In December 2021, SDU’s Board adopted a climate plan for SDU that aims to reduce the University’s greenhouse gas emissions by 57% by 2030 compared to 2018. As part of this process, the Board is presented with an annual progress report, and the Climate Panel has been set up for this purpose.
'It has been super exciting to get an insight into the climate work', says Mikkel Stampe Nielsen, one of the students on SDU’s Climate Panel.
Marianne Due agrees:
'It has been really good and informative to be part of the Climate Panel', she says, adding that the Climate Panel meetings have been characterised by good discussions and world views from different areas of the University.
The Climate Panel’s statement shows that it is in favour of SDU’s
emphasis on staff and student involvement and ownership as being
essential to achieving the target.
Communication initiatives are essential for the dissemination of SDU’s climate work
As a student and employee at SDU, it can be difficult to keep up to date with everything that is happening at the University – especially in relation to climate work, in which much of the work is done behind the scenes.
'One of the comments in the statement is that there must be much greater transparency so that it’s easier for students and staff at SDU to get an insight into the climate work', says Mikkel Stampe Nielsen.
SDU’s Climate Plan consists of four packages containing a number of initiatives. One of these packages is Behaviour, Involvement and Communication.
As part of the work on this package, SDU has established not only the SDU Climate Panel but also implemented the first team of Climate Ambassadors, who through experiments and dissemination will help to promote climate-friendly behaviour at SDU. The next team of Climate Ambassadors will be trained in February 2023.
'Communication that is easy for people to access and understand is important. You can’t expect busy students and staff to go to a website and look for news items', concur Marianne Due and Mikkel Stampe Nielsen.
Therefore, the Newsletter is also an important initiative in the Climate Plan, by helping to inform students, staff and other stakeholders about SDU’s climate work.
Future climate work at SDU
The statement proposes that SDU’s further work should focus on a stronger holistic approach, which includes technology, structure, behaviour and culture in the initiatives.
This is not something we will change overnight. It's an agenda that won't go away, and it´s something we need to keep in mind in everything we do
In this respect, the Climate Panel points out that the current dataset and level of detail of the climate accounts for SDU make it difficult to assess the expected effects and costs of the concrete initiatives.
Consequently, it is also difficult to assess whether the right initiatives are being prioritised.
'There needs to be much greater data discipline', says Mikkel Stampe Nielsen and explains that there should be a collective database with clear guidelines on how and what data should be recorded, so that staff at SDU have a common starting point.
Better data management can help to provide greater insight into Scope 3, which currently only covers air travel, rail travel and taxi journeys.
The Climate Panel also stresses the need for investments and priorities that promote climate work at SDU and emphasises that this should be included in all decisions at SDU.
Marianne Due hopes that SDU is aware that climate work is a long and difficult process.
'This is not something we will change overnight. It’s an agenda that won’t go away, and it’s something we need to keep in mind in everything we do,’ she concludes.
Read more: Climate panel for SDU - SDU