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Spotlight: Sustainability

What will the cities of the future look like? How do our personal choices affect the climate? What will happen if the wild bees disappear and how do we dispose of the plastics that pollute our environment? The climate and the prerequisites for a sustainable world for future generations are highly topical issues. At Lund University, we conduct world-leading research that tackles some of the biggest societal challenges of our time. On this webpage, you will find research news and events about sustainability.

A plane that has just taken off from Stockholm Arlanda Airport


The Sustainability Week 2018 logo

Leading researchers and students at Lund University, politicians, companies, municipalities and key players in society gather to discuss various aspects of sustainability during the 2018 Sustainability Week. Have a look at the varied programme and find events covering everything from consumption and lifestyle choices to nanotechnology and the cities of the future. 

See the full programme here (PDF 3 MB)
See the list of events in English on

A bee sitting on a catkin

27 April 2018

EU agrees on a ban on the use of neonicotinoids

The European Union will ban the world’s most widely used insecticides from all fields due to the serious danger they pose to bees.

An image of four different cities: Malmö, Gothenburg, Stockholm and Umeå

19 April 2018

Four Swedish cities to become sharing economy test pilots

Stockholm, Gothenburg, Malmö and Umeå are to become test cities in a new national sharing economy programme. “The cities of the future are facing major challenges. Sweden shall be a leader when it comes to developing the solutions that a sharing economy entails”, says Kes McCormick at Lund University. The programme – Sharing Cities Sweden – will be launched on 23 April.

An oily and greasy dial

18 April 2018

More effective lubricants using sawdust

Cycling becomes a lot harder if you don’t oil the bicycle chain! Similarly, you can’t cut metal, turn metal on a lathe or press sheet metal without lubricant. Previously in engineering works there was a flow of lubricant that is hazardous for health and the environment, but now the technology exists to reduce consumption of lubricant. In time, the mineral oils used today may be replaced by vegetable oils.

Three people in a light environment

18 April 2018

The sunhunterns – with knowledge to collect the light

Increased use of solar cells in the future requires higher efficiency and lower production costs. Innovative research from the interdisciplinary centre NanoLund wants to optimize the nanowires so that sunlight can be harvested more efficiently. Meet three young international researchers in the PhD4Energy project, working on hunting the sun.

One of the ends of the long cylinder of ice

18 April 2018

Tracing the climate back 100,000 years in Greenland

A three-kilometre-long cylinder of ice sheds light on what the climate was like one hundred thousand years ago. The ice contains traces of periods of higher or lower temperatures on Earth, but also of whether there were violent volcanic eruptions and high solar activity. By understanding the climate of the past, researchers can develop better models to predict the climate of the future.

A man holding a sign with the text "the climate is changing, why aren't we?"

18 April 2018

Mathematics visualises climate changes

How did we end up here? What do we do to get out of it? In climate research, it is important to understand how the world works if we are to change our behaviour and prevent future catastrophes. Researchers use mathematical formulas to try and visualise reality, in order to find out what changes we need to make.

Sown flower strips of clover in an agricultural landscape

6 April 2018

Sowing strips of flowering plants has limited effect on pollination

Many pollinating insects benefit from a small-scale agricultural landscape with pastures, meadows and other unploughed environments. In landscapes dominated by arable land, they lack both food and nesting places. Sown flower strips can increase the availability of food for pollinating insects, and are therefore assumed to benefit pollination. However, new research from Lund University in Sweden shows that the effect of the sown flower strips on pollination is limited and cannot compensate for the advantages of a varied landscape.

The Baltic Sea

26 March 2018

New research initiative will address environmental problems of the Baltic Sea region Hanö Bay

Lund University and the Simrishamn Municipality have received funding from Region Skåne to start a new research and innovation environment at the Marine Centre in Simrishamn. The aim is to study and solve environmental problems and societal challenges linked to the sea, water and coastal areas of Skåne and southern Sweden.

A giant curtain in a cloud forest in Peru

6 March 2018

Giant curtain will help scientists study threats against cloud forests

A researcher from Lund University in Sweden has managed to install a huge curtain in a remote cloud forest in South America. The aim is to study how these valuable forests are affected if clouds are elevated due to global warming.

Flagler beach in Florida with a dark sky above it

27 February 2018

Sea level rise urgently requires new forms of decision making

US cities facing sea level rise need to look beyond traditional strategies for managing issues such as critical erosion and coastal squeeze, according to new research from Lund University. Civil society initiatives must now play a crucial role in adapting society to climate change, the study argues.

Iron molecules

9 February 2018

Major investment in more environmentally friendly solar energy

Chemistry professor Kenneth Wärnmark at Lund University in Sweden has been awarded SEK 35 million for a research project about using iron molecules to develop solar cells and solar fuel. The grant is aimed at producing cheaper and more environmentally-friendly materials that can capture the energy of the sun.

A pile of sugar beets in front of a farm

29 January 2018

Researchers optimise sugar beet for bio-fertilisers

Certain microorganisms are used to stimulate cultivated plants’ growth and disease resistance. Sometimes such bio-fertilisers works well, sometimes not. Now, researchers at Lund University, Sweden, are to study the exact requirements for improving the growth of sugar beet. If they succeed, biological fertilisers of crops will provide more benefits and bigger harvests.

An irrigation system in front of an old shed

8 January 2018

Intensified irrigation threatens agricultural productivity

High concentrations of salt in agricultural soil is an environmental problem that has plagued human civilization from its very beginning. Also in modern times, salinization of soils is a problem restricting agricultural productivity.

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