The Lapland University Consortium (LUC) aims to be a leader in the area of arctic research and competence. The LUC is a community formed by two universities – the University of Lapland and the Lapland UAS – with a particular focus on global arctic responsibility, sustainable tourism, future services, and governing distances.
The mission of the LUC is to produce new knowledge and competence from the arctic perspective so that life in the Arctic can continue to thrive in the future, and to encourage communities and other actors to bear responsibility. Active engagement in global and national networks focused on arctic competence is harnessed to benefit the LUC's strategic aims.
The LUC operates in an ecologically, socially and economically sustainable manner in constant dialogue with its stakeholders and partners. The LUC offers its students an inspiring learning environment characterised by digital solutions, connections to working life and the economy, and participation in research and education networks.
As a member of the LUC, the University of Lapland is committed to the attainment of the abovementioned strategic objectives as well as to taking environmental considerations into account throughout its activities.
The objective of the University of Lapland's Environment Programme is to bring clarity to the University's management of environmental issues, to strengthen the University's environmentally responsible activities, and to enhance the University of Lapland’s position as a university synonymous with sustainable development. The University of Lapland's Environment Programme has been created by the University of Lapland's Working Group on the Environment, and it is aligned to support the achievement of the environmental objectives of the University of Lapland as well as to comply with the WWF Green Office criteria.
The University of Lapland has a range of functions related to research, artistic activities and education that can be geared towards greater environmental awareness and the University's objective to achieve carbon neutrality.
A central part of the University's environmental policy is formed by the environmentally responsible activities of the University Properties of Finland (SYK), the owner of the buildings and facilities of the University of Lapland's main campus, and promoting them through ownership steering. The University participates actively in the national development programs of SYK, which, for their part, promote the attainment of the carbon neutrality objective. Evaluation and monitoring of the development policies (good practices) of the universities belonging to SYK are an integral part of the abovementioned development programs.
In addition, in accordance with its vision, the LUC emphasises the significance of carbon neutral solutions throughout its activities. This shows, for example, in the RDI activities and simple everyday actions that can be taken on the LUC campuses to help the environment.
WWF Green Office environmental management system
Adopted in 2016 at the University of Lapland, the WWF Green Office environmental management system forms the foundation for management and promotion of environmental issues at the University.
The WWF Green Office environmental management system is intended for use in the context of offices, and it is easily scalable to office spaces of all sizes, ranging from companies, public administration and organisations. The university can be conceived of as one large office, for which reason, in the present Environment Programme, the word Office refers particularly to the University of Lapland.
The University of Lapland signed a cooperation agreement with WWF on 30 March 2016. The adoption stage of the WWF Green Office environmental management system included creation of environmental principles, setting concrete goals, and defining procedures and responsibilities as part of establishing the Environment Programme. In addition, adopting the environmental management system included its practical implementation: e.g. communications, training, and arranging events. The adoption stage was concluded with a WWF Green Office audit, which was conducted at the University of Lapland for the first time in March 2017, after which the University of Lapland was awarded with the WWF Green Office certificate. The University’s environmental management system was audited for the second time in May 2020. Maintaining the WWF Green Office certificate requires that the environmental management system of an organisation (Office) is implemented in compliance with external criteria, after which the Office meeting the criteria is granted the right to use the WWF Green Office logo and diploma.
After the certificate has been granted, the Office is committed to continuously improving its environmental activities. WWF Green Office audit is conducted every three years with the objective of inspecting whether the Office continues to meet the criteria and remains committed to working towards environmental goals. The procedures of the WWF Green Office environmental management system, and thus also the Environment Programme of the University, require continuous updating and annual reporting to WWF Green Office on the Environment Programme and the attainment of the goals set.
The adoption of the WWF Green Office environmental management system at the University of Lapland has enabled the University to reduce its harmful environmental impacts and, at the same time, to achieve cost savings. The environmental management system has made it possible to effectively include environmental considerations in different functions of the University and thus promote management of environmental issues and sustainable development. The WWF Green Office system is inclusive in that both students and staff members – the entire University community – have been given the opportunity to make a difference for the environment. The University's WWF Green Office certificate also allows the University to communicate its environmental sustainability to different stakeholders. The University has applied for the WWF Green Office certificate to cover the entire main campus of the University of Lapland, but the future objective is to extend it to cover all campuses of the University of Lapland.