Sustainability and journey to net zero

The University of Dundee is committed to reducing all carbon emissions to a net zero position by 2045.

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The University of Dundee is committed to reducing all carbon emissions to a net zero position by 2045. To do this we are proactively developing our Carbon Management Plan which will help to guide us as we address the issues we find under Scopes 1, 2 and 3 that we need to address.

Up to this year, we have reported annually to the Sustainable Scotland Network which collates all the sustainability climate change data from Scotland’s public sector. You can find our annual reports at the Sustainable Scotland Network website. The reporting in this area concentrates on Scope 1 and 2 primarily. Scope 1 is concerned with green house gases released directly through our operations through the fuel that we burn such as heating, running vehicles, and fugitive emissions from refrigerators and air conditioning. Scope 2 emissions look at where our energy is purchased from. These two scopes are very easy to measure and we can accurately report of these. Scope 3 emissions are more complicated as they relate to all other indirect emissions associated with our operations. There are 15 categories of emissions which cover everything from purchased goods and travel and transport, to investments and waste management.

Following our application to the global Race to Net Zero initiative, we have expanded our investigation of our true carbon impact with a particular focus on Scope 3. Earlier in 2022 we commissioned an independent review of our current carbon position and this is due to be complete by January 2023. This is particularly relevant as most organisations find that their Scope 3 emissions can represent up to 70% of their total carbon foot print when considered in full. To tackle Scope 3 emissions, we will have to change the way that we operate and we will be undertaking a number of projects to review how this may happen and what is the best solution to adopt.

To help guide us in our efforts, we have created the Carbon Action Planning Group which is chaired by a member of the University Executive Group. There are 8 workstreams that within the group and each has a specific task to drive forwards change in the University of Dundee.

In October 2022 we completed an update to our Carbon Management Plan. Our Carbon Management Plan explains the actions that we will be taking to ensure that meaningful progress is made, and that we can reach our targets and create a positive legacy position for future generations.

View Carbon Management Action Plan

Incorporating ‘Net Zero Challenge for Universities and Colleges’ Commitments