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Methodik zur Ökobilanzierung von Hochschulen veröffentlicht

Methodology for Life Cycle Assessment of higher education institutions published

© IKK | Alois Kaufmann

How can higher education institutions and universities monitor and improve their environmental impact? Should more plant-based alternatives be offered in the canteens instead of fish and meat, or would it be better to ensure that the campuses are supplied with green electricity? How much influence do the commuting behaviour of students and staff or business trips have? In order to answer these questions, a life cycle assessment of the university can be carried out in which potential environmental impacts are determined holistically. Although the general procedure is already standardised, there are still unanswered questions regarding its application for universities. Some of these have been discussed by IKK researchers in a recent publication, which is now available online.

In addition to its development, the methodology was also applied to the example of Leibniz Universität Hannover using preliminary data and literature values. The results of the case study indicate that the main drivers of LUH impacts might be transport activities, infrastructure and energy supply. For example, in 13 of the 16 assessed impact categories, transport activities account for the largest share of potential environmental impacts (between 43 % and 82 %). However, the results of the case study should be viewed with caution, as the availability of primary data from the LUH was limited and therefore needs to be expanded in the future.

The complete scientific publication can be found online: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2023.139649.