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The University recognises the role of offsetting in a comprehensive approach to carbon reduction and has committed to only using it as a last resort to offset unavoidable carbon emissions. That’s why our Carbon Reduction Target for scope 1 and 2 emissions (energy-related) is for absolute zero by 2048 with an aspiration to achieve this by 2038.

A Carbon Offsetting Working Group (COWG) is working to develop an internal offsetting scheme that is likely to include a portfolio of measures including local nature-based solutions and the use of external offsetting schemes. It is likely that the initial focus of an internal scheme will be emissions from University’s business flights, but the scheme could be extended to cover other emission sources.

The COWG recognises that several departments and institutions are already or are keen to begin offsetting and that research funders are starting to allow the costs of carbon offsetting from travel to be included in research grant applications. For example, The Wellcome Trust has a policy on carbon offsetting. Therefore, the COWG has provided guidance to support this. A template for recording estimated carbon emissions associated with travel is also available.

When compiling research grant proposals, you should consider what steps can be taken to reduce the number trips that are required. Some funders will help towards the costs of putting alternative arrangements in place.