AU Green Guide: In the office

Aarhus University has launched several initiatives to reduce consumption of electricity, water and heat. We have made great advances over the past years, and we will see a continuous development with new solutions in the future.

However, when you're in your office, there are several small things you can change if you want to help reduce the university's CO2 emissions.


AU facts

Existing buildings in the University City have been certified according to a system that measures sustainability (called DGNB).

Before you print


Printouts may be necessary and they are a great help for many in their daily work. A few simple tips can make your printing habits greener.

  • You can make a habit of always thinking twice before pushing "print": Do I really need a printout of this material?
  • You can set your computer to automatically print on both sides of the paper.
  • It's also good to think twice before printing in colour.
  • It may be a good idea to set your computer to "safe printing". This way, the print job won't print until you activate it on the printer, which reduces the risk of forgetting a printout in the printer.

AU facts

AU is looking into ensuring that all printers at the university are set to print on both sides of the paper as default.

Emails and servers


The more that needs storing on AU's servers, the more CO2 the university emits. When you use your email, your computer and your phone in your daily work, there are several small things you can do to minimise CO2 emissions.

  • You can delete old documents and programs that you no longer use.
  • You can delete old emails, long email correspondences, and you can unsubscribe from newsletters that you never read. An easy way to delete large e-mails is to search for emails according to size.
  • Instead of attaching large files, send a link that gives access to the documents, e.g. in Teams or on a drive that both you and your recipient have access to.
  • You can delete apps on your mobile phone that you never use – that will also improve your phone's performance. 

Did you know that ...

if you compress a file or folder before you e-mail it, then it will not take up so much space:

  • Locate the file or folder you want to zip/compress.
  • Right-click on the file or folder. Select Send to and then select Compressed (zipped) folder.
  • A new zipped folder with the same name is created in the same location. If you want to rename it, right-click on the folder, select Rename and type the new name.

Did you know that ...

sending 20 emails a day for a year emits CO2 emissions corresponding to a car trip from Copenhagen to Brussels by car. Data centres globally consume the equivalent of three per cent of all electricity in the world.

AU facts

AU sells its old IT equipment to companies such as Refurb, who appropriately "cleans" the equipment before reselling it.

Switch off


When we save power, it benefits the climate. It's self-evident, but often something we forget during a busy day of work. Here are some examples of situations in which you can help advance the green agenda.

  • Check whether you can set your computer to go into sleep mode faster.
  • Check that the lights, computer, any second monitor, printer and photocopier have been switched off before you go home.
  • Switch off monitors, desk lamps and lights when you go to lunch, a meeting or similar.
  • Be careful not to keep the lights on when there is enough daylight.     


AU facts

All of AU's buildings are heated to 21 degrees Celsius during the autumn and winter months. For every degree the temperature is reduced, the university’s heat consumption will fall by a minimum of three per cent on average. The Danish Working Environment Authority recommends a room temperature of 20-22 degrees Celsius for sedentary work under normal climatic and working conditions.