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LSE becomes first carbon-neutral university


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The London School Of Economics and Political Science (LSE) has become the first UK university to be independently verified as carbon neutral.

The university has reduced direct emissions by 44% since 2005 following a £4.8m investment in energy efficiency.

To gain carbon-neutral PAS 2060 status for the year 2020-21 the university also funded 80,090 sq miles of rainforest to offset carbon emissions.

A spokesman said LSE hoped to be “an inspiration for others”.

Prof Nicholas Stern, chair of LSE’s climate change and the environment institute, said: “Higher education institutions have a duty to show leadership and advocate for decisive action in tackling climate change, the challenge of our times.”

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Image caption,Solar panels have been added to LSE campus buildings

The university’s carbon-neutral status was verified by the British Standards Institution (BSI). The LSE now has PAS 2060 status, a carbon-neutrality certification created by the government, for the academic year 2020-21.

LSE began updating campus and residential buildings in 2015. Solar panels, pipe insulation and LED lights were fitted, while more energy-efficient boilers and chillers were installed.

The university has procured all the electricity it uses from 100% renewable sources such as solar and wind since 2009.

Image caption,LSE funded 80,090 sq miles of rainforest to offset carbon emissions

About a third of the university’s carbon emissions have been offset through funding 176,200 trees in rainforest across three continents.

The carbon offset is the equivalent of 20 million kilometres driven in a petrol vehicle, according to the Compensate Foundation, LSE’s partner in carbon-reduction projects.

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The university is working to become net-zero carbon by 2030.

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