Aurora Advances Sustainability with Common Footprint Reduction Plan

11 June 2024

On 28 May  2024, rectors of Aurora’s universities came together to sign the Common Footprint Reduction Plan during the Aurora Spring Biannual at the  University Federico II of Naples. This collective effort is a unified commitment to sustainability and sets the stage for a greener future for universities within Aurora.

The Common Footprint Reduction Plan serves as a subsequent step to the Sustainable Campus Action Plan. Lorenzo Rieg, Sustainability Coordinator at the University of Innsbruck and Lead for T6.2 on Aurora Sustainable Campus, shared: “We had the Sustainable Campus Action Plan as our first deliverable from Aurora universities, committing to being sustainable and responsible universities making positive change in our societies. This Common Footprint Reduction Plan builds on the first by adding specific actions focused on several sustainability measures.”

Aurora Common Footprint Reduction Plan

The Common Footprint Reduction Plan underscores that each university will create tailored sustainability plans to suit its unique circumstances. Universities within Aurora will determine a baseline for CO2 emissions, preferably from 2019 onwards, and commit to achieving net carbon neutrality by 2040. This includes a 50% reduction in CO2-equivalent emissions by 2030.

Furthermore, universities will also commit to:

  • Net-zero emissions
  • Join the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Education Race to Zero.
  • Measure the baseline for CO2 emissions and implement monitoring measures in key action areas.
  • Initiate sustainability reporting by 2025 with annual updates, ideally following Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) regulations.
  • Set specific targets in at least three action areas from the Sustainable Campus Action Plan.

Zuzanna Hunkova, Coordinator for Sustainable Development at Palacky University Olomouc and Co-lead for T6.2, said: “The Common Footprint Reduction Plan isn’t only about reducing air travel but encapsulates much more.” While all Aurora universities will implement the Aurora travel codex, other elements in the plan include procuring 100% certified green energy and committing to certify newly (re)constructed buildings according to a green building standard.

Through these actions, universities within Aurora reaffirm their commitment to the outlined sustainability goals, underlining the critical role in our mission to enhance sustainability on campus by setting clear, comprehensive, and measurable goals to reduce our carbon footprint.