Like all Swedish government agencies, the Swedish Polar Research Secretariat has been ordered by the Government (doc no. M2005/4563) to implement an environmental management system. The system is a tool for organising the environmental work within the agency, and will contribute to ecologically sustainable development.
The Swedish Polar Research Secretariat’s environmental management system will be in compliance with ISO 14001, which is an internationally established standard for organising environmental work in a systematic and efficient way.
Integrating environmental considerations into its day-to-day operations and thereby minimising the agency’s environmental impact is fundamental to the environmental efforts of the Swedish Polar Research Secretariat.
As part of its environmental work, the Swedish Polar Research Secretariat has prepared an environmental policy. The environmental policy, which was adopted in 2010, is a key document that provides the basis for the Secretariat’s environmental undertakings.
Swedish polar research is based on research expeditions to the Arctic and Antarctica. Expeditionary activities in Antarctica are regulated environmentally by international agreements that are part of the Antarctic Treaty system. Under the Treaty system, Antarctica can be used only for peaceful activities and research. It is important that this distinctive and sensitive environment is protected. The Arctic regions are not protected by equally rigorous international agreements.
The Swedish Polar Research Secretariat applies the same environmental approach, which includes environmental impact descriptions and environmental reports, regardless of which polar region an expedition targets. Major emphasis is placed on the development and use of environmentally friendly technology in the agency’s practical environmental work.
The Swedish stations in Antarctica are subject to a continuous environmental monitoring programme to monitor the environmental impact of their activities. Our environmental work in Antarctica is being carried out in close cooperation with Finland and Norway, and this cooperative relationship has resulted in the publication of the Nordic Environmental Handbook.