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VU is on track to meet the 2030 Paris Agreement

5 October 2022
In 2022, VU carried out an initial baseline measurement of CO2 emissions across VU. We do this based on the ambition to want to be a sustainable organisation. In addition, European regulations will start requiring larger organisations to produce an annual report of CO2 emissions.

The first baseline measurement was carried out by a student in collaboration with the VU's Green Action Lab. Conclusion: the VU is on track to meet the 2030 Paris Agreement. The baseline measurement also shows that VU currently emits 533 kg CO2 per student per year. Per person emissions in the Netherlands average about 8,500 kg CO2 per year. 

Insight into the emissions of our products, waste and activities allow us to draw up policies, implement actions and monitor results of efforts. Previously, we already had a good overview of the footprint of, among other things, our own generated and purchased electricity and gas. After all, this is reported every year in the VU Milieubarometer. New and progressive is that we now also have a better picture of the so-called 'indirect emissions' of companies outside VU - such as suppliers, maintenance parties, catering and various purchased services - after the baseline measurement. This allows VU to track the contribution of all its activities to the enhanced greenhouse effect.

In collaboration with maintenance companies that maintain the buildings, as well as suppliers and other contractors, among others, we will explore what is needed for these companies to gain more insight into the CO2 emissions attributable to VU. What is new for VU is to work with the contract partners to seek more knowledge and ultimately to reduce its CO2 footprint. Opportunities are also being sought to engage students through the Green Action Lab to conduct sustainability research with these companies.

Green House Gas Protocol 

The first baseline measurement of VU-wide CO2 emissions was carried out according to the Greenhouse Gas Protocol. This includes 3 scopes: 

  1. direct emissions (including own generated electricity, heat/cold)
  2. upstream indirect emissions (including purchased electricity, purchased natural gas)
  3. upstream/downstream indirect emissions (including catering, commuting, IT, buildings, waste, business travel, paper).

The GHG Protocol assumes 7 greenhouse gases.