NSCN contribution strong in the ISCN 2018 conference in Stockholm

Text and photos: Meri Löyttyniemi

The ISCN 2018 conference 11-13 June in Stockholm, Sweden was hosted by KTH vice-president Göran Finnveden and his excellent team. NSCN member institutions brought multiple contributions to the programme. Here´s a few examples – in addition to KTH´s insightful presentations by numerous professors, researchers and sustainability experts like Kristina von Oelreich.

In the poster exhibition:

  • “Sustainability transition as an integrated process at the University of Helsinki” presented by Janna Pietikäinen, Kaisa Korhonen-Kurki, Virpi Kuitto, Katriina Soini from the University of Helsinki, Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science and Properties and Facilities at UHEL
  • “Organizational carbon footprint of a university” presented by Christian Solli, NTNU
  • “Combining energy use profiles and time dependent import-export corrected GWP-factors for deeper understanding of an organizations’ energy use’ contribution to the carbon footprint” presented by Christian Solli, John Clauss and Magnus Korpås from NTNU
  • “Nordic City Challenge – Creating Nordic Networks for Sustrainability” presented by Meeri Karvinen, Aalto University. Other authors: Salla Jokela, University of Helsinki, Katri-Liisa Pulkkinen, Aalto University, and Jonna Similä and Janne Wikström, Culture Center for Finland and Sweden Hanaholmen.

ISCN 2018 participants.

In the ConverStations:

  • “Environmental Management on a distance – experiences from a web-based action-learning project with universities from Europe and Latin America” presented by Ullika Lundgren from GU
  • “What do our students know about sustainable development and how to assess it?” presented by Meeri Karvinen from Aalto University
  • “Integrating sustainable development in engineering education – Comparison of change processes and results at two higher education institutions” presented by Ulrika Lundqvist and Emma Strömberg from Chalmers University of Technology

In the Breakout sessions:

  • “Aalto Green Campus and new headquarters retrofitted in Dipoli-building” presented by Meri Löyttyniemi, Aalto University
  • ISCN-award winning case “Sustainability in the Maersk Tower” presented by Tomas Refslund Poulsen, UCPH

Also at the ISCN 2018 networking lunch NSCN presented its activities and promoted Nordic universities sustainability expertise. Next ISCN conference in June 2019 will be hosted by University of São Paulo in Brasil.

Meri Löyttyniemi, Sigurlaug Lövdahl and Christian Solli from NSCN core group presenting NSCN activities in ISCN 2018.
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The International Sustainability Campus Network (ISCN) has awarded The University of Copenhagen, one of the founding institutions of the NSCN, with the Building and Innovative Infrastructure Award on account of Mærsk Tower’s excellence in sustainability performance.


The award was announced at the ISCN 2018 Conference held at KTH in Stockholm, where more than 240 participants from universities and higher-education organizations were brought together to celebrate achievements and share best practice in sustainable development. Sustainability has been a top priority in designing the Maersk Tower, and a large number of solutions targeting sustainability challenges have been integrated into the building’s design and construction.

Visit the ISCN website: https://www.international-sustainable-campus-network.org/

Read about sustainability in the Mærsk Tower: https://www.e-pages.dk/ku/1357/

Visit UCPH’s sustainability effort Green Campus website: https://greencampus.ku.dk/


The representatives of the award-winning universities. Tomas R. Poulsen (2.nd from left)represented The University of Copenhagen in the ISCN conference, and received the award for Maersk Tower. More about the awards in the ISCN webpages.



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UI GreenMetric visiting Nordics in autumn 2017

Aalborg University organised a GreenMetric seminar at their Copenhagen campus 3 Oct 2017. University of Indonesia established this ranking system 2010 and since then it has been committed in developing it further. Their leading figure, prof. Riri Fitri Sari and expert, Mr Junaidi gathered with Nordic universities representatives and shared interesting presentations. Vivid discussions followed in order to understand better these ranking systems and also to improve the GreenMetric system further. Also NSCN´s activities were presented.

Greenmetric is a ranking system thereby it´s relevant to recognize the strengths and weaknesses in this benchmarking system. It is definitely a challenge to develop a fair global university ranking with the high diversity among HEIs. Universities within the NSCN-network have chosen different approaches whether to join this ranking or not. Therefore each institution must consider their participation and commitment carefully.

Read UI´s full article and photos about Greenmetric by our colleagues from Indonesia here. Warm thanks also for Birte C. Hornemann & colleagues for organising the seminar in Denmark.

UI GreenMetric seminar Aalborg DK and NSCN Oct 2017

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Join the global SDG Accord – the University and College Sector’s Collective Response to the Sustainable Development Goals

NSCN network became the endorsing partner of the global SDG Accord in October 2017. We invite NSCN member institutions to join this global accord on UN Sustainable Development Goals.

More detailed information and current signatories at www.sdgaccord.org




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Press release 2.11.2017: Nordic City Challenge developing Pasila area in Helsinki

Winners of the multidisciplinary case competition Nordic City Challenge (NCC) 2017 were selected on the first of November at Hanasaari – the Swedish-Finnish cultural centre in Espoo.

Jury selected student team “Eco Art 2” as winners of the challenge. The team describes their proposition “Polku” (“the path”) in the following way:

“Pasila deserves better! Pasila is a diverse community without an opportunity to come together and express itself in the urban space. There is a stark disconnection between city and nature. We are proposing a solution based on movement, connectivity and art. Polku brings Finnish “luontopolku” or a nature path into the city. Pasila provides the elements of rough urban canvas and is a source of green in the adjacent central park. The Polku takes people on a journey through nodes of meeting places manifesting the history and existing seeds of community in the area. In Pasila we plant a seed for new Finnish urban identity, a natural marriage between nature and the city.  Pasila unites to build an identity through art, culture and entrepreneurial projects. The Polku connects east and west Pasila, as well as nature and the city. Different geographical areas will be connected through culture pieces and historical landmarks. Art and nature are used as tools to educate the people within eco-sustainability, awareness and stimulate them to be active themselves. By monumentalizing iconic landmarks in Pasila, the Polku will renew and refresh the dated postcard image of Helsinki.”


Members of the winning team are:

  • Eeva-Maija Ekman, Landscape Architecture, Aalto University
  • Thomas Rahbek, Global Health, University of Copenhagen
  • Aapo Markkula, Arts Management, Sibelius Academy, University of Arts
  • Madeleine Larsson, Social sciences, University of Gothenburg
  • Maria Viitanen, Spatial Planning & Transportation Engineering, Aalto University

Their presentation is available at: https://nordicsustainablecampusnetwork.wordpress.com/outcome-of-the-nordic-city-challenge-2017/

Also, the other team presentations will be available on the webpage. The presentations will be exhibited in the information and exhibition space for the city of Helsinki Laituri for 2-4 weeks starting at the 20th of November.

The organizers invited 24 students from five Nordic countries to participate in the multidisciplinary course in urban planning. The participants in the Nordic City Challenge represented for example the following academic disciplines: urban planning, architecture, landscape architecture, creative sustainability, real estate economics, environmental engineering, environmental ecology, global health, arts management, industrial design, social sciences and environmental and natural resources.

The project brought together students, teachers, professors, practitioners and leading experts from the Nordic countries to work on a real-life planning case. The case this year was Pasila area in Helsinki where the City of Helsinki has made plans for Ilmala square to become a new hub connecting new and old parts of Pasila. Before on-site work the students worked with a pre-task providing them scholarly knowledge on socio-ecological sustainability. The intensive days were held from the 29th of October until the first of November 2017 at Hanasaari – the Swedish-Finnish cultural centre. The course also included a walking tour and a panel discussion in Pasila.

The course highlighted the social-ecological approach to urban planning. During the course, the student teams created plans to develop Pasila by using art and design as a means of strengthening a shared understanding and identity of the Pasila neighborhood. In the proposals, the student teams focused on development of the Ilmala Square and introduced innovative ideas, which can be integrated into a general environmental art programme in Pasila.

The program included input from The Helsinki City Planning Department, local residents, NGOs as well as representatives from University of Helsinki and Aalto University.

The group work was facilitated by experienced researchers with different orientations into urban planning. The course work also included a written pre-assignment before the intensive course as well as a written report after the course on the learning experiences and case outcomes. On the final day, the student teams presented their solutions to the other teams and a jury. The jury evaluated the results and gave feedback.

Nordic City Challenge academic tutors:

  • Salla Jokela, University of Helsinki / Tourism / Political geography / Urban Studies Meeri Karvinen, Aalto University and the Nordic Sustainable Campus Network (NSCN) / Sustainability in higher education/ Urban ecology
  • Katri Pulkkinen, Aalto University / Architecture / Social-ecological approach
  • Catalina Vaage, NCC 2016 alumnae, University of Copenhagen
  • Sari Mertanen, Climate-KIC visiting expert trainee

Nordic City Challenge jury members:

  • Aino Kostiainen, programme Coordinator (Art and Culture), Hanaholmen – the Swedish-Finnish cultural centre
  • Petri Kangassalo, member of board of Directors, Dodo ry
  • Meri Löyttyniemi, Senior advisor, Sustainable Development, Aalto University
  • Sami Moisio, Professor of Spatial Planning and Policy, University of Helsinki
  • Jalmari Sarla, Pasila grassroot activist
  • Elina Suonranta, Architect, city planning department, city of Helsinki

The project is administrated by Hanaholmen cooperation centre for Sweden and Finland. Organizers included also Urban Academy, University of Helsinki, Aalto University and Nordic Sustainable Campus Network (NSCN). The course is financially covered by Nordplus Horizontal and the project continues 2017 and 2018. The Nordic City Challenge 2018 is held in Copenhagen in Denmark. Preliminary themes are linking sustainable planning with health and urban gardening.

Warm thanks for collaborators and congratulations for the successful teams!

About the Nordic City Challenge: https://nordicsustainablecampusnetwork.wordpress.com/nordic-city-challenge/

Contact persons:

  • Jonna Similä, Project Leader Nordic City Challenge, Hanasaari – the Swedish-Finnish cultural centre, jonna.simila@hanaholmen.fi, +358 40 6495454
  • Janne Wikström, Project Leader, HanaAcademy, Hanasaari – the Swedish-Finnish cultural centre for Sweden and Finland, janne.wikstom@hanaholmen.fi, +358 40 6207626
  • Meeri Karvinen, Researcher, coordinator of the NSCN, Aalto University, meeri.karvinen@aalto.fi, +358 50 407 1884
  • Katri-Liisa Pulkkinen, researcher, Land Use Planning and Urban Studies Group, Aalto university School of Engineering
  • Salla Jokela, post doc-researcher, Urban Academy salla.jokela@helsinki.fi,+358 50 448 9190, http://www.urbanacademy.fi


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UiO takes a green leap – step by step

By: Jorulf B. Silde

University of Oslo is launching its new Environmental and climate change strategy for UiO’s estate operations. This is an action-oriented strategy that sets targets and identifies measures within a short-term and long-term framework.

9 areas affecting green performance

Nine areas are identified as critical to the overall green performance of the estate operations:

  1. Greenhouse gas reductionOslo2017_1.jpg
  2. Reduced and renewable energy use
  3. Environmentally friendly transport
  4. Waste reduction and increased source separation
  5. Environmentally sound use of materials and resources
  6. Procurement as a driver of environmental and climate change work in the estate operations
  7. Efficient area management that is beneficial for the environment and creates a pleasant working environment
  8. Environmentally efficient buildings
  9. Environmentally efficient outdoor areas that create a positive environment

Space for an outstanding, green university

Oslo2017_2.jpgThe overall strategy for the university, Strategy 2020, emphasises that the University of Oslo shall have environmentally-friendly operations and property management.  A Masterplan for the UiO campuses was developed in 2015, named Space for an outstanding, green university – and for Oslo, the city of knowledge. The Environmental and climate change strategy is to be considered as an offspring from this masterplan.

The Estate Department has been assigned special responsibility for the environmental and climate change strategy. As part of the work on implementing this, we will place particular emphasis on further developing management and an organization and culture that promote the environment and climate and give green results, develop outstandingly green expertise and establish systems that assist and highlight environmental work.

How to become Outstandingly Green?

The vision for UiO’s estate operations is to be Outstandingly green. The targets set up for 2040 are as follows:

  • Carbon neutral estate operations in 2040.
  • Reduction of UiO’s energy use per square metre by 40 percent.
  • All transport related to UiO’s estate operations shall be emission-free.
  • 50 percent reduction in the amount of waste. Material recycling ratio of 80 percent.
  • Select non-toxic building products and materials with a documented low carbon footprint.
  • Use purchasing power to create environmental benefits and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
  • UiO’s areas shall be managed in the best interest of the environment, students and employees.
  • Build, upgrade and manage the buildings in an environmentally efficient manner.
  • UiO’s outdoor areas shall promote environmental and biological diversity and create well-being and joy in nature.

December 2018  is the deadline for the immediate measures. Until then the operationalisation of the strategy is focusing on implementing targets and measures in budgets, plans, projects, recruitments and communication.

Organisational measures

To enhance the organisations capability to perform according to the vision –   Outstandingly green estate operations – a set of organisational measures are launched

  • to further develop management, organisation and culture that promote the environment and climate and give green results
  • build an outstandingly green expertise within the organization
  • implement systems that assist and highlight environmental work

Involvement is key

Environmental manager Jorulf Brøvig Silde has been responsible for the process leading up to the  strategy. He says, “This strategy is developed according to the 2R-principle: realistic and realizable. When the vision is as ambitious as in this strategy, the 2R-principle functions as a strainer: only the targets that are realistic and the measures that are realizable comes through.” The process of developing the strategy has included experts, managers as well as worker’s and student’s representatives. “Involvement is key. This strategy sets the direction, each individual project manager, expert or consultant are the ones doing the work. Choices made in tens of projects and hundreds of daily choices determines thOslo2017_3.jpge success and the final performance. For the estate operations to become outstandingly green each and every of these decisions count”

Questions regarding the strategy may be directed to: greencampus@eiendom.uio.no

Jorulf Brøvig Silde with the new Environmental and climate change strategy for UiO’s estate operations (Photo: Katarina Gutu)


Environmental and climate change strategy for UiO’s estate operations 2018–2020–2040

Miljø- og klimastrategi for UiOs eiendomsvirksomhet (full web pages in Norwegian only)

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Sustainability events in the University of the Faroe Islands

The University of The Faroe Islands has been actively involved in Nordic Sustainable Campus Network’s activities since 2015, and has during this spring officially joined the NCSN. Below you’ll find the most recent sustainability events relating to sustainability education and green campuses at the university.

Coming soon: An international PhD course

As part of the Green Growth Dialogue 2017 (18-22 June), the University of the Faroe Islands offers an international PhD course in Engaged Scholarship. Do you want to be part of 10 PhD students who will present their work on sustainable food production and consumption, innovation, and science-policy-society dialogue – and be part of actual policy dialogue with public and private actors – then send us an application.


We also run the course as a Master’s course (5 ECTS ). See here for more: https://www.greengrowthdialogue.com/students/

Contact information: Lau Blaxekjær, PhD, Assistant Professor, laub (at)setur.fo

Past events: Outcomes from the Nordic Sustainable Campus Conference 2016

The final conference of the Nordic Sulitest-project was hosted by the University of the Faroe Islands. The conference, From campus planning to learning outcomes”, discussed about Nordic experiences on sustainable campuses and explored the connections between the built environment, teaching and learning outcomes. As a special focus, the conference presented student project on sustainability and renovating an old building, “Linberg’s Hus” to become a Green Student House.

The report from the conference can be found here, and it has also been published has been published in the original conference page. A detailed plan on Linberg’s hus by Evan Alexander here.

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