With the climate crisis becoming ever more urgent, St Antony’s College is working towards our ambition of achieving net-zero emissions as soon as practically possible.
Staff, students, and Fellows are working together to identify areas across the College estate where we can greatly reduce our impact on the natural environment, manage resources that we do impact in a sustainable way, and conserve and enhance biodiversity across our site. To do this we have undertaken a detailed assessment of our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions footprint, supported by external consultants, to help us understand our current baselines for energy and water use, waste, recycling, and biodiversity. Overall, the College’s estimated baseline (08/18-07/19) emissions in across all three scopes add up to 2,093 tonnes CO₂e (CO₂ equivalent). The College’s scope 1 and 2 baseline emissions are 533 tonnes CO₂e. These emissions can all be attributed to the combustion of natural gas for heating, hot water and cooking (stationary combustion).*(See the bottom of page for details on methodology).
We have identified the areas in which our negative impact on the environment is greatest and, through this, agreed to target GHG reductions in the following priority areas:
- Energy use and reliance on gas (which currently accounts for around ~500t CO₂e or 25% of our total emissions)
- Food (in particular to reduce meat and dairy consumption, with potential reduction opportunities of ~65t CO₂e)
- Travel (including air travel, with potential reduction opportunities of >100t CO₂e).
We have agreed a Greenhouse Gas Emissions Action Plan targeting these areas and we have recently appointed a dedicated Environmental Sustainability Officer for the College. An early priority for the Environmental Sustainability Officer will be to assess the priorities set out in the plan and establish clear timescales for each.
The University of Oxford has set 2035 as their goal for net zero carbon and biodiversity net gain, as a College we will endeavour to achieve these same goals. An early priority for our Environmental Sustainability Officer will be to establish clear timelines for achieving net zero carbon and biodiversity net gain.
* To calculate carbon emissions we used data collected from expenditure on travel (flights, rail, cars), water, natural gas, electricity, and refuse. Emissions from these categories were calculated by consultants using appropriate emissions factors estimated by Defra sourced from the Agribaylse 3.0 database. For emissions from food, spend-based data was used along with the University of Leeds emission factors.