What's our carbon footprint?
As a company, The Student Hotel strives to minimise its impact on the environment. To do so, we feel it’s important to focus on our carbon footprint as it can directly affect climate change – both positive and negative. In this article, we’ll explain what carbon emissions and our carbon footprint are, and how we’re working on reducing our output.
EMISSIONS & OUR CARBON FOOTPRINT
We can’t seem to turn a page these days without stumbling on the topic of greenhouse gas or carbon emissions. But what are they exactly and why are they a problem?
Simply put, greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) are gases that capture heat and warm up the planet. Carbon emissions are one type of GHG emissions mostly linked to human activity such as burning fossil fuels to drive cars or make food, cutting down trees for agriculture or paper, and handling waste. The problem today, is that we’re producing more emissions than nature can handle. This has caused an imbalance in nature’s system, thereby creating issues such as global warming. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – The United Nations’ body providing scientific assessments and evidence on climate change – has calculated that we need to stabilize global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius to curb future climate-related risks and minimise long-lasting or irreversible impacts to our ecosystems.
It is therefore important to restore nature’s balance by actively capturing more emissions from the atmosphere (which is called ‘sequestering’) and drastically reducing one’s carbon output.
A carbon footprint then, is the total amount of emissions an individual, city, country or company produces by using and disposing of products and services. For The Student Hotel, this means all the emissions we produce while building and operating our hotels.
THE MAKE-UP OF OUR CARBON FOOTPRINT
To calculate our carbon footprint, we differentiate between Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions. Scope 1 emissions are direct emissions coming from sources that we own or control ourselves, such as our teams’ lease cars. Scope 2 emissions are indirect emissions produced through the energy that we buy to run all our hotels. And scope 3 emissions are all indirect emissions stemming from the products and services that we use through third parties – flights, food, drinks, housekeeping, linen, materials to design our hotels etc.
For us, the biggest source of emissions is our purchased energy. Our biggest challenge however, lies with calculating the output of our products and services as we are dependent on our partners to supply us with the right information and data.