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Sweden's first environmental institute

IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute was founded in 1966 by the state and the industry sector. Since its inception, IVL has been in the frontline of environmental research.

Follow IVL's and Sweden's environmental history on a journey from 1966. Our anniversary magazine describes our time travel from the 1960s and 50 years forward. This is a story about the first environmental scandals that shook Sweden, about oil disasters and acidification up to to today's global challenges such as climate change, water scarcity and our unsustainable consumption.

Initiatives from the forest industry and the Confederation of Swedish industry

In the mid-1960s, environmental problems began to become increasingly apparent in Sweden, especially in connection with the pulp and paper industries. Following an initiative from a couple of far-sighted individuals from the forest industry and the Confederation of Swedish Industry, Stig Freyschuss, Leif Bruneau and Axel Iveroth, Prime Minister Olof Palme prepared the case of a unique agreement to form a joint state and industry research institute.

It was named the Institute for Water and Air Conservation Research (IVL) and formally started operations in January 1966. The name reflects the most notable environmental issues of the time, which were characterized by dead lakes, foul-smelling emissions and severe air pollution in connection with industries.

IVL's history coincides with modern environmental history

At very beginning there was neither the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, any environmental legislation nor the Ministry of the Environment. IVL's history largely coincides with modern environmental work in Sweden and in Swedish industry.

For over 50 years, we have contributed to an improved environment with research and development – and we will continue to do so for many more to come.

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