CO2 footprint

Utrecht University plans to be CO2 neutral by 2030 and aims for a 33% reduction in 2020 as compared to 2014. Since 2014, the university has published their annual greenhouse gas emissions, with total CO2 emissions in 2019 amounting to 62,780 tonnes. This is 1% more than in 2018. In 2019, the carbon footprint was 17,311 tonnes (22%) less than in 2014. Since 2014, the UU has emitted a total of 402,000 tonnes of CO2.

The most important developments in 2019 are interventions and decisions that will have an impact on the footprint in the coming years: real estate renewal, sustainable travel and a re-organisation of agricultural activities. Together, preliminary calculations show that these measures will result in the UU emitting less CO2 in the coming decade than it did in the past six years.

Read more about the CO2 emissions in the 2019 sustainability monitor


The figure below illustrates the University’s carbon emissions.



Right now, energy and mobility still have the biggest impact on the university's total CO2 emission.


Transportation takes up 26% of the university's CO2 emission. This includes: employees and students commuting between home and the university, as well as scientific staff travelling by plane and making official trips by car. Utrecht University addresses this by encouraging sustainable means of travel.

Further operations

Agriculture takes up 5% of the university's CO2 emission. This is composed of the activities of De Tolakker Farm, which is a part of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine.

Waste processing, catering and cooling resources make up the remaining 2% of the CO2 footprint.

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