Students As Sustainability Avant-Garde? An Analysis of Student Carbon Footprints at the University of Applied Science in Konstanz, Germany
14 Pages Posted: 13 Feb 2017 Last revised: 22 Feb 2017
Date Written: February 10, 2017
One way of reducing carbon emissions is to reduce carbon emissions from consumption. Quantitative information about these emissions helps to better understand the reduction potential. This article aims to provide carbon footprint data for students of the University of Applied Science in Konstanz, Germany. The study includes almost 10% of the University’s students. Data on emission patterns was collected via questionnaires and calculated by a web-based carbon calculator. The study analyses personal carbon footprints and, more detailed, carbon emissions from consumption categories heating, electricity, mobility (land travel and aviation) and food. The findings show average students’ annual carbon footprint to be10.9t CO2eq and in the same order of magnitude as the German average. While students cause less emissions through heating because of smaller living space per person, they cause significantly more emissions by aviation. Female students tend to have higher emissions from aviation, instead male students have higher emissions from food (due to more meat in their diet). Business students have higher emissions than others, mainly because they are tending to fly more. The student carbon footprint is far above climate protection goals formulated for 2050.
Keywords: carbon footprint, sustainable consumption, student lifestyle, greenhouse gas emissions, green university
JEL Classification: Q01, Q49, Q54
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