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Cornwall professor off-sets carbon footprint

The Provost of the University of Exeter's Cornwall Campus has taken steps to reduce his carbon footprint. Professor Matthew Evans of the University of Exeter's Tremough Campus, Penryn, has off-set the six tonnes of carbon emissions that have resulted from his business travel from the last six months.

Using a company called Climate Care, which is recognised by climate change experts such as University of Exeter Honorary Graduate Sir Nicholas Stern, Professor Evans estimated that he had produced six tonnes of carbon over the last year through business travel. This included flying to South Africa to lead a biology field trip, a fact finding tour of North American environment institutes, riding his motorcycle to work and travelling to meetings in Exeter, Truro and London by train. By paying a fee to Climate Care, Professor Evans has contributed to projects that will reduce carbon emissions. These include developing fuel-efficient cooking stoves in Uganda, rainforest restoration projects and a programme to install efficient lamps for schools in Kazakhstan. His money will save six tonnes of carbon to off-set his emissions.

Professor Matthew Evans said: "We have ambitious plans to establish a world-leading centre for research into the environment and sustainability in Cornwall. If we are to lead the way in climate change research, it is essential that we need to take responsibility for reducing our own environmental impact. As Provost, I felt it was important for me to lead by example and I hope our staff will be inspired to follow."

Times Higher University of the Year 2007/8, the University of Exeter has been cited by the Carbon Trust for environmental management across its campuses. Despite rapid expansion on both of its campuses, the University plans to reduce its carbon footprint by two per cent each year through energy efficiency, minimising waste and sustainable travel policies.

The University's Tremough Campus offers a range of courses to enable students to study issues relating to the environment and sustainability, including climate change and risk management, conservation and biodiversity and the UK's first undergraduate degree in renewable energy. Current research projects include a collaborative venture with the University of Plymouth to assess the feasibility and environmental impact of the South West Wave Hub, on-going international research on threatened marine turtles and a nine-year study of fluctuations to the glaciers of Patagonia.

Professor Evans continued: "Of course it is important to reduce the amount of carbon emitted by our activities. On the Cornwall Campus we make a lot of use of video conferencing to reduce unnecessary travel and are investigating the possibility of on-campus renewable energy generation and maximising the energy efficiency of our buildings. We have a green travel plan which includes substantial subsidies on local bus services and the encouragement of car-sharing, cycling and walking to work."

The £100 million Tremough Campus is a Combined Universities in Cornwall initiative ­of which the University of Exeter and University College Falmouth are two of the founding partners. It is funded mainly by the European Union (Objective One), the South West Regional Development Agency, and the Higher Education Funding Council for England, with support from Cornwall County Council. Set in 70 acres of countryside, but close to the waterside towns of Penryn and Falmouth, the campus offers a lively student community. The University of Exeter now offers degrees in Biology, Modern Celtic and Cornish Studies, English, Geology, Geography, History, Law, Mining Engineering, Politics and Renewable Energy on its Tremough Campus, which has expanded rapidly as part of the Combined Universities in Cornwall initiative.

For further information please contact Sarah Hoyle, Press Officer, University of Exeter, on 01392 262062/07989 446920 or email

The Objective One Programme for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly has invested in the Combined Universities in Cornwall (CUC) project, both Phase 1 and Phase 2, through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the European Social Fund (ESF). University of Exeter is a partner of the CUC.


Editor's notes:



Clare Morgan
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