University of London: Scope III Carbon Emissions Assessment

TPS was appointed by Birkbeck College, part of the prestigious University of London, to undertake a Scope 3 carbon emissions assessment for three of its colleges – Birkbeck, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and SOAS. Such assessments can be a useful indicator of the impact of initiatives to encourage modal shift towards more sustainable modes and, therefore, have a role to play in Travel Plan Strategy development and monitoring.

We were provided with access to travel survey data from each of the three colleges; data was ‘cleaned’ to remove any incomplete / spurious results, before a batch journey distance planner was used to identify the origin – destination distance for each survey respondent. The total daily mileage of respondents, by mode, was factored up to reflect the daily commute for the staff and student population in its entirety. This was then increased pro-rata to reflect the average number of days’ staff and students travel to University over the course of a year. The resultant figures were multiplied by the relevant DEFRA conversion factors for Scope 3 emissions, giving a total emissions value per mode, which can be compared year on year.

GIS mapping was also carried out; this identified the home locations of survey respondents by mode of travel, enabling an analysis of those staff / students that might potentially commute by a more sustainable mode (and thus result in a reduced carbon output in future years).