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Sweden's most climate-smart students at SSE

For the third year in a row, the student bookstore Campusbokhandeln hands out the award and scholarship "Sweden's most climate-smart students" and the winners of 2021 are a duo from the Stockholm School of Economics. Together, Cecilia Nyquist and Elias Höckerfelt have started the climate organization SSCA, which among other things influenced SSE to adapt to the 1.5-degree goal and include more climate and sustainability in the courses.

When Cecilia and Elias formed SSCA (SSE Students for Climate Action), there was no established environmental student group or sustainability group at the school, but they saw a need for a meeting place to pursue climate issues among the students. They could also not see that the Stockholm School of Economics did any work of its own when it comes to report and reduce its emissions, and this was something they wanted to change. At the same time, young people and students around the world began to form groups and organizations to pursue the climate issue, which gave them the strength to start this initiative. Today, the group is part of the larger movement Klimatstudenterna Sverige (Climate Students of Sweden).

- There were among over 120 nominees so were very happy when we found out that we had won after the final interview. It is a recognition which proves that what we are fighting for makes an impression, says Elias.

Through lectures and webinars, workshops, climate strikes and scholarships, they have worked to inspire and engage students in climate-smart behaviors. In 2019, they launched a report with 90 tangible recommendations for how sustainability can be incorporated into the two Bachelor programs. They are now working on a follow-up version where they want to examine the extent to which ecological sustainability is integrated in each course and how the students and teachers experience it.

Long-term projects

The pandemic has been a major challenge for the organization as they were forced to switch to online activities. Previously, it was easier to catch the attention of other students through social activities at school which were easy to join for those who were interested.

- Instead we have tried to establish long-term projects which we can hand over to a new board. Last year, we launched an essay scholarship that we intend to hand out every year, and we have received funding for it for quite some time to come. We do have some projects which are ready to hand over to the next students. But it is a challenge to connect with younger students when we hardly have met the first-year students at all, says Elias.

The organization also encourages students to put some pressure on future employers regarding sustainability.

- Through campaigns, we have encouraged students to ask questions to their future employers about their climate and sustainability work. The goal has been to make employers understand that they must pursue an ambitious agenda for the climate to be able to attract students from the Stockholm School of Economics. We have received great feedback from various people in the business world on our campaigns. Elias and I have also been involved with the media and been a part of various panels where we have had the opportunity to highlight what students think is important when we choose our future employers. This work is important, and we hope and believe that it will have progress at the Stockholm School of Economics during the years to come, says Cecilia.


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