AU’s 2021 greenhouse gas emissions report: No change in AU’s CO2 emissions over 2021
AU’s greenhouse gas emissions report for 2021 has just been released. The report shows virtually no change in AU’s CO2-emissions over 2020.
According to the report’s calculations, AU’s 2021 emissions decreased one per cent over 2020. In other words, emissions remained at virtually the same level.
This is a quite a respectable result, says Andreas Sindal Stounbjerg, AU’s climate programme lead, in light of the profound drop in AU’s activities in 2020 due to Covid shutdowns:
“Despite the fact that we began travelling and meeting face-to-face on campus again in 2021, we didn’t see a dramatic increase in the university’s total CO2 emissions, in part due to the fact that travel activity was still limited last year. In addition, AU’s carbon emissions were also affected positively by a decrease in the indirect emissions from our investments, which are also included in the calculations.
But this means that in order to sustain this level in coming years, it’s absolutely crucial that the university continues to practice and build on the lessons and good habits of the Covid years.”
The overall objective of AU’s climate strategy is to reduce the university’s CO2 emissions by 35% in 2025 over a 2018 baseline. AU is already making good progress towards the 35% target, and more CO2 emission-reduction activities have been launched this year: for example, in connection with the drive to reduce our consumption of power and heat, a revised travel policy that encourages staff to travel less, as well as more climate-friendly purchasing agreements.
Aarhus University's climate goals and initiatives have also garnered positive mention in a new international sustainability ranking.
The methodology behind the GHG emissions report
This is Aarhus University’s fourth greenhouse gas emissions report. The report was prepared by researchers at the Danish Centre for Environment and Energy (DCE).
Aarhus University's GHG emissions report is based on the Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG Protocol), which is a recognised method of calculating emissions of greenhouse gases by converting them into CO2 equivalents in three categories, or ‘scopes’.
- Scope 1 (direct emissions from AU’s locations, vehicles, etc.)
- Scope 2 (indirect emissions related to purchased heating, power, cooling and steam)
- Scope 3 (value-chain emissions, for example associated with purchases, air travel and investments)
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