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Carbon emissions from UK schools

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Carbon Emissions from Schools: Where they arise and how to reduce them, Sustainable Development Commission, July 2008

This (UK) report from the Sustainable Development Commission argues that decisive action, bold decisions and strong support from central and local government could enable schools to halve their carbon footprint by 2020.

Citizens data initiative[edit]

  • England's schools system is responsible for 9.4 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per year. Heat and power used in school buildings account for 37% of those emissions.
  • 45% of greenhouse gas emissions were found to come from the supply chain activities of companies providing goods and services to schools (including the procurement of new school buildings).
  • Pupil and staff travel and school transport were responsible for 16% of greenhouse gases, while waste management and minimisation accounted for around 2%.


"Halving emissions by 2020 will not be easy, but we believe it is achievable with a combination of bold action and good support. We owe it to the children and young people going through our schools to achieve this. We are ultimately answerable to them for the choices we make today, and, as the decision makers of tomorrow, learning about sustainability at school will help these young people move towards a sustainable future. Schools are uniquely placed within their communities to encourage pupils, their families, staff and suppliers to take responsibility for their environmental impact.," Ann Finlayson, the Sustainable Development Commission's Education Commissioner.



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