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Carbon offsetting

As well as reducing our energy consumption and waste, we recognise the need for further action to minimise our environmental impact. In 2021 Exeter College calculated and offset almost all of its Scope 1 and Scope 2 carbon emissions – the energy consumed through the College’s day to day operations expressed as CO2 equivalent – plus a significant share of its Scope 3 emissions (specifically the estimated emissions from the consumption of food and drink). In 2022 we undertook a similar exercise, but we measured and offset more sources of CO2e emissions than before, including student travel to and from College by car and by air and the emissions from our use of water mains water. You can read about those calculations here. The complex process of calculating the College’s Scope 3 emissions is under way and we will announce our target for achieving net zero carbon once we have a clear idea of the scale of that undertaking and the path for achieving it.

In 2022 we offset 1,830 tonnes of CO2e, roughly equivalent to the carbon absorbed by a forest of 80,000 trees each year. Exeter’s staff and students chose between four emissions reductions projects around the world to determine how the College offsets its CO2e. The projects were selected not only to deliver meaningful reductions in greenhouse gases, but also to provide socioeconomic benefits for local communities, for example improving air quality, preventing deforestation, investing in jobs and local industries, or making good quality drinking water readily available. The projects are registered and the potential emissions reduction figures for each project verified and accounted for to ensure they are additional (i.e. they represent an emission reduction or carbon removal that would not have taken place without the offsetting activity). You can find out more about Exeter College’s carbon offsetting initiative here.