About us

The Swedish Society for Nature Conservation is a charitable environmental organisation with the power to bring about change. We spread knowledge, chart environmental threats, propose solutions and influence politicians and authorities, both nationally and internationally. Under democratic forms, we work regionally in 24 county branches and locally in 270 community branches.

We apply pressure to politicians, influence legislation, inform – including via our own magazines, books and press material – and organise seminars, debates and conferences. The Swedish Society for Nature Conservation has been Sweden’s most influential environmental organisation for decades and currently has around 203,000 members. Climate change, seas and fishing, forests, agriculture and environmental toxins are our priority areas of work, both nationally and globally.

For many years we have also been working on our species projects: the pilgrim falcon, the white-tailed eagle and the white-backed woodpecker. In addition, we are behind the world’s toughest environmental label, Good Environmental Choice.

Among other things, our work has contributed to:

  • A ban on phosphates in laundry products
  • Mt. Städjan in Dalarna being protected from exploitation
  • Congestion charges being introduced in Stockholm
  • Many vulnerable forests being saved
  • Mangroves being replanted in a number of places in Latin America and Africa
  • Triclosan toothpaste disappearing from many supermarket shelves
  • White-tailed eagles and pilgrim falcons increasing in numbers

Our main areas of interest

Climate change, seas and fishing, forests, agriculture and environmental toxins are our priority areas of work, both nationally and globally.

Climate

The UN Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicted in 2007 that the temperature can increase by 1,1 to 6,4 degrees C by 2100. The EU and G8 have adopted a target to limit the temperature increase to maximum 2 degrees. IPCC stated that the Arctic may entirely lose its ice sheets by the middle of the century, and that global sea levels may rise by 0.2 – 0.6 meters by the end of this century. New research shows that the situation is even more severe: the Arctic may entirely lose its ice sheets in the 2030’s, and global sea levels may rise by as much as 1.5 meters by the year 2100. We need solutions that tackle the climate crisis and the development crisis simultaneously.

We want Sweden and the EU to:

  • Adopt a three legged climate target; domestic emission cuts, support to mitigation and adaptation in developing countries
  • Cut the greenhouse gases by at least 40 % domestically til 2020, and by at least 90 % til 2050
  • Set a target of max 0,5 metric tonne of greenhouse gas emissions per person by 2050
  • Launch a global “Marshall plan” for climate and development where the EU takes its fair share of the global need of a couple of hundred billion euros of public investments

Seas and Fishing

Overfishing is a gigantic global problem that is threatening access to food and livelihoods for coastal populations worldwide. Emissions from industry and agriculture pose an additional threat to the entire marine environment. In the Baltic Sea, algal blooms and a dead sea floor are becoming increasingly common. Politicians and experts have been discussing environmental problems for decades, but very little has been done.

We want to:

  • Stop bottom (benthic) trawling
  • Stop overfishing
  • Protect and restore coastal wetlands
  • Stop illegal fishing
  • Ban phosphates in laundry and washing-up products within the EU

Forest

Many Swedes love spending time in the forest, but the really beautiful old growth forests are disappearing. Slowly but surely they are being replaced by clear-cutting and monoculture tree plantations. In Sweden, 96 procent of all forest is unprotected. In an international perspective, things are just as bad. For example, the tropical rainforests cover nearly 6 procent of the Earth’s landsurface, containing half the Earth’s plant and animal species. In addition, more than 1.6 billion people are dependent on forests for their survival.

We want to:

  • Increase the proportion of protected forest in Sweden to 10 procent
  • Protect all ancient old growth forests in Sweden
  • Promote sustainable use of the Earth’s forests
  • Stop the logging of forests with high conservation values
  • Strengthen the rights of local and indigenous peoples’ access to forest resources.

Agriculture

Industrial farming is leading to pollution, land degradation and depletion of the habitats of many species. With an expanding global population and the threat of climate change, the need for sustainable farming methods is acute all over the world. The Swedish environmental targets – a rich cultivated landscape, no eutrophication, a stable climate and a toxicfree environment – require greater action than is being taken today if they are to be achieved.

We want:

  • Cultivated landscapes with rich natural and historical attributes to be preserved and protected
  • Active farming with grazing animals to be carried out throughout all of Sweden
  • Production of food that is free from pollutants and of a high quality
  • The use of chemical pesticides to decrease
  • The proportion of organic farming to increase.

Hazardous Chemicals

Every day, people are exposed to tens of thousands of chemicals, most of which did not exist on Earth a few decades ago. Today there is not a place on Earth – or a living person – that is not affected by chemicals. The unrestricted release of chemicals has developed into one of the world’s worst environmental problems. In 1959, 7 million tonnes were used worldwide, but by 2000 this had increased to 250 million tonnes. In many countries in the South, development of chemical legislations and intensification of its implementations is needed. Additionally, incautious handling, due to e.g. lack of safety instructions, is often causality for chemical exposure on humans and the environment.

We want to:

  • Protect people’s health and ecological biodiversity
  • Phase out dangerous chemicals from the production and consumption sectors
  • Increase consumer awareness of environmental and health risks

Good Environmental Choice

Good Environmental Choice is the SSNC’s own environmental certification system for a range of different products. With the aid of this environmental label, consumers can choose the products that are least damaging to the environment. This has led for example to the environmentally damaging tenside LAS almost completely disappearing from Swedish laundry products, making them unique in the world.

Species Project

The Swedish Society for Nature Conservation runs three projects to save threatened species: the white-tailed eagle, the pilgrim falcon and the whitebacked woodpecker. The white-tailed eagle and the pilgrim falcon were severely affected by environmental toxins in the 1970s but now, after many years of work, they are on their way back. Due to the lack of forests with old or dead deciduous trees, the white-backed woodpecker remains under threat.

Internationally

The Swedish Society for Nature Conservation works in partnership with around 50 organisations in about 20 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe, and also participates in various networks globally and within the EU. This international work is mainly carried out with financial contributions from Sida, the Swedish International Development Agency. The Swedish Society for Nature Conservation is working for sustainable consumption, e.g. through spreading information about individual goods such as bananas, coffee, king prawns, tropical wood and cotton in order to show how production affects ecosystems and people’s health. Many of our partners in the South are working in a similar way.

We want to:

  • Highlight good examples and propose solutions for sustainable and fair development
  • Decrease poverty and increase global solidarity.