By: Frederikke Malling
One year with the Climate Plan has passed. Back in December 2021, the Climate Plan was submitted to SDU’s Board for approval, and in January this year the final plan was launched.
Since then, SDU has worked to organise the initiatives and give them ownership. In this way, University Director Thomas Buchvald Vind hopes that the decisions will be worked into the way the different areas are run.
‘The Climate Plan is not something that’s just sitting around and we just bring it out on special occasions, but we’re kind of trying to phase it in, so to speak,’ says Thomas Buchvald Vind.
In the past year, SDU has set up a Climate Panel at the University. The panel consists of technical/administrative staff (TAP), academic staff (VIP) and students.
‘The task of the Climate Panel is to provide ongoing consultancy to management about the initiatives in the Climate Plan and to give input on whether management should try something a little more ambitious or do things in a different way,’ explains Thomas Buchvald Vind.
It was also in 2022 that a number of staff across the University were trained as the first climate ambassadors.
‘The climate ambassadors have been given the tools to circulate the good narratives around the University, to their colleagues or the areas where they are, and then initiate some different interventions that can push us to change our everyday behaviour. They are extremely committed, and I have great expectations of them,’ says Thomas Buchvald Vind and announces that another climate ambassador course will run in February.
The year has also seen preparations for next year’s actions. For example, a number of analyses are underway concerning the building area, so that work can be done on heating the University’s buildings. In addition, both a new supply network and a new consumption programme are coming to the University.
Thomas Buchvald Vind explains that many of the actions in the Climate Plan cannot be solved overnight but require careful consideration. However, 2022 has seen the first steps taken in the work that will continue in the coming years.
But is it going quickly enough?
Not if you ask the climate, points out Thomas Buchvald Vind.
‘Now, the climate can’t respond in any other way than that it’s going to get very hot. As a university, there may be things that could go faster, but we are a very large institution. We have 26,000 students and 6,000 employees, so that’s a lot of people who have to start doing something different. It takes time to change people’s behaviour,’ he explains.
However, he also finds that this is an agenda that has strong support from both staff and students at the University.
‘It just takes a while to get things going, but my experience is that once it gets going, there’s momentum and then it takes off,’ he says.
However, both as an employee and as a student, you can look forward to even more action. In the next year alone, you will have to get used to a new waste sorting system and charging stations at your university.
Read more: Climate initiatives