The following negative impacts are based on the estimated C02 emissions of the SU in a ‘typical’ year and are ordered from most to least.
1. Staff Commuting (6.27 tonnes of C02 per year)
The most potential for environmental impact in a typical year is the requirement for 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. Following a year of home working, this emission has been significantly reduced; we will be considering the impacts of working each day on campus in the future.
2. 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.
3. 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, we purchased some ‘Switch Off’ stickers to remind everyone to shut off their computer at the end of the day.
4. 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.
5. Food and liquid waste
(0.47 tonnes of C02 per year)
This is an estimated figure as StUdio has been closed for the large part of the year (and is therefore both an overestimation and also likely to be more than a usual year due to lockdown wasteage). Going forward, the StUdio brief will include a section focused on waste reduction and the monitoring and reduction of waste will be embedded into this. Whilst we already send food waste from the shop to a local charity in Horsforth, we want to ensure that all food waste is either donated or composted rather than going to landfill.
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.