Universities measure carbon footprint of contractors


04 January 2024

Aston University has signed up for a new method of measuring its contractors’ carbon footprint.

The Net Zero Carbon Supplier Tool was developed by NETpositive Futures in collaboration with Nottingham Trent University. The tool is designed to help universities to calculate the carbon footprint of their supply chains, helping them and their suppliers to meet net zero carbon targets.

Another 29 higher education institutions have already signed up, along with Aston University.

By collecting supplier-specific carbon footprint data, universities can report on the sustainability impact of the goods and services they purchase, as well as track reductions in emissions when sustainability interventions are implemented. 

It provides institutions with their supply chain carbon emissions data but also proactively targets and influences suppliers to reduce their own carbon emissions.

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Aston University’s Head of Procurement and Insurance, Neil Bayliss, said: “The university’s 2030 strategy sets out to contribute to the net zero agenda and the overall transition towards a greener economy.

“One way we will do this is by actively supporting businesses in adopting sustainable practices and business models to achieve net zero emissions and this new net zero tool will help us to encourage suppliers to make greener choices.”

The online tool uses sector-specific carbon footprint calculation methodology to help universities to understand how suppliers are responding to the shared challenge of climate change and support them in taking actions to progress net zero in their own businesses.

Suppliers are provided with an estimated carbon footprint and a bespoke carbon reduction plan free of charge. Regardless of how many universities they do business with, only one account is needed as the data is shared. 

By completing some simple steps, suppliers who already know their carbon footprint and have committed to take action can share this with multiple universities via the tool.