Circular Resource Flows

To reduce the environmental impact of goods and services, Dalarna University can set sustainability requirements when procuring goods and services, and also increase the level of reuse and recycling.

One of the University’s goals for sustainable development addresses circular resource flows:

Overall Goal 2021-2026

"Climate impact and other environmental impacts resulting from goods and services will be reduced through high sustainability requirements in procurements and through an increased degree of reuse and recycling."

Circular Resource Flows, Not Linear

Goods and services affect the environment at each stage of their life cycle: manufacture, transport, use, recycling and waste management. Examples of environmental problems that result from consumption are depletion of natural resources and biodiversity, emissions of chemicals and climate impact. The resources that society requires, therefore, need, as far as possible, to be included in circular, non-toxic flows and not, as is currently the case, in linear flows where we extract raw materials for the production and consumption of goods, which are then finally disposed of.

Goods and Services – a Large Factor in the University’s Climate Impact

In a climate report from 2019, the University’s annual greenhouse gas emissions from business trips, heating, electricity use, goods and services were identified and calculated. Somewhat unexpectedly, it was goods and services that were shown to have the greatest impact on the climate. The investigation adopted a consumption-based perspective, meaning that emissions from the entire production and supply chain of products were taken into account, regardless of where emissions occurred.

Tools for Change

The tools Dalarna University has at its disposal to bring about change include increased knowledge, strategic purchasing and sustainability requirements upon procurement. We can request goods with a low climate impact or products that are designed for longevity or that can be repaired and reused. We can also make it easy for everyone who uses university premises to sort waste so that materials can be recycled.

How well we succeed in all this depends largely on the attitudes and behaviours of staff and students. Guidance is available – please see these links:

Waste Management – Sorting of Waste Materials

Miljökrav i upphandling vid Högskolan Dalarna – Prioriterade upphandlingsområden och rekommendationer om  miljökrav som kan ställas vid upphandling (pdf) (Swedish)

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