Tampere Universities’ Sustainable Development Roadmap provides guidelines for more responsible operations and the pursuit of carbon neutrality
The recently published Sustainable Development Roadmap opens up Tampere Universities’ goals and vision to ensure sustainable and responsible operations and to achieve carbon neutrality. The roadmap, which has been shaped based on long-term collaboration, has identified key milestones that will guide sustainability work until the end of the decade. Numerous teaching, research and development efforts that promote sustainability are already undertaken at Tampere Universities, and the roadmap reflects the will of the organisations to take responsibility for their part in the efforts.
“In its strategy, Tampere University is committed to building a sustainable world, and the roadmaps for sustainable development and carbon neutrality set the milestones for our community’s sustainability work. Our goal of being a carbon-neutral higher education community by 2030 is ambitious but possible with determined emission reduction work,” says Paula Järvenpää, Development Manager at Tampere University’s Operations Management and Administrative Services.
Both national higher education cooperation and the active desire of our community to be involved in the developments propel sustainability work at Tampere Universities. Of course, there is still plenty to do, but the work is guided by determined optimism:
"Sustainability and responsibility actions are promoted through cooperation between Tampere Universities, and it is very important to highlight the work being done. We are also inviting our community members to participate in the promotion of sustainability because it is a common cause for all of us,” says Eeva-Liisa Viskari, Senior specialist at Tampere University of Applied Sciences.
Towards an emissions reduction plan and overall sustainability
The roadmap now created, and its timelines of sustainability and carbon neutrality work, are the backbone on which sustainability and responsibility work will be built in the future. For example, the cornerstones of carbon neutrality presented in the roadmap, such as responsible travel or sustainable procurement, set a target state for the planning of activities. Sustainable development has already been highlighted as one of the lenses guiding annual planning, and cooperation with the units, faculties, schools, and support services is continuously deepening, as it is in and with the student communities.
The next challenge is to continue making the plans concrete: preparatory work is now being carried out for an emissions reduction plan and a shorter-term action plan, and the development work and actions are naturally continuous. Major objectives – such as the competences offered to all students and their preconditions to implement sustainability in their own field – are already progressing as development work at the Universities continues, but systematic hard work is still required.
The roadmap is also a product of its time and will be updated to reflect the present situation and the changing operating environment. Currently, the roadmaps are focused more on ecological sustainability than, for example, broader sustainability issues, but the work is constantly evolving towards a holistic view of sustainability and responsibility. This will be reflected, for example, in the website reform that is being planned, which will even more strongly bring together our efforts to promote sustainability and responsibility.
Sustainability work creates new opportunities for visibility and community agency
Even though now, the starting point and challenge of sustainability work is to moderate emissions, the work is also generating new things:
“We are reducing our carbon footprint with controlled determination and further strengthening the sustainability of our organisation, but at the same time we want to create opportunities: we are looking for new ways to highlight what our community is doing. This spring, we intend to launch seed funding to support sustainability and responsibility. We are trying to create space for brainstorming, developing, and advancing sustainability, as we have a huge amount of expertise and will in our community. Our handprint on sustainability will be our trump card, which we want to take out to the world,” says Matias Nurminen, Senior Specialist in Sustainable Development and Innovation Culture at Tampere University.
Currently, a Sustainability Report is being prepared, which will bring together actions in the community. It is also intended to serve as a communication tool. Communications on sustainability will also be strengthened both internally and externally in the higher education community because at present, too much progress goes unnoticed.
Read more about the Sustainability Roadmap and the sustainability goals of Tampere Universities:
Tampere Universities sustainability and responsibility goals | Tampere universities (tuni.fi)