The Swedish Polar Research Secretariat works continuously to improve working methods to reduce the environmental impact. We are tasked with promoting increased understanding and improved environmental protection regarding the polar regions. According to the Act (2006:924) on Antarctica, the Secretariat also fulfils tasks and the regulation (2006:1111) on Antarctica. We thus act as the permit-granting authority for the stay of Swedish citizens in Antarctica.
Environmental management system
The Polar Research Secretariat is a government authority covered by the regulation (2009:907) on environmental management in government agencies. The authority's environmental management system takes into account the direct and indirect environmental impact of the operation in a systematic way.
Impact on the environment
We directly affect the environment through expeditions, our research stations, business travels, and office operations.
Indirect influence takes place through:
- researchers are given the opportunity to do fieldwork in the polar regions
- the authority's and researchers' data collection
- the result of the knowledge generated.
In our operations, we actively work with preventive environmental work and protect the environment by reducing the environmental impact from fuel use during expeditions, business trips, purchasing and procurement, waste management and energy consumption on premises.
We work to increase the positive environmental impact of our operations by:
- Work for data collection and dissemination of data from the polar regions
- Effectively use our research platforms and our logistical expertise to enable fieldwork that can generate excellent research.
- Disseminate the knowledge generated from the research.
The polar regions
The Swedish Polar Research Secretariat operates in the Swedish subarctic mountain environment and in polar regions, the Arctic and the Antarctic. These are unique environments strongly affected by the ongoing climate change with sensitive ecosystems.
Expedition activities in Antarctica are regulated from an environmental point of view by the international agreement, the Antarctic Treaty with its annexes and conventions and by the Swedish Act on Antarctica. It is important that the distinctive and sensitive environment is protected. The Arctic is not covered by international agreements as rigorous as Antarctica.