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How can we reduce the carbon footprint of university operations by measures for circular economy?

NTNU has the environmental ambition to reduce its carbon footprint from all categories. Purchases of goods and service other than energy use and transportation adds up to 45% of NTNU’s total carbon footprint. We need more concrete solutions to reduce the impact from this category!

Challenge context

NTNU – the Norwegian University of Science and Technology is the largest university in Norway, with 40,000 students, 7000 employees and an annual turnover of 9 billion NOK. It is currently divided into four separate campuses, of which two are located in Gjøvik and Ålesund. In Trondheim, the social sciences and humanities at Dragvoll are soon moving closer to the city centre, together with the other parts of the university campus at Gløshaugen, Kalvskinnet and Øya. This will be a large operation that puts its mark on the city development of Trondheim in the years to come.

NTNU have four strategic research areas: Oceans, Health, Energy and Sustainability. NTNU Sustainability consists of several core partners from research environments that excel within the field of environmental sustainability. This include centres such as Zero Emission Neighbourhoods in Smart Cities (ZEN), Centre for Biodiversity Dynamics (CBD), Centre for Sustainable Energy Studies (CenSES) and various departments with relevant activity across NTNU. “Transition towards a circular economy and sustainable production and consumption systems” is one of the four focus areas of NTNU Sustainability.  

NTNU and Trondheim Municipality has had close cooperation throughout the years. This partnership was recently lifted to a strategic level and manifested in the University City agreement TRD 3.0. In July 2018, the +CityxChange proposal under the “Smart Cities and Communities” call of the EU Horizon2020 programme got positive signal from the European Commission.  This consortium was led by NTNU, with Trondheim as one of the two lighthouse cities.

"NTNU - Knowledge for a Better World"

NTNU has set high environmental ambition and aims to be the frontrunner who make use of knowledge from their research activities in its own practice to become an environmentally-friendly organisation.

In Climathon Trondheim 2018, an unique partnership within NTNU is established, with representatives from NTNU Sustainability, NTNU’s Properties and Operation Dept. and Engage, Centre for Engaged Education through Entrepreneurship. The innovation process and its results shall expectedly be of interest for Trondheim Municipality and many more.

Challenge description

NTNU’s carbon footprint for 2017 was almost 100,000 tonnes of CO2-equivalent. About 55% of this comes from energy use and transportation. For these categories there are several ongoing initiatives for reducing the climate impact. Here is an overview of NTNU's carbon footprint. 

The remaining 45% is associated with NTNUs use of a myriad of different types of products and services. This spans from laboratory equipment to furnitures, IT-equipment, advisory services, waste treatment services etc. Here is a detailed breakdown of NTNU's carbon footprint.

We need more efforts addressing this 45%-category of “other goods and services” and believe that concepts and principals within “circular economy” could be useful.

The term “circular economy” has become a popular buzzword in the environment scene the last few years. Lacking a unified and agreed-upon definition, the term is usually associated with facilitating sharing of resources, re-use and recycling to achieve constant level of function with lower total resource use.

We’d like to invite students, researchers, citizens and entrepreneurs to join Climathon Trondheim 2018 and co-develop innovative strategies, tools, products, services or other initiatives that contribute to reduce carbon footprint from this challenging category.

Useful background information:

Co-create innovative solutions to make Trondheim a smart and sustainable city!

Climathon is a 24-hour climate hackthon taking place simultaneously in cities around the world. We'd like to invite students, researchers, citizens and entrepreneurs to join and co-create innovative climate solutions.

See more from Trondheim

Other challenges from this city

How can we reduce the carbon footprint of university operations by measures for circular economy?

Trondheim

NTNU has the environmental ambition to reduce its carbon footprint from all categories. Purchases of goods and service other than energy use and transportation adds up to 45% of NTNU’s total carbon footprint. We need more concrete solutions to reduce the impact from this category!

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