Karin is passionate about the Library´s sustanibility work!



Karin Ekström , who normally is a keen cyclist is also the library’s representative in  the environmental group . She works actively with sustainable development both at work and private. The library’s sustainability work goes into the business support and now work goes into a new phase. A new local action plan with concrete targets for the next period is to be written.

The university has an implemented certified Environmental Management System (ISO 14001) that includes the whole University. There is an environmental group within the Professional Services where Karin is the library representative for some years.  Now stands the work of following up the activities of the Action Plan for the door. You have to see what remains of the goals and write new ones for the next period . This means looking at the activities that need to be written for a new local plan.

– It is a job that takes time because it can be difficult to find activities that not already is done said Karin .The focus for the University of Borås is a sustainable campus and it is primarily issues of climate change energy and sustainability requirements in purchasing and procurement work is campus issues. One specific goal is to reduce energy consumption by a total of ten percent per square meter. Another example is to increase the use of distance learning.

– Everyone should be on the train says Karin emphatically. A concrete goal we want to achieve in the next period is to reduce paper consumption by 15 percent compared with 2016. This will be done by more digitization and increased control of printing.

When Karin get the question if she can mention a few things that the library does today for sustainability work , she is quick to respond:  – Printing System “Print and Collec”t is a great thing that is made, and reducing paper consumption significantly by the students themselves actively choose what to printed. Another thing is when librarians are teaching; No written materials is given to students. Everyting they need, they can read on the digital learning platform Ping-Pong.

Although the budget is tight when it comes to sustainability efforts Karin has taken the initiative: – I organized environment coffeebreaks with inspirational lectures when I was new in the environmental group says Karin .

One was about consumption. One Staff member with experience of having one year without purchase, came and lectured . A study visit to a hairdresserwas made. The hairdresser demonstrated that there are alternative products. Another time was a representative of fair-trade in an environment coffeebreak.

How does the future hold and what are the requirements ?- One goal is to introduce sustainable development as a common thread in the teaching of information search, says Karin . There is also a desire that we should get the funds to buy more databases in sustainable development and then pay attention to our users through the teaching and meeting with them.

Finally, I ask what Karin personally make at home what regards environmental issues and she answers emphatically :- I’m a dedicated cyclist! Not having to take the car every day feels good. Karin also compost, produce soil and grow vegetables and that you could call sustainable development in a nutshell!

Text & Photo: Lena Wadell