Sustainability at SSN

SSN has a conscious approach to sustainability and the environment, and is constantly working to offer even better and more environmentally friendly solutions. These are some of the things we do:

Environmentally friendly building projects

When the new student residences in Bø are ready in august 2020, SSN will have built almost 1,000 new residences in solid wood, on five different campuses, since 2016. Solid wood is a preferred alternative for several reasons: 

•    Wood is a renewable resource that demands few resources to work it. 
•    Wood is easy to sort as waste and to reuse. 
•    Trees bind CO2 and continue to be carbon stores after they are felled.
•    Solid wood provides fast build times, which shortens the time using heavy traffic and the use of polluting machines on and around a building site. 
•    Building sets are delivered ready to be set up, with, among other things, ready-cut holes for pipes and cables. This results in a low level of waste on the building site, as well as considerably reducing dust and noise on the building site, leading to better working conditions for everyone working there. 
•    Since production of solid wood has not yet been sufficiently large in Norway, materials are produced in Austria, and transported environmentally friendly by train. 
•    Visible solid wood surfaces provide a good indoor climate and a warm, snug feeling of comfort. 
•    The housing is of passive building standard, i.e. it conforms to many requirements for low energy needs and the use of renewable energy sources. Passive buildings are defined as modern, environmentally friendly buildings with high quality, good indoor climate and low energy requirements.
•    SSN builds new student residences on campus, which greatly reduces car traffic to and from campus. 

Food waste projects

In 2018, SSN became the first student welfare organisation in Norway to enter into partnership with the organisation Too Good to Go, to reduce food waste from the catering outlets. The idea is that food that is left over at the end of the day can be purchased cheaply.

All SSN’s catering outlets are part of the project KuttMatsvinn 2020, which aims to cut food waste by 20 per cent. 

Recyclable plates/cups/cutlery

We are working to provide the most sustainable solutions in our catering outlets and all disposable plates, cups and cutlery are made of biodegradable material. 

Environmental efforts in the kindergartens

All our student kindergartens focus on the environment. They ...
•    Buy quality toys and equipment to reduce use and discard.
•    Sort waste at source.
•    Turn off lights in rooms they are not in, or have automatic arrangements where the light goes off after 15 minutes of inactivity in the room.
•    Pick up rubbish together with the kids and have “Rusken” campaigns.
•    Never leave things behind when they go on a trip: "We bring more home than we brought outside."
•    Give children great experiences in nature so that they learn to love and take care of it.
•    Communicate with parents digitally to save paper. 
•    Use as few disposable cups/plates as possible.

Waste sorting

SSN facilitates and encourages the proper disposal of waste in all catering outlets, student housing and office space.

Free thermo cups

At semester start, we give out thousands of free thermo cups to students, in order to reduce the number of disposable cups and thus the amount of waste. 

Skype instead of cars

SSN operates on all of USN’s eight campuses. This means that many people often have to move around. Whenever possible, we choose to conduct meetings via Skype, rather than together in a meeting room. If we have to move around, we try to carpool. 

Focus on well-being among students and staff

Sustainability and the environment are also about how we live our daily lives. At SSN, the focus is on the well-being of both students and staff. Among other things, we have a student health coordinator who works on planning and coordinating various social and environmental initiatives on all campuses, so as to facilitate increased well-being, inclusion, social community and good physical and mental health among students. Internally, we are concerned with good working conditions for the employees and with building a good culture.