University Carbon Footprint

Inventory of greenhouse gas emissions generated by the activities of the University of Bologna

In order to fulfil Goal 13 of the United Nations 2030 Agenda "Promote action at all levels to combat climate change", the first fundamental action is to quantify and analyse the carbon footprint, i.e. the greenhouse gas emissions generated by the University's activities during each year. This inventory is the starting point for all future emission reduction, mitigation and adaptation actions.

Our University is pursuing this commitment within Goal 50 of the University of Bologna's Strategic Plan 2022-2027, thanks to the Action "Introducing constant monitoring of the Alma Mater's environmental footprint".

In order to monitor, inventory and assess greenhouse gas emissions, in 2021 the University of Bologna adopted a new Carbon Footprint calculation methodology, developed according to the ISO 14064 standard.

The emissions inventory includes three areas of application (Scopes):

  • direct emissions (mainly related to heating systems)
  • indirect emissions from energy consumption (resulting from the generation of electricity, heat and steam imported and consumed by the University);
  • other indirect emissions (from products and services used by the university, such as home-university transport, waste produced, purchases, etc.).

                                                                                                      University Carbon footprint

                                                                                          Greenhouse gas emissions by activity

Greenhouse Gas Emissions from activities

The sharp reduction in overall emissions between the years 2018 (55,388 t CO2eq) and 2020 (16,467 t CO2eq) can be attributed to containment measures taken in response to the Covid-19 health emergency: the introduction of remote work for staff and online classes for students led to a significant reduction in commuting between home and university.

Emissions for the year 2021, due to the continuation of certain lockdown periods, remote work, and online classes, although increased, have not yet returned to pre-pandemic levels.

Therefore, the commuting patterns of the university community have a significant impact in terms of emissions. To address this issue, as part of the Sustainable Multicampus Project, Alma Mater supports various measures for sustainable mobility:

  • Subsidized public transportation passes
  • Eco-friendly service fleet
  • Almabike