Reduce Carbon Emissions by 10% in 2010 at your University
Ten Steps Checklist PDF download here
1. Create your carbon reduction team. Identify and connect with a committed, passionate, and multifaceted team who will make it happen. Include academics, lecturers, staff, management, estates and students alike. There should be no rank, or distinction between these parties, but rather, each individual should be a stakeholder on a collective mission to succeed.
2. Set your first meeting. Agree at the meeting how you will establish the appropriate permissions, and carry out the carbon monitoring. Agree also on how often you will meet to feed back how you are getting on. Remember to aim for at least 10% reductions in carbon emission across each of the four categories: grid electric, on-site fossil fuel use, vehicle fuel use, and air travel. Create working groups for each of the energy categories.
3. Research methods for monitoring energy use at the university. Do not wait until you have the perfect method but start the process and work towards creating a more rigorous methodology as the project evolves. How will you establish systems to monitor all energy use? Electricity is the easiest area to monitor as it should be straightforward to check the meters.
4. Undertake an energy and carbon audit. Appoint an accredited energy auditor to analyse your energy use, calculate your carbon emissions, visit the site to undertake an energy audit, and to make recommendations. Actions points should include ideas to reduce energy consumption, and for on-site energy generation. The Carbon Trust does free audits for institutions like universities.
5. Agree with other stakeholders what your institution can do to reduce consumption and communicate your plan. If your Vice Chancellor and/or Dean is not involved in this project, agree with them when and where you can share your findings and the specific action you want the institution to take to reduce energy.
6. Apply for funding. Once you know what you would like to do or install to improve your institution's efficiency, apply for funding from organisations such as utilities companies, the Low Carbon Building Programme or local businesses. Your institution will need to support this process.
7. Keep setting carbon challenges for your university community. Ask everyone to do a personal carbon calculator. Ask departments to keep track of air travel and make plans to reduce airline travel by at least 10% during 2010. Introduce no cost video conferencing, and also awards for departments that take the challenge on board.
8. Incentivise the process and make it fun! Ask your community for ideas, and look for opportunities to directly involve local communities in such events and activities. If you are saving energy, reducing your carbon emissions and making a difference, what can you do to celebrate, promote and maximize your success?
9. Research alternatives to what you currently use or do in the institution. Look into lower energy appliances or renewable energy technologies that you could introduce into your university and then present your findings to the right people. This may also be an opportunity for knowledge exchange; to share and discuss findings with other groups in other institutions.
10. Sustain your practice. You need to keep energy monitoring high profile so that it starts to become second nature for people to save energy. Put up posters, keep sharing energy data, and start engaging your wider community in the challenge.
By EcoLabs, T4Sustainability and Inheritable Futures Laboratory