The University of Padua Greenhouse gas emissions - Carbon Footprint

Compared to 2018, the University sees an 18% reduction of total emissions and total energy consumption cut in half

In collaboration with the Environmental Quality Studies Center of the Department of Industrial Engineering, the University of Padua has prepared the 2019 inventory of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) deriving from the activities that define the University’s carbon footprint.

This initiative began in 2018 as part of the Sustainable UniPadova Project.  The commitments dedicated to this initiative originate from "2018-2020 Charter of Sustainability" aimed at reducing the University's carbon footprint by addressing particular energy sources and mobility, under the "Environment and Energy" area of the Charter is the inclusion of a document that analyses the CO2 emissions deriving from the University's activities.

The Bureau Veritas certified the University’s inventory of emission covered under the 2018 ISO14064-1 certification standard. With the adoption of a certified international standard, the University has undertaken an additional level of credibility and transparency in its sustainability actions.  This includes the guidelines drawn up by the Network of Universities for Sustainable Development (RUS), a network of Italian universities involved in the topics environmental sustainability and social responsibility promoted by the CRUI (Conference of Rectors of Italian Universities), of which the University is an active member.

Graph 1 represents the emissions reported by the 2019 University activities, this data was published in the ‘Estratto del Bilancio delle emissioni GHG 2019’ (Green House Reporting Program)

The data covers the following percentages:

  1. Student Commuters (55.8%).
  2. University Energy Consumption (23.5%)
  3. Staff and Personnel Commuters (14.2%)
  4. Staff and Personnel Travel (4%).
  5. International travel of students (1.5%)
  6. Waste disposal (0.5%).
  7. Fugitive emissions of refrigeration gases (0.5%).

Compared to 2018, the University saw an 18% overall reduction of emissions, see table 1.  Please note that the Beato Pellegrino Complex was inaugurated in September 2019.

These results are mainly due to the reduction of emissions related to energy consumption (-51%). The University witnessed a 12% decrease in methane gas consumption compared to 2018 due to the energy efficiency measures carried out in 2017-2018 as part of the CONSIP SIE3 energy service contract.

By replacing 20 old generation boilers the University immediately saw the optimization of the entire distribution system (found in 16 different university complexes), whose consumption corresponds to 53% of the total requirement, resulting in an overall reduction in natural gas consumption of 24%.

The purchasing of renewable electricity for all supplies of the University starting in May of 2018 reported to be a significant contribution in the reduction of emissions. The 4% increase in employee commuting is due to the increase in staff (+ 4% compared to 2018) while the increase in emissions from staff and personnel travel is due to the introduction of the new accounting system via a dedicated portal (from 7,280 in 2018 to 15,743 in 2019).

In 2019, the main monitoring indicator of GHG emissions per student was equal to 1,136 kgCO2eq for the over 62,000 students of the University (active and post-graduate), recording a reduction of 18% .