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Reuse saves over 100 tonnes of carbon for The University of Exeter

The University of Exeter has diverted 100 tonnes of carbon emissions, visually equivalent to 100 hot air balloons, in just five years thanks to the Warp It reuse scheme.

The University, which joined Warp It in 2018, avoided 10,1199 kg of carbon and 37734 kg of waste while saving £332,000 by reusing commodities instead of purchasing new. 

The savings are equal to planting 140 trees and taking 44 cars off the roads.

Resources reused include office furniture, including stools and chairs, stationery, 4,000 plastic key tags, kitchen crockery, and children’s play equipment.

Nigel Morris, Sustainability Manager (Circular Economy) leads on Warp It. He said:

“Visualising the carbon savings as 100 hot air balloons brings to life the impact and the results of reuse, which have surpassed our expectations and is significantly helping our drive to meet net zero in 2030.

“Our target is to make the most of our resources by reducing waste and unnecessary procurement. By embedding reuse into our policies, it has reduced waste and making the requirement to purchase brand new furniture and other resources a last resort.”

Reuse supports the university’s target to reduce carbon emissions and improve sustainability standards to achieve Carbon Net Zero by 2030. It covers direct emissions, known as Scope 1 and 2, and Scope 3, which covers all other indirect emissions caused by the university's activities, such as purchases. 

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Above: Reuse supports the university’s target to reduce carbon emissions and improve sustainability standards to achieve Carbon Net Zero.

It also ranks sixth place in the People & Planet League, a table that ranks UK universities on sustainability and ethics. 

Nigel is building on the reuse success by encouraging staff engagement and extending its use for external organisations including local charities and schools. He added:

“The Warp It system very easy to use and has proven to a brilliant way to interact with staff, and support local charities and schools. User engagement has been brilliant with 20 percent of our 5,500 full-time staff reusing now and more are joining daily. They can give themselves a well-earned pat on the back for their great participation! 

“Reusing with Warp It is a huge support to helping us reach our net zero and sustainability goals so we can achieve a greener, fairer and healthier future for all.”

Read our guide to reuse.

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Jennifer Clair Robson

Jennifer Clair Robson

Writing to make a difference because climate change, sustainability and the environment are issues close to my heart.


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