IE University, recognized as one of the first 'carbon neutral' universities in Europe
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IE University, recognized as one of the first 'carbon neutral' universities in Europe

IE University, one of the first 'carbon neutral' universities in Europe
The academic institution reduced its emissions, electricity consumption, and refrigerant gases by 50% in 2020-21. Photo: Marco Gutiérrez – AMPA.

IE University is one of the first ‘carbon neutral’ universities in Europe. IE University has neutralized its carbon footprint and thus reinforces its commitment to protecting the planet in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The institution has reduced scope 1 and 2 CO2 equivalent emissions by 50% for every m2 of campus. Emissions, electricity consumption and refrigerant gases represented 1,637 tons of CO2 in 2020-2021 and were offset by acquiring 1,244 VCS-CCBS certified credits in Alto de Huayabamba in the Peruvian Amazon, and reforestation projects in Teruel (Spain).

Recognition as a ‘carbon neutral’ institution is part of IE University’s ’10 Year Challenge’, a strategic project that poses annual challenges to promote sustainability in the institution between 2020 and 2030. The 2022 challenge focused on understanding, measuring, reduce and neutralize the carbon footprint of the institution. In parallel, paper consumption has been reduced by 98% and water by 50% in the last 3 years. In addition, as an academic commitment, the IE University faculty dedicates more than 12,000 hours a year to training undergraduate and graduate students on topics related to sustainability. The institution plans to increase this figure in the coming years.

“The continuous effort and commitment inside and out of the classroom from each one of our community members – our professors, staff, and over 8,000 students from more than 140 countries – has been and will continue to be key.”
Isabela del Alcázar, Global Head of Sustainability at IE University

“Cultural change begins first with an internal change – in our behavior, values, and beliefs, and this creates to a chain of change in which we transform the society and around us, which leads to a tangible change in the world. Thus, it is with great pride that we can now say that IE University is one of the first ‘carbon neutral’ universities in Europe,” explained Isabela del Alcázar.

IE University students participate in sustainability initiatives such as the Social Impact Lab, which supports social enterprises in South Africa and Spain with consulting projects, and Financieros sin Fronteras (FsF), an NGO that promotes financial inclusion in Africa. In addition, IE Net Impact Club aims to raise awareness, inspire and train the IE community to promote socially responsible business management. The IE Alumni Sustainability Club promotes awareness of the United Nations SDGs. The IE Social Responsibility Forum brings together senior executives every year to discuss the challenges of CSR. And among other events, the academic institution recently held the IE Sustainability Week, in which the planet, the circular economy and social volunteering centered the debate on campus.