Robinson, ZP ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9499-264X (2019) Quantification of interlinked environmental footprints on a sustainable university campus: a nexus analysis perspective. Applied Energy, 246. pp. 65-76.

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Abstract

Developing a nexus approach to the quantitative analysis of different environmental sectors including energy, water and carbon emissions is important for promoting integrated sustainable management at a community scale. Universities can be considered small communities in themselves, providing access to data at the community scale, as well as contributing to global sustainability through their education, research and the operation of their own estate. In this study, we developed a conceptual nexus analytical framework based on the combination of different environmental footprints to assess how universities, as an example of a small community, interact with the hydrological cycle, energy resources and climate, through their operations and food procurement. Using Keele University in the United Kingdom as an example, the total energy footprint, carbon footprint and water footprint in the 2015/16 academic year was 42,202 MWh, 14,393 tonnes of CO2e and 532,415 m3. Through the quantification of these interlinked environmental footprints, the nexus across water, energy, waste disposal, food procurement, and corresponding carbon emissions at Keele University have been explored. Based on the results of the nexus analysis and identifying the areas of greatest environmental benefit studied, policy suggestions are provided including: implementing energy control systems; maximising the development of wind energy and solar photovoltaic; increasing the availability of vegetable-based options in food procurement decisions; and collecting all of the food waste for anaerobic digestion. The findings serve as a reference for policy-makers and practitioners making decisions on the basis of sustainability in universities and other communities.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the accepted author manuscript (AAM). The final published version (version of record) is available online via Elsevier at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apenergy.2019.04.015 - please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Environmental impacts, Nexus analysis, Energy footprint, Water footprint, Carbon footprint, Sustainable campus
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
T Technology > TK Electrical engineering. Electronics Nuclear engineering
Divisions: Faculty of Natural Sciences > School of Geography, Geology and the Environment
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 20 May 2019 08:30
Last Modified: 28 May 2019 15:03
URI: http://eprints.keele.ac.uk/id/eprint/6345

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