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Developing a methodology for universities to estimate carbon footprints as means for reducing their impact on climate change: A case study from Edith Cowan University

Batuvita, Shiran (2014) Developing a methodology for universities to estimate carbon footprints as means for reducing their impact on climate change: A case study from Edith Cowan University. Masters by Coursework thesis, Murdoch University.

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Abstract

A carbon footprint is measured as means to reduce any negative impacts on the environment. The objective of this dissertation was to formulate a framework which universities can adapt in order to identify and measure their greenhouse gas emissions that resulted due business-as-usual activities. The developed framework was then applied to Edith Cowan University to determine their carbon footprint. For comparison carbon footprints form Curtin University, Murdoch University and UWA were calculated and analysed.

Throughout the course of this project, primary information collected from various online resources were assembled using appropriate software tools such as MS Office. Data for the case study was gathered electronically by interviewing key university personal over the phone. A set of questionnaire was prepared to obtain the necessary data for analysis. Field visits were not required.

The dissertation begins by discussing the ideas and motivation behind selecting this project. In the 21st century Earth’s survival greatly depends on mitigating greenhouse gas emissions, and steeply reducing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations. This is followed by literature reviews which discuss the notion of “climate change” and how it is caused and the devastating impacts it has on human health. A brief analysis of the currents impacts observed is given. The project then focused on the impacts currently recorded across Australia. Next the report goes onto discussing the importance of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. After analysing commonly used international and national standards, a framework for assessing greenhouse gas emissions was developed. The framework was developed in-line with the five guidelines described by the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency. The six guidelines of the carbon footprint assessment framework are;

1. Define the scope and institutional boundary.
2. Determine the greenhouse gas emission sources within the selected boundary.
3. Select a base year for reference.
4. Collect activity data.
5. Select method of calculation.
6. Document and archive.

Publication Type: Thesis (Masters by Coursework)
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Engineering and Information Technology
Supervisor: Pryor, Trevor and Whale, Jonathan
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/24196
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