Towards sustainability at NTNU

As a first step towards a sustainable university, The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) has defined an environmental ambition with 15 targets for 2020, primarily focusing on energy use, transportation, procurement and waste handling. For the first time, NTNU produced for 2014 a separate environmental report giving the present status on these targets, showing that there is progress, but still a way to go.

There are no targets on total climate impact, but NTNU have performed greenhouse gas (GHG) accounting covering scope 1 (direct emissions), scope 2 (energy consumption) and scope 3 (indirect emissions from procured products and services). The GHG account applies life cycle assessment (LCA) for scope 1 and scope 2 related emissions, while the majority of elements regarding the carbon footprint of purchased products and services are coved by environmentally extended input-output analysis (EEIOA).

The complete accounting for all scopes allows NTNU to identify the most important drives for climate impact caused by activities at the university. The combination with the economic accounting makes it easy to identify departments with high contribution as well as identify important suppliers and products procured. This allows for a rational approach for prioritizing areas for improvement, both internal at the university and external when e.g. suppliers are approached.


Overall distribution of greenhouse gas emissions caused by activities at NTNU.

As the figure shows, energy and transport and travelling both constitutes 25%, but also consumables and equipment give significant impacts. With the exception of energy for heating which basically is controlled by a central operational unit, the others are strongly influenced by activities at the different faculties and departments.

The next step to ensure improvements are consequently to present the performance of faculties and departments in order to motivate for local targets and action plans.

Greenhouse gas emissions from everyday travels to and from campus is not included in the total GHG accounting, but NTNU has a clear ambition that most of the staff and students should choose environmental friendly transport to campus. To achieve this, a set of actions are taken; all free parking is changed to taxed parking, facilities for cyclists are improved with showers, wardrobes and better parking facilities and a fleet of electric cars is provided for those who need car during the working day. Preliminary results show that there is a significant shift from in particular car driving to cycling.


NTNU has a fleet of electric cars that can be used by all needing a car during the working day.

NTNUs environmental report (only in Norwegian)

NTNUs GHG accounting (2013, only in Norwegian)

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