Environment & Operations
Streamlining our operations and enhancing our environment.
Our Environment & Operations theme covers a wide range of areas – from carbon reduction, waste and recycling and nurturing our green spaces to ethical investments, sustainable food and future-proofing our procurement strategy. Making positive changes in these areas means we’re continually working to reduce our carbon footprint.
Our carbon reduction targets relate to Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions as well as Scope 3 emissions, which are largely affected by our procurement habits.
What are Scope 1, 2 & 3 emissions?
Scope 1 emissions
Carbon emissions that the University is directly responsible for. The carbon produced by the radiators in our campus buildings, for example, is a direct result of the University choosing to switch the heating on.
Scope 2 emissions
Carbon emissions that are released off site as a result of the University's electricity use. For example, every time the University turns its lights on, we are asking our energy provider to produce electricity for us.
Scope 3 emissions
Whenever we procure something, we create a lengthy chain of energy consumption - our Scope 3 emissions. This includes: purchased goods and services, waste, business travel, employee commuting, capital goods and services, transportation and distribution.
What we want to achieve
Carbon reduction targets: Scope 1 & 2 emissions
The above targets form the basis of Falmouth’s Net Zero Carbon Management Programme for Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions.
The targets are measured against the baseline statistics that were established in 2005/06, and were developed in partnership with the University of Exeter, ensuring the optimisation of shared campus projects and supporting FX Plus to maximise carbon reduction across our campuses.
FX Plus, our on-campus service delivery partner, are leading our work to make day-to-day campus operations more sustainable. Check out FX Plus' sustainability webpages for more details.
Procurement (Scope 3) targets:
- To reach net zero by 2050
- 50% local suppliers by 2024
- To have registered 100% of our core suppliers to our Responsible Procurement Supplier Engagement Tool by 2024
- To have trained all members of staff at Falmouth University in Responsible Procurement HEPA by 2024
- 75% of our campus vehicles to be electric or hybrid vehicles by 2024
- To have reduced the levels of plastics and paper procured by 30% by 2024
- To have reduced the cost of business travel by 50% by 2024
- To be scored as a ‘Mature’ university by the ISO 20400, with a minimum score of 3.5 by 2024
How are we going to do it?
A reduction first approach to carbon
The choice of decarbonisation pathways is extensive, including implementing initiatives to reduce carbon emissions, carbon offsetting and purchasing green energy.
In our Net Zero Carbon Management Programme, initiatives to reduce carbon emissions have been prioritised because there is no substitute for primary carbon reduction – carbon emissions that are not generated in the first place never have to be offset.
The Procurement team has developed a Responsible Procurement Strategy, along with a revised Responsible Procurement Policy and code of practice document to support our suppliers and stakeholders in understanding our objectives and long-term goals.
We’ve also launched a Responsible Procurement Supplier Engagement Tool to ensure that goods and services are sourced in a sustainable and efficient way. The tool means that we can also work alongside our existing suppliers to help them become more sustainable too.
The estimated approximate required investment in each period is as follows:
- 2022-25: £1.5 million
- 2025-30: £6 million
- 2030-40: £10.7 million
Total investment: £18.2 million
It is estimated that a total investment of approximately £2.3 million and £15.9 million will be required to achieve maximum decarbonisation across our Falmouth and Penryn Campuses. A total investment of approximately £30 million is required for Penryn Campus, with the remainder being the responsibility of the University of Exeter.
Falmouth University does not invest directly in the fossil fuels industries. We want to bank as ethically as possible, so hold cash deposits in Green Investment Funds.
The graph above shows our planned scope 1 & 2 carbon emission reduction pathway.
What we've done so far
2019/20 carbon emissions vs. 2005/06 baseline
On Penryn Campus
On Falmouth Campus
On Penryn Campus
On Falmouth Campus
Despite continued growth in size and student numbers, both of our campuses have seen a reduction in Scope 1 and 2 emissions based on GIA (gross internal area) per m2 from our 2005/2006 baseline levels.
Emissions per m2 GIA for Penryn Campus has dropped by 47% and for Falmouth Campus by 44%. Across our estate, our programme of sustainable upgrades continues, including heating, ventilation and air conditioning optimisation and LED lighting upgrades in buildings.
70% of our food and drinks suppliers are locally based (Devon and Cornwall), reducing food and transport carbon emissions and helping to support the local economy. In total, 36% of all our suppliers are based either in Cornwall or Devon.
Our Sustainability Café goes vegetarian
Opened in September 2021, the vibrant Sustainability Café has been built using sustainable material choices, including Forest Stewardship Council certified timber and furniture fabric made from upcycled discarded ocean plastics. These year, base on student feedback, the menu became exclusively vegetarian and vegan.
In 2022, Falmouth adopted the international standard for sustainable procurement, the ISO 20400.
Falmouth was scored by ISO 20400 as an ‘established’ institution, with a score of 2.69 (a score of 5.00 being the highest level).
NET Positive supplier engagement platform
The Falmouth Exeter Plus Procurement team has signed up to the NET Positive supplier engagement platform. This tool allows us to assess our suppliers' sustainability credentials in greater detail, and enables us to work with them to build sustainability objectives and action plans together.
Using NET Positive will help reduce our indirect carbon emissions through increasing the sustainability of our suppliers. We require all of our suppliers to register and complete the required information on this platform to ensure we work together to develop our sustainable procurement goals.
Supplier Performance Rating
In 2021 we also introduced a Supplier Performance Rating system that measures our suppliers' performance against objectives and KPIs as set out in the contractual agreements. In addition to this, we have implemented regular supplier review meetings to ensure that the supplier/customer relationship is developed and established throughout the duration of the contract.
Data recorded: September 2020
News & stories
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Here's how Falmouth engaged with Fairtrade Fortnight 2023.
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The Sustainability Café announces revamped veggie menu
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Penryn Campus celebrates fifth successive Green Flag Award
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Meet the graduate exposing a global coffee crisis
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