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Carbon Emission Targets Explained

The University declared new Carbon Targets in September 2019:

  • Net Zero carbon emissions from scope 1 and 2 by 2030
  • Net Zero carbon emissions from scope 3 by 2050

Read more about how this affects the University in the Carbon Management Plan.


Net Zero refers to the understanding that we will still need to emit some emissions but we will reduce as much as possible and offset the remaining emissions to equal zero. This differs from Carbon Neutral as this means that no emissions are created at all.

Infographic by: Walmart Sustainability Hub

Scope 1 = Emissions created by the generation of energy on campus from our Combined Heat and Power plants, which are still one of the best ways to create energy.

Scope 2 = Emissions created because of our use of energy on campus for examples lights being on, computers charging and electrical equipment being used.

Scope 3 = Emissions created by others that are outside the direct control of the University but are created because we exist for example students and staff travelling to campus, waste being collected, and items being purchased.


What about the other greenhouse gases? The targets are Carbon equivalent so we are seeking to reduce all emissions and the way we report on these will be equal to the impact they have on the environment e.g. Methane is 23x more damaging than Carbon Dioxide which is why people are encouraged to reduce their red meat intake.


Greenhouse Gases are:

  • Water vapor (H2O)
  • Carbon dioxide (CO2)
  • Methane (CH4)
  • Nitrous oxide (N2O)
  • Ozone (O3)
  • Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)
  • Hydrofluorocarbons (includes HCFCs and HFCs)