When the world came to a standstill

In the spring of 2020, the pandemic struck and the whole world was wondering what was going to happen. Over the following months, the impact we humans have on our planet and the climate became clearer than ever before. Many of the countries of the world united around the pandemic, while at the same time, public concerns about the effects of climate change accelerated.

As our activities at the National Museum of Science and Technology came to a halt and silence fell over the museum, there was time for reflection. What do we already do today and what can we do more of in the future? We can all contribute in some way to aid the transition of our society towards a sustainable development and slowing the negative impacts of climate change. The climate issue is very important to us and especially so amongst our younger visitors. To gear up, we joined the SME Climate Hub and signed a commitment, The SME Climate Commitment, which means that we agreed to halve our climate footprint by 2030 and to achieve net zero emissions by 2045.

We have long worked with an eye on sustainability both in our external offering as well as our internal operations, but we decided that now was the perfect time to make our plans and activities more concrete. We started by identifying our climate footprint, to see how much CO2 emission we cause. Right now, we are in the middle of the first calculations of emissions for 2019 and 2020. We will then continue to make an action plan to address what is required to achieve the goals set by 2030 and 2045.

We have also started more processes internally around sustainability work. Again, we do a lot already but have yet to round up all the efforts and actions within the overall concept and approach of sustainability and sustainable development. Work has begun on identifying the operational activities that contribute to sustainable development.

• Our restaurant Tekniska by Pontus, which has been awarded the KRAV-label for its organic food, focuses on reducing food waste and makes use of as much of raw materials as possible – pickling, drying, grinding and only then finally putting the very last of the leftovers in the compost machine. Our produce is delivered by local and eco-labelled suppliers who demonstrate innovative ways to produce products and raw materials. The restaurant has its own beehive, farm their own vegetables right outside the building, largely focuses on vegetarian food as well as choosing the right type of meat and fish.

• Our activities through Maker Tour work actively to engage both more children and young people in science, technology, and mathematics, but also to strengthen the digital competence of teachers. There are a wide range of activities, including inspirational evenings for teachers and free training in programming and technology for inhabitants of more vulnerable and exposed areas in Stockholm. These activities have also been nominated for the Guldäpplet pedagogical award, which is great fun and a proof that we are heading in the right direction.

What we have learned

Perhaps the most important part of our journey that we have begun is to see, identify and understand what it is that we do, that does not contribute to a sustainable development, in order to create change and set goals for us to constantly improve.

We are now continuing to work with our internal sustainability efforts, which also makes us better equipped to succeed in our external work such as school programs, exhibitions, program activities and our various collaborations, to do everything we can to contribute to the transformation and development of a sustainable society.

We are very much looking forward to continuing these joint efforts, together with all other actors at Djurgården, to make this place a sustainable destination in Stockholm!

Annika Brantingson
Event Manager & Sustainability Coordinator