Students’ carbon audit identifies £300,000 of savings for Scottish SMEs
By Daniel Hunter
Students at the University of Strathclyde have identified savings of more than £300,000 for Scottish small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) as part of an innovative project to reduce their carbon footprint.
The collaborative project between the University, Scottish Businesses in the Community and the Carbon Trust, provided the students with practical experience on environmental responsibilities in business, and identified potential savings of 4,825 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent.
Seventeen students from the University’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the David Livingstone Centre for Sustainability, were selected to participate on the 2012 SME Carbon Audit Project.
The University of Strathclyde was one of only three Scottish universities involved, and along with the Universities of Edinburgh and St Andrews, has ensured that environmental support is available to SMEs across the central belt of Scotland.
Andrew Millson, Head of Environment and Advisory Services of Scottish Business in the Community, said: “Research suggests that many small and medium sized businesses are not taking advantage of the benefits attached to measuring and monitoring their energy use.
“Feedback suggests that this is primarily due to lack of time and resource, and a perceived cost to the business. In light of this, the SME Carbon Audit Project aims to circumvent these challenges for small businesses by providing the resources to enable active measurement of the businesses’ carbon footprint.”
The students worked under the professional supervision of an expert consultant provided by Carbon Trust Scotland who delivered the carbon audit training and confirmed the accuracy and quality of the carbon audit reports before they could be released to the companies.
Sofia Díaz Rivera, a Mexican student on Strathclyde’s MSc in Environmental Entrepreneurship, said: “It was a great and challenging experience being involved in the carbon audit. I learned by practice... continued on page two >