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Climate / College sets out aims for reducing carbon emissions

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UHI Shetland is looking to move away from using heating oil – and aims to reduce the distance its vehicle fleet covers – as it figures out a way to cut its emissions over the coming years.

Like many other organisations, the college is aiming to achieve net zero on its ‘direct’ emissions by 2040.

This includes a target of eliminating the use of heating oil at its Scalloway campus, and propane in Lerwick, by 2030.

It aims to reduce the distance driven by its fleet vehicles by 20 per cent by 2030, and stop using petrol and diesel vehicles by 2035 or sooner.

UHI Shetland is also hoping to ultimately send no waste to landfill by 2030.

In a report presented to the college’s management board, UHI Shetland said “we must act quickly” to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG).

It has laid out an “ambitious but achievable” pathway for UHI Shetland to reduce the direct and indirect emissions to result from activity on its Scalloway and Lerwick campuses.

The targets have an overall aim of reducing direct emissions by 80 per cent by 2030, before going net zero within the following decade.

“The emission reduction targets and the activities we will undertake to achieve them are evidence based and require a whole organisation approached; it is the responsibility of all of our staff and students to deliver substantial reductions in our GHG emission,” the report adds.

The “single most important” action UHI Shetland can take to reduce its direct emissions is to replace the oil boiler in Scalloway with a low emission heat source.

There is a target to achieve energy performance ratings of C or higher for all campus buildings, with energy audits due to be carried out.

There may also be evaluation and feasibility of connecting to the Lerwick district heating scheme, installing renewable energy generation capacity and “purchasing renewable energy via private wire”.

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UHI Shetland is also keen to improve recycling rates, decrease waste generation and reduce food miles.

There is also an aim to encourage the use of bicycles, electric bikes and electric vehicles, and decrease the number of staff commuting to work in single occupancy vehicles.

A representative for UHI Shetland said the emissions reduction plan has been approved by the college’s board, with the team working on the specific actions to deliver the targets.

Updates on activity is expected to be published on the UHI Shetland website.

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