Linnaeus Knowledge Environment: Green Sustainable Development

The challenges in the area of climate and environment are great and how we handle them is crucial for our future here on earth. The purpose of the knowledge environment Green Sustainable Development is to tackle these societal challenges – to show how our natural resources, especially the forest, can be utilized in a way that is sustainable in the long term.

Our society is facing great challenges within a number of different fields. Meeting these societal challenges with knowledge in creative environments that integrate education, research, and collaboration – knowledge environments – is something that permeates Linnaeus University’s vision and work.

Seven of the university’s knowledge environments have been appointed Linnaeus Knowledge Environment. These focus on the fields of education, materials, democracy, water, digitalisation, environment, and health. They all work interdisciplinary and link together subjects, departments, and faculties in order to get a broad take on the societal challenges within each field.

Societal challenge: green sustainable development

Sustainability is usually defined on the basis of the three components ecological, social and economic sustainability which, when they interact and support each other, are expected to lead to sustainable development. A green economy is an economic system that results in improved human living conditions (social sustainability), while environmental risks and the ecological burdens are reduced (ecological sustainability). The green economy has low greenhouse gas emissions, uses resources efficiently and is socially inclusive.

Sustainable and renewable

How we in Sweden manage and utilize our renewable natural resources is, and will remain, absolutely crucial for the future. The UN Agenda 2030 for sustainable development addresses 17 global goals for a sustainable development. Here, too, the importance of sustainable management and the efficient use of natural resources is emphasized.

Sweden also has a vision to be a bio-based economy by 2050. This means that materials, energy and chemicals will be bio-based to a much greater extent than today. There are great opportunities here to replace materials that are not renewable, or in other respects not sustainable for the environment, with, for example, forest raw materials. The urgent government goal that Sweden by 2045 will have no net emissions of greenhouse gases has been specifically addressed. In order to combat climate change, it is important to develop and disseminate environmental innovations, and that people's consumption patterns and behaviours change to a large extent.

Current

Research

The knowledge environment Green Sustainable Development spans all five faculties at Linnaeus University, and the research conducted in the environment therefore meets the societal challenge from many aspects. Some of the research areas within Green Sustainable Development are the following:

  • The forest, from plant to finished technical wood products
  • To build using wood
  • Systems with an energy and circulation basis
  • Environmental science
  • The forest's health-promoting values and stress-related ill health
  • How different factors affect "green" behaviours
  • Communication and mediation of environmental issues
  • How companies and organisations manage and measure their performance from an environmental and sustainable point of view
  • How different transport and logistics solutions affect the environment and the use of resources
  • How owners and actors both control and are guided by the environmental dimension

Education

In order for new knowledge to gain a foothold in society, educational initiatives have a fundamental role to play. Compared to many older and established universities, Linnaeus University carries out a lot of teaching in relation to its research. Therefore, it is essential for the quality of education that research has a very close connection to teaching.

Establishment of new educations and renewal of existing ones within the knowledge environment will be a core for the knowledge formation. Green Sustainable Development sees great opportunities to collaborate across faculty boundaries and create new master programmes in the field, but also to collaborate with other universities in Europe via, for example, EUniWell.

Collaboration

Within Green Sustainable Development, there are great opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration across faculty boundaries, as we bring together topics such as social sciences, economics, environmental sciences, health, food science, technology, design and communication.

Green Sustainable Development has several direct connections to other Linnaeus Knowledge Environments such as Water, Digital Transformations, Sustainable Health and Advanced Materials. These knowledge environments will interact and have great potential to reinforce each other.

Together with Linnaeus University, Södra and IKEA will create a unique platform, the Bridge, for value development through exchange of experience and resource mobilization between industry and academia. This involves a strong build-up of competence at Linnaeus University, within both education and research. The venture coincides to a very large extent with the education and research in Green Sustainable Development. This means great opportunities for further developments in the future, through joint research applications and new educational programs that span the faculty boundaries.

The research and education within Green Sustainable Development has many connections to partners in indutry. Most research groups in the knowledge environment have great success in attracting external research funding.

Steering group

Johan Bergh is contact person and chair of Green Sustainable Development.