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Carbon Emissions Statistics

Our Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions relate almost entirely to the energy we use. The University campus has grown a great deal over recent years, despite this, our Scope 1 and 2 emissions have not, and we have plans in place to reduce emissions further - see our Energy Strategy.Link opens in a new window

The most recent 2022/23 Performance Report Link opens in a new window (Link opens in a new window) can now be read here. 

Three quick ways of looking at our Scope 1 and 2 carbon performance: 

1. Absolute, Total “Location Based” Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions: 

“Location based” emissions are calculated based on the carbon factors of the fuels we use and the average carbon intensity of UK electricity (this is the grid electricity that flows onto our campus). When you look at the total amount of Scope 1 and 2 emissions, you can see that actions we have taken through technology and energy management as well as changes to UK grid electricity carbon intensity have seen our emissions begin to decrease. Whilst there isn’t a massive reduction, emissions are still below 2005/06 levels and the University has grown a great deal in this time, so this is a real achievement. 

(The 3rd parties mentioned below are external companies/organisations who occupy space in University buildings but are independent of the University, we only began segregating emissions from these organisations in 2018/19). 

Total Annual Location Based Scope 1 and 2 CO2e Emissions. 

2. Absolute, Total “Market Based” Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions: 

“Market Based” emissions are calculated based on the carbon factors of the fuels we use as above but instead of using grid average factors for electricity, we use our suppliers’ declarations on the source of the electricity that we purchase. Although the University purchased electricity from low carbon suppliers prior to 2019/20, this did not include all purchased electricity and the University was not reporting Market Based emissions at this time. In recent years the University has specified 100% renewable electricity backed by Renewable Energy Guarantee of Origin certificates administered by OFGEM. The chart below shows the impact on our Scope 1 and 2 emissions. 

Total Annual Scope 1 and 2 market Based CO2e Emissions net of Grid Electricity Emissions  

3. Relative Carbon Emissions:  

Although our reduction targets are absolute, the charts below show how the carbon efficiency of the University has improved over recent years.

Scope 1 and 2 Location Based Carbon Emissions per Person

Scope 1 and 2 Location Based Carbon Emissions per m2 of Floor area.

Scope 3 Emissions:

Scope 3 emissions include all emissions associated with the University value chain not included in Scopes 1 or 2. Total emissions are challenging to estimate; methodologies are still evolving and subject to many assumptions across significant categories (e.g Procurement and Student Travel). 

2022/23 Scope 3 emissions are estimated at 146,412tCO2e, representing in the region of 80% of total University emissions 

Total University Carbon Emissions by scope (2022/23) 

University reporting is aligned to the internationally recognised Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol standard and supplemented by EAUC (Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges) – Higher Education specific guidance for disclosure. Emissions fall into many categories, and the split between these categories is indicated below. 

2022/23 Scope 3 Emissions by Category: