Brite Green Higher Education carbon report launched

Posted in: Comment, New Publications, News and Updates

The Brite Green Higher Education carbon report has been launched.  EAUC says:

Based on data from the 2014/15 academic year, the report looks at how the sector is doing overall and specifically, how institutions are performing against their 2020 carbon reduction targets.  To accompany this year's report, Brite Green have produced a best practice guide to support institutions to achieve their emissions reduction targets.  The EAUC has contributed heavily to this guidance to ensure that our members can make the most of the information on offer.

The Brite Green says:

This is our third progress report on the carbon emissions performance of HEFCE funded universities.  The report shows that despite some universities having achieved excellent reductions the sector remains behind its 2020 target.  To help meet the UK Government’s carbon reduction targets set out in the Climate Change Act, the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) developed a sector reduction strategy in 2011.  It required Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) to set carbon reduction targets for 2020 and implement carbon management plans to achieve them.  Universities have now reduced total emissions by 10% from the 2005 baseline.  This is a great achievement especially against the backdrop of significant commercial growth.  The sector however is only projected to reduce emissions by 15% by 2020, well behind the sector target of 43%.  Our analysis suggests that more than 70% of universities are not on track to achieve their own carbon targets for 2020, a slight improvement on last year.  This year’s analysis also looks at research intensive institutions in more detail.  The 20 Russell Group universities in England are responsible for about half the sector’s emissions and only the University of Birmingham is currently on track to achieve their carbon targets.  Universities need to update their carbon management plans to ensure they are still fit for purpose and able to achieve their carbon reduction targets.  It is important that this review aligns the carbon and commercial strategies and incorporates the wider opportunities from the sustainability agenda.  Many universities have started to consider how environmental and sustainability issues will shape the risk and opportunity landscape for the next 10 years, and are developing a broader sustainability strategy covering academic, operational and financial management.

So, some good(wish) news, but a gloomy prognosis overall.  HEFCE won't mind all that much, having given up on carbon.  They might like the rainbow logo though which has been described by one sector-leading commentator as "Spiffing".

Write Green has 4 main recommendations for universities to recalibrate their carbon management plans:

  • Review your performance
  • Benchmark against peers and best practice
  • Identify areas for improvement
  • Upgrade to an integrated sustainability strategy

Good luck downloading the Report by the way, as it's not straightforward.  It's as if BG is keeping quiet about it.

Posted in: Comment, New Publications, News and Updates


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