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Table 1 Specifications, data sources and structure, and performance of universities covered

From: Carbon footprinting of universities worldwide: Part I—objective comparison by standardized metrics

Overall carbon performance rank University,
country
No. of staff No. of students Constructed enclosure areaA [m2] years of impacts recorded Impacts missing (IM),
Impacts removed (IR),
impacts addedB (IA)
Mt CO2e emitted/yC Overall normalized carbon footprint performanceD Main data sources
1 ETH Zürich, CH 8,620 20,607 691,000 2017 IM: waste; IA: 4481 Mt CO2 students commuting* 32,869 3.53 [41]
2 University of Talca, Chile 928 6,941 98,000 2016 5,920 4.14 [100]
3 Leuphana University Lüneburg, Germany 1,100 9,239 83,300 2015 Water and paper not separated (50 t CO2e). For the detailed calculation see Appendix 7,593 4.55 [16]
4 Universiti Teknologi Johor Bahru, Malaysia 4,894 19,433 813,352 2011 IM: business trips (flights), office material, water, waste missing. Result just for orientation 45,991 6.99 [78]
5 University College of Cork, Ireland 2,697 18,464 193,781 2016/17 31,425 7.23 [101]
6 Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana-Cuajimalpa (UAM), Mexico City, Mexico 549 2,202 44,350 2016 IR: 109 Mt CO2e for food 2,848 7.29 [40]
7 Umwelt-Campus (UCB) Birkenfeld, Germany 281 2,450 24,268 2015–2017 see Appendix 2,696 7.51 data were collected for this study
8 King’s College London, GB 8,500 31,377 251,154 2018/19 IR: 83,218 Mt CO2e supply chain (not specified or long-term investment into buildings and equipment); 2,461 Mt CO2e for paper products kept. IA: 5,386 Mt CO2e for student commuting* 50,556 7.53 [22]
9 University of Potsdam, Germany 2,753 20,878 120,772 2018 IR: 105 Mt CO2e IT infrastructure, IA: 14.3 Mt CO2e for freshwater (extrapolated from wastewater impact) 23,727 7.86 [102]
10 Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore 8,923 31,827 1,382,388 2017 138,402 9.27 [64]
11 Tongji University, Shanghai, China 6,000 47,000 1,600,000 2014? All impacts related to students. Total impact: 47,000 students × 3.84 Mt CO2e/student 180,480 10.87 [30] [year of data collection not specified]
12 De Montfort University, Leicester, GB 3,995 21,585 128,215 2008/09 IR: business services (consulting), construction, visitors travel, food 26,692 10.93 [26]
13 University of Maryland, College Park MD, USA 14,000 40,521 1,300,000 2018 232,000 13.56 [58]
14 Monash University, Melbourne, Australia 7,678 63,246 728,193 2015 IA: 7,190 Mt CO2 for student commuting* 188,416 13.81 [59]
15 Minnesota State University Mankato MN, USA 855 14,712 157,930 2017 IM: business trips and waste;
IA: 456 Profs × 1 flight with 4000 km each*
44,831 14.78 [63]
16 University of Leuven (KU), Belgium 13,457 39,383 1,000,000 2010 Waste and water not separated (2%); IR: 11,482 Mt CO2e IT infrastructure; 7,734 t CO2e unspecified “fixed assets” 153,436 15.81 [103]
17 University of Cape Town, RSA 5,041 26,000 668,165 2013 IR: 6,485 Mt CO2e for food supply; IA: 7,797 Mt CO2e for student commuting* 88,752 16.30 [27]
18 Yale University, New Haven CT, USA 16,184 12,458 1,342,297 2016 Very few numbers published only: total emissions, campus fleet emissions, purchased electricity. All students live on-campus 234,024 17.06 [104]
19 University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia 6,791 50,830 747,523 2014/15 214,249 17.80 [60]
20 Duquesne University Pittsburgh PA, USA 2,078 9,214 145,011 2018 51,883 21.44 [105]
not rated KH Leuven, Belgium 704 6,914 N/K 2010 IR: 972 Mt CO2e infrastructure 6,113 [6]
South East European University, Tetovo, Macedonia 370 6000 N/K 2009 5,100 [106]
  1. N/K not known, Mt metric tons
  2. *See the Appendix for details on the calculations
  3. AIn USA/Singapore/Malaysia/Australia: GFA (Gross floor area), in Great Britain: NIA Net internal area, in South Africa: total floor area, in Belgium: built surface area, in Chile: total constructed area, in Switzerland: energy-consuming area, in Germany: Netto-Raumfläche.
  4. BThese impacts were not reported but additionally estimated and considered here.
  5. CWithout carbon offsets. Note: CO2 vs. CO2e follows the specifications in the respective data sources. Unfortunately, the differentiation of both emissions are not precise in literature, often resulting in deviations. As an example, 77.7% to 81.7% of the total GHG emissions in the EU28 over the 1990–2015 period are from fossil CO2 emissions [42].
  6. DThe best performing university is set to 1.0 in each of the three CFs according to Fig. 3a−c, see details in Appendix: Table 3 and Fig. 7.
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