CO2 footprint 2018

Utrecht University has set itself the goal of being carbon neutral by 2030 and achieving a 33% reduction by 2020 compared to the base year (2014).

In 2018, the footprint was the same as in 2017. Carbon emissions* as a result of the activities of Utrecht University were 23% lower in 2018 than in 2014. This 23% reduction was primarily a result of purchasing more green energy in the years previous.

Carbon emissions on which Utrecht University has a direct influence actually increased in the period between 2014 and 2018. This is largely due to better use of the combined heat and power plant and therefore an increase in natural gas consumption. The heat and electricity produced by the plant are mainly needed to heat and cool the aging property portfolio.

Recently, the University has taken a number of important decisions that will lead to a drop in emissions in the coming years, and it has also published its ‘Future-proof buildings’ document. It is quite clear that the University's efforts in recent years have not yet led to the desired results and that additional measures will be needed if it is to achieve its own carbon targets. These measures concern emissions resulting both from various activities (such as air travel, commuting, agriculture) and from energy consumption; many organisational units have a part to play in achieving the necessary reductions.

The figure below illustrates the main causes behind the University’s carbon emissions:

CO2 footprint 2018

*Carbon emissions relate to the following greenhouse gases: CO2, CH4, N2O, HFCs, PFCs, SF6 and NF3.