UEA launches new scheme to offset carbon emissions UEA launches new scheme to offset carbon emissions

15 April, 2015

A team of staff and students have planted 25 new trees to offset the carbon emissions from a recent careers event, helping to improve the biodiversity and appearance of the UEA campus at the same time.

The young trees, or ‘whips’, planted on the perimeter of the UEA playing fields will offset carbon emissions incurred by those who travelled to UEA to support the Environmental Careers Event, held on 7th February 2015 for SCI students. Over 25 organisations attended and provided careers and employability support for students, travelling from as far away as Bristol.

Nalisha Parmar, a student in the School of Environmental Sciences (ENV), calculated that travel to the event equalled a carbon footprint of 0.57 tonnes. Information packs increased this to 0.60 tonnes. However, the trees planted far exceeded this level of carbon sequestration, and so will also offset all of the travel for six ENV field courses that ran over the Easter 2015 period.

It is important that the theory of a sustainable environment, which many of our students are passionate about, translates into positive behavioural practice. Everyone at UEA now has the opportunity to make a voluntary contribution to the purchase of trees and hedging for the UEA campus, or contribute in kind with the planting and aftercare.

– Dr Jenni Turner, ENV lecturer and the originator of the idea

William Coulet, from a company called Brilliant Little Planet, donated plant-protecting materials (tree spirals) made from waste potato starch. The biodegradable tree guards and ties generated alongside Wageningen University and Research Centre (WUR) in The Netherlands, will support and shield the whips. Brilliant Little Planet offers over 30 bio-based and biodegradable products and also works with a number of wildlife trusts, National Parks and many others to improve the eco credentials of their grounds management.

Tom Everett, UEA’s Landscape Manager, helped to identify where to plant the new trees and how to make the most of native species. He said, “These great trees will complement the surrounding landscape really well, and provide shade for the livestock that will be grazing the fields in the summer months. The Field Maples will provide seasonal colour, while the cherries will encourage large amounts of biodiversity due to their flowers and fruits. Great news for foragers on campus, too!”

Find out more

2016 update: Estates have a cost code set up to enable contributions from interested School or department teams.

There is the option to volunteer to help planting if people prefer to donate time rather than money. Otherwise, £2.50 buys one ‘whip’ (small tree) that typically offsets the carbon for a field trip abroad per person. ENV students are now encouraged to make a donation when paying for their field trip invoice.

If interested, you can use this carbon calculator. On average, one broad leaf tree will absorb in the region of 1 tonne of carbon dioxide during its full life-time (approximately 100 years).

Email our Environmental Officer for more information, to register interest in the planting offset scheme or for the cost code in Estates: c.darsley@uea.ac.uk