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

The large reduction in overall emissions between the years 2018 (55,388 t CO2eq) and 2020 (16,467 t CO2eq) can be attributed to the measures to contain and counteract the Covid-19 health emergency: the introduction of agile working for staff and online lectures for students led to a significant reduction in home-university travel.

Due to the continuation of some lockdown periods, agile working and online lectures, although they have increased, they have not yet returned to pre-pandemic levels.

The home-university mobility of the university community therefore has a very significant impact in terms of emissions. To intervene on this front, as part of the Sustainable Multicampus Project, the Alma Mater supports various measures for sustainable mobility:

  • MiMuovoLibero - season tickets at reduced prices for students and staff
  • Zeta A - facilitating carsharing for service mobility with full electric, hybrid or bifuel petrol-methane vehicles
  • Almabike - encouraging the use of bicycles