TU Delft maps own CO2 emissions in detail

News - 02 March 2021 - Webredactie Communication

As a climate university, TU Delft aims to be carbon neutral and circular by 2030. Information regarding CO2 emissions on campus is essential to realising this ambition. Emissions associated with all university activities have already been mapped for 2017 and 2018, and the CO2 performance ladder methodology has now been used to map emissions in 2019. From now on, TU Delft will make this carbon sum annually, and reduce its emissions based on the results.


The below diagram shows TU Delft’s carbon footprint for 2019. Total emissions are 49,165 tonnes of CO2 equivalents. With 5,607 FTEs of staff and 25,407 students in 2019, this equates to 1.59 tonnes of CO2 equivalents per FTE. In this calculation, we work with the assumption of 1 FTE per student.

Carbon footprint in 2019 (baseline), divided into scope 1, 2 and 3

The largest contributor to CO2 emissions is purchased gas. Most of this gas is used in the combined heat and power plant (CHP) for electricity and heating in the campus buildings. Another significant factor is food consumption on campus by staff and students. CO2 emissions from business trips is the third largest cause. The final two places in the top-5 are occupied by emissions from waste, and from staff and students travelling to and from campus.


The emission of CO2 equivalents is also graphically represented as the forest cover required to offset the emissions. This is shown in the diagram below, with the Municipality of Delft territory (grey line) and the TU Delft campus (white line) in the background.

Carbon footprint in 2019, expressed in forest cover required to offset CO2 equivalent emissions


The footprint was determined using the CO2 performance ladder methodology. The volumes of total greenhouse gas emissions have been converted into CO2 emissions with the 2019 emission factors outlined on the website www.co2emissiefactoren.nl. This methodology facilitates a consistent comparison of CO2 emissions over the years. It also makes it possible to compare TU Delft emissions with those of other companies.

Sustainability in Delft

This is the first time that TU Delft has used the CO2 performance ladder to determine its footprint. The carbon footprint for 2019 is therefore a baseline measurement (the 2020 overview will be published in May), and ‘new’ insights will be possible from this year onwards. Climate action will be taken based on these insights.
TU Delft currently has four priorities when it comes to sustainability: Carbon-neutral campus (with regard to carbon neutrality, the university focuses on reducing CO2 emissions wherever possible; the remaining emissions are offset), Circular campus, Healthy campus, and Biodiversity and Ecology. For the first priority, a CO2 Road Map was drafted in 2019 by Andy van den Dobbelsteen, in collaboration with Tess Blom. This year, Van den Dobbelsteen was appointed as the TU Delft Sustainability Coordinator, responsible for developing a sustainability vision and programme for the campus. He will also focus on driving forward work on each stated priority

More information

Report: download here
See the TU Delft vision on Climate Action: https://www.tudelft.nl/2019/tu-delft/tu-delft-publiceert-visie-op-climate-action
An overview of sustainability initiatives on TU Delft campus can be found on: https://www.tudelft.nl/sustainability/   

Andy van den Dobbelsteen: https://www.tudelft.nl/en/architecture-and-the-built-environment/about-the-faculty/professors/profdrir-aajf-van-den-dobbelsteen
Science Information Officer: TU Delft Roy Meijer, r.e.t.meijer@tudelft.nl, +31 6-140 15 008