The following negative impacts are laregly based on the estimated C02 emissions of the SU in a ‘typical’ year and are ordered from most to least.
1. Commercial venues
Our commercial venues (StUdio and the SU Shop) are unavoidably our biggest negative environmental impact due to the gas, electricity and energy usage (covered below). Other significant environmental impacts include cleaning chemicals, non-consumable products such as cleaning supplies and customer sundries, and product case packaging. Another significant impact is the travel used for deliveries. We have taken a number of steps to reduce this impact, including reduction of deliveries through bulk ordering, a reduction in energy consumption through a number of measures, and switching bathroom chemicals to poweder sachets so that water and bottles are not shipped. We are consistently reviewing the sustainability of our commercial services with Ben, StUdio Coordinator.
2. Staff Commuting (8.2 tonnes of C02 per year)
A significant impact is staff commuting to and from campus. However, the majority of SU staff do not travel by car to work, and the amount of C02 produced is comparatively low to what it would be if all staff commuted by car.
3. Gas usage for heating
(6.05 tonnes of C02 per year)
The C02 tracked here indicates gas usage in the SU Shop, StUdio, and the SU offices. It is based upon the average kWh emitted on campus relative to the size of SU spaces. In order to reduce the effect of this emission, we are in ongoing strategic conversations with relevant University staff as to how to make the building more environmentally friendly.
4. Electricity usage in buildings
(3.41 tonnes of C02 per year)
Electricity usage has been tracked in a similar way to gas usage and is therefore an average based on square feet rather than a totally accurate track of our electricity emissions (it is therefore likely to be an overestimate). We take steps to reduce the electricity usage in SU spaces by ensuring that lights and computers are switched off when not in use. In order to reduce lights and computers being unintentionally left on overnight, Rachel has run an energy efficiency campaign and created stickers for SU spaces. StUdio also ensures that fridges and freezers are powered down to reduce consumption.
5. Clubs and Societies travel
(0.57 tonnes of C02 per year)
A high potential for C02 emission is the attendance of training and events by clubs, societies, and officers. The CO2 released would be significant if all our teams and officers were to drive individually to all of these events, and this does occasionally occur, primarily for financial reasons, however, we endeavour to ensure that where possible our sports teams use a single coach for the whole team, and work closely with the coach company both to ensure that the smallest coach possible is used for each fixture and to ensure that clubs share coaches where possible. We also pay for our sabbatical officers to have railcards and subsequently try and ensure they use the train to attend conferences, training and events whenever practical.
6. Water usage in buildings
(0.09 tonnes of C02 per year)
We use a relatively small amount of water across SU spaces on campus. However, we still work to reduce water usage – signs are in place reminding staff and students to turn taps off and we also have a clear kettle in the staff kitchen so that it is not overfilled.