As part of our initial work to understand how to get to net zero, we invited the Carbon Trust to complete a full audit of our emissions.

Carbon Trust looked at everything — what’s called Scope 1, Scope 2 and Scope 3. 

Scope 1 is our direct emissions — those coming from our facilities and our vehicles.

Scope 2 covers our indirect emissions, from the energy we use. These two scopes are about our day-to-day operations, so we can make immediate changes to reduce them.

Scope 3 covers emissions that are out of our immediate control — emissions from our supply chains and downstream activities. Like most organisations, the majority of our emissions were in this third area. Indeed, our Scope 3 emissions were significantly higher than we’d originally estimated. 

The Carbon Trust’s audit made a number of recommendations which we have enacted, from the need to decarbonise our electricity supply to a rolling programme of LED lightbulb replacement. As part of the University of Sheffield, we already benefit from university-wide policies on aspects like business travel and reducing commuting.

Overall, the audit shone a useful light on where we are and gave us a good indication of where to focus our efforts. We will be repeating the exercise on an ongoing basis to check our progress.

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