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Carbon Management Strategy and Targets


The University measures and reports on carbon emissions in three ways:

1. Absolute emissions
Scope 1 & 2 absolute emissions* (tCO2e) decreased 1% between 2014-15 and 2015-16, however we used more gas and electricity last year; 15.9 MWh compared to 14.8 MWh. Scope 3 emissions* have increased 23% last year.   
Gas emissions increased 11% last year despite a mild winter*.  A result of increased consumption of 0.7MWh at the Arena and additional consumption 0.51 MWh from Jenny Lind and Barrington House.  It is pleasing to note we achieved a modest reduction at St Johns Campus, 0.16 MWh, due to energy saving initiatives.
Electricity emissions reduced 9% against 2014-15.  Total electricity used increased slightly by 0.14 MWh across the university. Emissions reductions are due to a change in the conversion factor because in the UK we now have more renewable energy sources providing our electricity.
Fleet emissions deceased 29% last year but increased by 37% from the baseline year.

2.    In relation to the number of students and staff at the University (tCO2e/FTE)
Emissions intensity has decreased by 7% compared to 2014-15 and by 32% since our 2008-09 baseline year.  This measure indicates that whilst we have more people using our buildings, the carbon reduction initiatives on electricity and gas are making a difference, albeit slowly. Our recruitment success means that student and staff numbers continue to increase.  We now have 8,781 full time equivalent students and staff on campus compared to 5,868 in our baseline year, increasing 423 last year.

3.    In relation to university buildings floor space (tCO2e/sqm)
Emissions intensity floor space has decreased by 6% compared to 2014-15 and by 22% since our 2008-9 baseline year, we are using less energy per square metre, due to the number of carbon savings initiatives we have introduced across campus.  Buildings added last year were Jenny Lind academic space and the small 12 bedroomed accommodation Barrington House totalling 4,838 sqm. We have 80,978 square metres of floor space now compared to 47,362 in our baseline year.

Scope 3 indirect carbon emissions
Data gathering for a number of these categories is still in its infancy, especially with regard to procurement and grey fleet. Scope 3 emissions have increased 23% last year and have increased by 28% since setting our baseline in 2012-13.  Year on year comparisons may not give a true picture. Full details are shown in the tables below; highlights include:

  • Waste and recycling emissions decreased 34% as a result of improved recycling rates
  • Procurement emissions have increased 33%.  Resulting from an increased spending during the period, from £17m to £23m with increased spending on most categories especially construction and information technology.  That is 13,622 tCO2e.
  • Water usage increased 12%.
  • Staff and student commuting increased 5% equivalent to 5,979 tCO2e.
  • Air travel increased 81% and now accounts for 577 tCO2e.

Read the full Carbon Management Strategy.

Carbon reduction targets

The University intends to achieve:

  • 5% p.a. reduction in carbon emissions in Scopes 1 2 & 3, against a 2008-09 baseline, from 2010 to 20120;
  • a 3% reduction p.a. against the 2008-09 baseline from 2015 to 2020;
  • Scope 3 emissions baseline year varies as the envelop has increased.

The profile of reductions reflects the fact that it will become incrementally harder to achieve reductions as improvements take place. These targets will secure a 40% reduction in emissions by 2020 compared to 2008-09 levels. 

Data and internal reporting targets are set for home to term time student travel.

To meet these targets annual quantitative and qualitative targets are set and the sustainability budget identifies specific projects to be achieved throughout the year. Please see our Environmental Targets 2016-17.

Progress against last year targets