Cambridge University Press has reduced its carbon emissions by 15% over two years, achieving re-certification to the Carbon Trust standard for 2012 for its UK operations. This is well ahead of our target of reducing emissions by 2.5% annually.

The Carbon Trust Standard is independent proof of the carbon reductions we have achieved and gives us confidence in the accuracy of our figures. This in turn allows us to focus efforts on the biggest emission sources and make meaningful cuts.

The energy reductions achieved in the last two years have saved the Press £187,000 in energy bills. Reducing our carbon emissions will also mean smaller payments to the government’s CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme, which the Press falls under as a department of the University of Cambridge.

In 2011-12, Press operations in the UK emitted 5,992 tonnes of CO2, the majority of it (65%) from purchased electricity. Gas oil consumption for heating and cooling was the second biggest source, accounting for 18%, with business flights contributing another 13% of emissions.

In the future, significant reductions will be achieved through switching the UK site’s energy source from gas oil to gas (for which the pipeline was installed earlier this year). Burning gas emits much less CO2 per unit of energy used than gas oil. Achieving reductions will become more difficult when the easy fruit, such as switching to more efficient appliances, has been picked.

The Carbon Trust Standard also demands comprehensive procedures for carbon management. The Press achieves this through its certification to ISO 14001, which governs the way we manage our impacts on the environment and facilitates product lifecycle sustainability, environmental training and capital investments into carbon reduction, as well as the carbon reduction programmes themselves.

We engage with suppliers and contractors to disclose their environmental status and seek continual environmental improvements within the supply chain. Suppliers that are deemed to have low standards of environmental governance are individually counselled on our environmental expectation.

Encouraged by the University of Cambridge, the Press first achieved certification in 2010. This second compliance period lasts until March 2014.

For more information about our environment policy and steps taken to achieve it, please visit the Environmental Policy page on CJO.

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