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08th December 2023 Peter Nitsche-Whitfield (Sustainability Coordinator)

Exeter College publishes first annual sustainability report

Sustainability Coordinator Peter Nitsche-Whitfield writes about Exeter's progress in its commitment to sustainability.

Exeter College has published its first annual sustainability report, outlining the progress made in the 2022-2023 academic year. The report highlights the College’s commitment to reducing the harmful effects of climate change and biodiversity loss, with sustainability being one of the core values of Exeter College’s strategic plan. The report also shows that most targets have been achieved or are on track, but further long-term work is required to estimate scope 3 emissions and reduce waste. 

I have been in post as Exeter’s Sustainability Coordinator since September 2022. I developed a set of priorities for the academic year 2022-2023 together with the Sustainability Working Group in October 2022. The sustainability report outlines the progress against those priorities, with each priority coded according to whether it is on track or has been achieved (green), whether further work is required on this priority (orange) or whether it is off-track (red). 

The report shows that Exeter College has reduced gas consumption by 10.1% since 2019, with the majority of the reduction (9.2%) achieved in 2022. The College has also reduced electricity consumption by 18.3% since 2019. The report also highlights that the College diesel van is still in service, but a scheme has now been set up which Exeter aims to join in the new academic year that will move from diesel to an electric vehicle. 

Building on the achievements from last academic year, Exeter’s Sustainability Committee (formerly the Sustainability Working Group) recommended to the College’s Strategy Committee that the main priorities for 2023/24 should be: 

  • Energy and water savings 
  • Carbon accounting 
  • Beginning work on long-term building decarbonisation plans 
  • Waste reductions to no more than four tonnes per month 
  • Improving recycling 
  • Acquiring an electric van to replace the existing diesel van used by the maintenance team 
  • Acting on opportunities to improve biodiversity 
  • Maintaining Gold status in the Green Impact scheme 

These more detailed Sustainability Priorities will be tracked over the coming year with the hope to progress a lot further in our journey to sustainability over the coming months.  

Read the full report here.

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