and Environmental Protection . The aim was to translate the principles of sustainable development into concrete measures of action.

A proposal for a strategy of sustainable development at the University was submitted to the Rector on 15 January 1999, and on 17 February 1999 the University Senate approved the principles of this strategy paper as the environmental strategy of the University of Helsinki.The preliminary audit conducted by students revealed no major flaws in the observation of environmental norms and regulations. Active students and members of staff have, in fact, contributed in many ways to steering the University towards sustainable development. However, there still is room for improvement in all areas of operation, and the implementation of the principles of sustainable development requires continuous commitment and systematic work. The strategy of sustainable development focuses mainly on ecological sustainability, but economic, social and cultural impacts have also been taken into consideration in its preparation and implementation. The aim is to reach the teaching and research objectives of the University while consuming less material and energy and reducing waste and emissions.Environmental management will be adopted as part of University administration step by step. The University continuously strives to develop and improve its environmental policy and organisational responsibility, and its system of follow-up and reporting of environmental matters. The responsibility for the implementation of the strategy programme is divided between administrative departments, and an environmental team has been created in the Administration Office to coordinate cooperation between the departments. The aim is to design an environmental management system during the next 5-10 years that could, if necessary, be certified on the basis of the ISO 14001 or EMAS standards. Environmentally adverse operations at the University have been classified into ten categories. The most significant environmental aspects are purchases, traffic, building, waste management and consumption of paper, energy and water. Systematic efforts are being made to reduce the environmental impacts of all categories, and the University has the ambitious goal of putting into practice 28 concrete environmental measures by the year 2005. A set of indicators will be used to monitor the achievement of environmental objectives.

By the end of 2000, the University has carried out the following measures: instructions for purchases have been revised in accordance with environmentally responsible practices, environmental training has been arranged for persons responsible for purchases, the University has participated in a national energy-saving week, parking fees have been introduced, environmental instructions for staff coffee rooms have been issued and the recycling of construction wastes and computer junk has been improved. Environmental Report for 2000 in English (pdf-format)


Further information: Environmental Advisor Virpi Pyy tel. 358 9 191 22315, E-mail: Virpi.Pyy@Helsinki.fi


(Päiv. 21.09.05 )