Transition Edinburgh University

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					                                                                                      SEAG Paper 7

  … in Transition                                                                      14 Oct 2009

         Campus Community Carbon Crash

Transition Edinburgh University
Briefing Note 2, October 2009
Transition Edinburgh University (TEU) is a student and staff initiative to tackle Climate Change and
Peak Oil through practical action research projects. It draws on a Transition model of community-
based, grass-roots response [] to this dual challenge, seeking to build
resilience and capacity against the coming shocks at the University.
The project is one component of the response to the challenge set by the 10:10 campaign – to
which the University and the Students Association signed up on 1st September. We have
undertaken to try our best to cut carbon emissions 10% in 2010.
Since it’s inception in October 2008 we have organised awareness-raising events including film
showings, visits to local projects and engaged with Transition initiatives in the city and beyond. We
continue to meet regularly and all are invited to attend. TEU is supported by Edinburgh University
People & Planet Society and the University Energy and Sustainability Office.

Feasibility Study
Our Feasibility Study, supported by the Scottish Government’s £27m Climate Challenge Fund
(CCF), employed five part-time interns over the summer to scope a larger engagement model for
the whole community of 26,000 students and 10,000 staff across the University.
Their first role was to calculate a baseline Carbon Footprint for the whole University community –
including emissions from the University estate and those from home and lifestyle such as leisure
travel. The outcomes of this work were launched on 1st October to a crowd of 150 people in the
Students Association Teviot Debating Hall. The report will be published on-line in October.
Their second role was to identify collaborative action research projects which can be run as part
of a 16-month, CCF-funded Phase 2 Campus Community Carbon Crash programme.
A very short summary is provided overleaf and a copy of the full bid is available on request.

Proposed funded project from December
We have applied for funding-support for our Phase 2 programme. We will find out from the Climate
Challenge Fund if we have been successful late in November. In the mean time, three interns, with
support and leadership from the wider group are continuing to develop project ideas and put
practical action research projects in place.
The five interns have been based in the Energy & Sustainability Office since June. Tom McGrath
has since entered 2nd year Engineering and Olly Cooper plans to go eco-building abroad?!
Contact us at 13 Infirmary St, EH1 1LT 0131 651 4289 / /. You can also contact the continuing interns as follows:
       Natalie Czaban Engagement, Curriculum Research and Project Support
    / 07843 098 957
       Ric Lander Outreach and Project Administration
   / 07729 888 256
       Sion Lanini Practical Projects and Communications
   / 07725 229 152
       Working with David Somervell University Sustainability Adviser
   / 0131 650 2073 / 07743 759 528
Preliminary results of our University Carbon Footprint study
                                                              This diagram represents an estimate
                                                              of where the carbon emissions
                                                              come from in the 36,000 students
                                                              and staff in the University
                                                              It should be stressed that a number
                                                              of figures – such as those for leisure
                                                              travel – are based on UK-averages
                                                              whilst others – such as those for
                                                              University-owned building use – are
                                                              measured usage data.
                                                              Note the particularly large
                                                              proportions from domestic gas and
                                                              electricity usage (home residences)
                                                              and leisure travel.
                                                              Total estimated Carbon Footprint
                                                              of the community is 335,000
                                                              tCO2e/year (the standard measure
                                                              of green house gas emissions).
                                                              Reducing this by 10% by the end of
                                                              2010 – as the 10:10 campaign
                                                     aims to – is a real
                                                              challenge for the University as an
                                                              institution and for our wider staff and
                                                              student community.
                                                              Our full report will be published on-
                                                              line during October at

Summary of our Phase 2 project bid to the Climate Challenge Fund
Transition Edinburgh University aims to cut the personal emissions from the 36,000 students and
staff by 10% in 2010 in response to the challenges of Climate Change and Peak Oil.
Our Climate Challenge Funded feasibility study estimated a carbon footprint of 335,000 tCO2e, for
the whole University community – 85% (285,000 tonnes) of which comes from students' and staff
homes, travel habits, consumables and leisure.
The proposed Campus Community Carbon Crash would cut these “lifestyle” emissions by 4,000
tCO2e through action research with extra-curricular peer learning programmes linking the
practical projects. These will include:
   1. Cut residential energy use on a “Saving Rooms” programme and inter-halls competition
   2. Reduce waste and unnecessary consumption of stuff by recycling via student Free-Shop
   3. Trim carbon emissions through personal Travel and Food Choices
   4. Encourage new business innovation in a “Green Dragons Den” competition
   5. Shrink emissions via peer-learning programmes exploring behaviour change and
   6. Promote change through public events and two campus-wide Go Green weeks.
We hope to write up what worked best about this programme and encourage its adoption by
Universities and Colleges across the country. Our project will generate social, economic and
environmental benefits, with total indirect emissions cuts totalling as much as 49,000 t CO2e.
          Press Release: for immediate release 2 October 2009.
  For more email or call Natalie 07843 098957 or Judy 07746 618 668

                 The University of Edinburgh:
        Beginning the Transition to a low carbon campus
Edinburgh University Students Association Teviot Debating Hall was the scene of a momentous
event in the University's history last night - celebrating the plans and projects of a student-staff
initiative dedicated to delivering our low-carbon future and setting Edinburgh as a leader in tackling
the issue of sustainability.

More than one hundred and fifty people crammed in to Teviot for the 'Transition Edinburgh
University' launch event. Representatives from the whole university community, including EUSA
sabbaticals, fifteen graduates of the world-leading 'Carbon Management' MSc, high ranking
academics and even three parliamentarians! Individuals from all academic disciplines exchanged
ideas and discussed plans for action on education, food, energy, transport, equity and business.

Natalie, one of five graduates who have been working over the summer on the Transition
Edinburgh University project said:
       "We were delighted to have such a huge turnout - with representatives from disciplines
       across the university. The event had a real buzz to it. It was a celebration of all the
       astoundingly forward-looking work on sustainability at the university ... involving hundreds
       of staff and students."
       "We're hoping that our project can learn from and complement this existing work and bring
       initiatives together to deliver action research projects promoting a resilient, lower carbon,
       prosperous future as a diverse and united community."

Participants split into a dozen action groups to discuss the areas they most wanted to contribute to
after an overview of the Transition projects planned for the coming year. Research findings on the
extent of the University's carbon footprint were presented along with ideas for how to achieve the
University's 10:10 commitment to cutting emissions by 10% in 2010.

Third year Business student Judy Payen, who attended the Business action working group, said:
       "I was so excited to meet with people from all disciplines, especially those in areas not
       traditionally related to sustainability, such as Business. Everyone I talked with at the event
       was determined to contribute their diverse skills towards this movement for a sustainable,
       low-energy future. I believe Transition Edinburgh University has the potential to bring this
       community together in a way that makes radical and positive change possible."

The launch event kicks off a new academic year of practical projects and action planning by the
Transition Edinburgh University project. Students and staff are invited to get involved - by
attending the post event planning meeting at 6pm, Tuesday 6th October in Faculty Room South,
David Hume Tower, George Square.

More at /

         Transition Edinburgh University - Campus Community Carbon Crash
    0131 651 4289 / /
             c/o Energy & Sustainability Office, 13 Infirmary St, Edinburgh EH1 1LT
           - Natalie Czaban - Engagement, Project Support and Curriculum Research
            / 07843 098 957