Certification a milestone on journey to carbon zero

03 February 2022 | News

Lincoln University has gained Toitū Envirocare carbon reduce certification to help track its progress towards becoming carbon neutral by 2030 and achieving carbon zero by 2050.

The certification involves an audit to certify the measurement of the university’s greenhouse gas emissions on campus and a commitment to reducing emissions from a 2019 baseline.

Lincoln University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Grant Edwards said the certification gave assurance to the staff, students, the public and other stakeholders, that Lincoln was taking action on climate change, as detailed in the University’s Sustainability Plan.

It will also provide ongoing progress reporting against the baseline.

He said Lincoln University was committed to being an exemplar of sustainable practices for the land-based sector.

As a specialist land-based university, Lincoln University is uniquely placed to take a leadership role in advancing sustainable practices in the sector, including across our campus and throughout our learning, teaching and research activities. Our Sustainability Plan highlights our commitment and the actions we are taking to achieve this role.

Lincoln’s measures to reduce carbon emissions are already well underway.

New solar installations on-campus are now delivering a total of 250,000 kWh direct to the university's network - enough to power 35 average-sized houses for a year or charge 12,500 electric cars.

In addition, coal-powered heat generation will be phased out by 2024, diesel generators by 2030, new buildings have to adhere to Green Star building standards, air travel emissions are to be offset, and the vehicle fleet is being converted to carbon zero.

The university is seeking to reduce carbon emissions for field trips, already encourages cycling and carpooling, and is working to reduce waste, including composting food waste from the food halls.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
All operational greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions required under the international standard for carbon footprints, ISO 14064-1 (including vehicles, business travel, the daily commute of staff and students, fuel and electricity, paper, and waste) were evaluated to gain the certification.

The emissions are measured annually and the inventory is independently verified to ensure it is accurate and complete. To be certified, the organisation must continually manage and reduce emissions.

Further focus areas for the university include innovative sustainable teaching practices and course content that focuses on improving the sustainability of the land-based sector, as well as global leadership in excellent research outcomes in this area.

Lincoln’s demonstration farms will also display leadership in the sector and contribute to solving sustainability challenges, while the university campus will demonstrate world leading standards in sustainable operations.