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Ab0401 sem 4 group 2 co2 australia


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E- learning week. CO2 Australia case study.

Published in: Business, Technology, Education
  • Well-scripted presentation, and certainly correct in the criticism of the lack of positive environmental impact from purchasing carbon credits. However, the proposed shift from classroom to online learning has consequences that require careful thought and consideration, such as the impact on our international accreditation and on the market for our graduates.
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Ab0401 sem 4 group 2 co2 australia

  1. 1. Achieving our Carbon Neutral Target Lee Qi Ni | Lye Zi Ying | Sam Shi Xiang | Jonathan Wong Xiao Lun | Peck Hwee Leng AB0401 Seminar 4 Group 2 To: Joy Chua, Program Director of NTU’s Sustainable Earth Office
  2. 2. Overview • • • • • • • Long-term Goal Main Sources of Carbon Emissions NTU’s Current Efforts Review and Comparison of Alternatives Recommendations Measuring Effectiveness of Recommendations Executive Summary
  3. 3. Long-Term Goal • Zero carbon emissions (Unlikely to achieve unless NTU buys large numbers of Carbon Offset credits @ high costs, which is not the best use of NTU’s finances.) • Modify target to reduce NTU’s carbon emissions by at least 50% in the long run.
  4. 4. Main Sources of Carbon Emissions • Transport (78.72%) • Water, Electricity, Heat and Stationery: (20.42%) • Waste (0.86%) NTU’s Current Carbon Emissions Levels: • Per Student:521kg/year • Per Staff: 5051 kg/year
  5. 5. NTU’s Current Efforts • • • • Building more hostels (reduce commuting) Recycling bins Light and air-conditioning sensors to save electricity Sustainable Earth Office
  6. 6. We suggest NTU to focus on: • Reducing commute (major contributor to NTU’s carbon emissions) • Less focus on electricity and waste (less than 30% of NTU’s carbon emissions)
  7. 7. Solution 1: Expand E-Learning • Currently: Saving 4.92% of total carbon emissions (2 weeks of e-learning, with some physical and some online lessons) • Future: Shift all lectures and some seminars online (students only need to come for tutorials/laboratories) • Estimated to reduce the frequency of commuting by 35%, reducing total carbon emissions to 376kg per student.
  8. 8. Potential Impact of E-Learning • Environment: – 89% reduction in travel-related carbon emissions – Although E-Learning increases carbon emissions from computing by 25kg/student, it reduces travel emissions by 365kg/student. – Paper use does not change much • Cost – Can teach more students with less lecturers (more cost effective) • Effectiveness – ‘Learners learn more using computer-based instruction than they do with conventional ways of teaching, as measured by higher post-treatment test scores.’ (data assumes the moving of all physical lessons online) (2007 study “Towards Sustainable Higher Education: Environmental impacts of campus-based and distance higher education systems” by Stockholm Environmental Institute and the United Kingdom’s Open University Design Innovation Group) (2000 published survey titled ‘Training and Retraining’, commissioned by the American Psychological Society by Fletcher and Tobias)
  9. 9. E-Learning: Impact on Stakeholders • NTU: Need to upgrade server to accommodate more students accessing recorded lectures. Might need to extend tutorial times to allow students to ask questions about lectures. Smoother traffic inflow into campus due to reduced commute to lectures. • Staff: More time to do research, prepare for lessons etc. as they do not need to conduct lectures repeatedly. • Students Can absorb lecture content better as they can view recorded lectures multiple times, time saved on commute can be used for projects/revision. • Government NTU’s reduced CO2 emissions can lower Singapore’s overall CO2 emissions as well. • General Public Might feel that NTU is teaching less with no physical lectures. On the other hand, NTU might have a better image for being environmentally friendly (need to publicise the link between online lectures and reduced CO2 emissions)
  10. 10. Solution 2: Buying Carbon Offset Credits from CO2 Australia What’s Real What’s Not Real • Australia governmentaccredited carbon credits • Can reduce the amount of CO2 in Australia’s atmosphere • Trees might not store so much CO2 • Might not have so much carbon offset credits to sell • Does not physically reduce Singapore’s CO2 levels
  11. 11. Solution 2: Buying Carbon Offset Credits • Buying from CO2 Australia is symbolic at best • No reduction of actual carbon emissions • No change in habits that produced CO2 in the first place. • NTU should reduce carbon emissions • Do not buy Carbon Offset credits
  12. 12. Solution 3: Other Alternatives • • • • Remove shuttle bus service Provide free bicycles within campus Set air-conditioning to 25 degrees Celsius Reduce lesson days to reduce commute days
  13. 13. Other Alternatives Remove shuttle bus service As carbon emissions for transport is one of the highest contributor, we should look at tackling the main source. With the removal of the shuttle bus service, we can look at reducing the carbon emissions contributed by NTU by a significant amount. Furthermore, with bus service 179 and 199 already long in place before the shuttle service and has been serving the NTU community, the removal of the shuttle bus service will not affect the students and staff at NTU as it is not the only way in and out of NTU. • • • • • • NTU - Reduce carbon emissions. Save costs. Staff - One less alternative around and into NTU Students - One less alternative around and into NTU Government - See NTU as more eco-friendly General Public - See NTU as more eco-friendly Service Providers - Singapore Bus Service faces pressure to provide more frequent service
  14. 14. Other Alternatives Provide free bicycles within campus With the removal of the shuttle bus service, we will still want to find an alternative for our students and staff to travel around NTU more conveniently while ensuring carbon emissions are reduced. Thus, we plan to provide free bicycles for usage within campus. Students and staff can loan the bicycles that will be located strategically to provide a easy and convienient usage. Additional bicycle lots will be built to encourage students to ride their own bikes too. Bicycle paths will also be created around NTU • • • • • NTU Staff Students Government General Public - Reduce carbon emissions. Increase costs. - Alternative around NTU - Alternative around NTU - See NTU as more eco-friendly - See NTU as more eco-friendly
  15. 15. Other Alternatives Set air-conditioning to 25 degrees Celsius By setting the air-conditioning fixed at 25 degrees for the entire school system as compared to allowing the toggling of the air-conditioning level, NTU can look at reducing it carbon emissions as less electricity and energy will be consumed. Furthermore, this measure is easy to implement as currently, NTU controls the air-conditioning level for each faculty centrally. • • • • • NTU Staff Students Government General Public - Reduce carbon emissions. Reduce costs. - Have to adapt to fixed air-con temperature - Have to adapt to fixed air-con temperature - See NTU as more eco-friendly - See NTU as more eco-friendly
  16. 16. Other Alternatives Reduce lesson days to reduce commute days Currently, NTU works on a five-day work week. Meaning to say classrooms and lecture halls are used for five days a week. By reducing lesson days from the introduction of more e-learning week and tighter class scheldues, NTU can save on electiricity by using less of the classrooms and lecture halls, and reduce commute frequency; thus reducing carbon emissions. • • • • • NTU Staff Students Government General Public - Reduce carbon emissions. Reduce costs. - Longer school days, but less commute days - Longer school days, but less commute days - See NTU as more eco-friendly - See NTU as more eco-friendly
  17. 17. Comparison of Alternatives Criteria of assessment Feasibility Disruption Long-term Effectiveness Cost Solution 1: E-Learning Possible to be implemented, not many changes needed to increase number of e-learning days from the existing framework. Some disruption to the current teaching and learning practices that staffs and students are used to. Low to moderate cost* of switching to E-Learning based on current technologies, able to save on the operation costs. Quality of teaching will not be compromised as lectures do not require much interaction. Students can watch recorded lectures at their own pace. Can overcome with proper planning and as we explore how to teach more effectively under this method. E-learning can continue to be carried out over the years. Ensures sustained reduction in carbon emissions. *related costs: 1) Training for Allows teachers teachers and students a 2) IT set-up/ choice to pace equipment their learning at 3) Administrative their own arrangements preference. (eg. Can pause and replay videos)
  18. 18. Comparison of Alternatives Criteria of assessment Feasibility Solution 2: Not feasible, seen Buy Carbon Offset as a symbolic gesture as it does Credits not solve the root of the problem and does not change habits that lead to increasing carbon emissions Might have to purchase more and more credits in future with more developments. Disruption Long-term Effectiveness Cost No disruption to current operations or lifestyle of stakeholders Makes up for the carbon emission in the short term but may not effectively serve as a reminder to reduce carbon emissions. Extra high cost needed to buy credits to make up for current emissions. Possibly less motivation to purchase over time since there is no legal requirements and adds significant cost to the university. Higher carbon emissions in the future will further increase the costs.
  19. 19. Comparison of Alternatives Criteria of assessment Feasibility Solution 3: Feasible since Remove shuttle students can bus service take public transport into and around campus. Many bus trips by public transport companies are rather empty, far from maximum comfortable capacity. Disruption Affects students who are used to taking buses within campus to classes Long-term Effectiveness Effective in permanently slashing off large amounts of carbon emissions since Classes are transportation situated within makes up the walking distance bulk of in NTU. Students university’s who regularly carbon footprint walk from classes to classes are unaffected Cost Operation costs greatly reduced Relationship with current shuttle bus service provider greatly affected.
  20. 20. Comparison of Alternatives Criteria of assessment Feasibility Disruption Long-term Effectiveness Cost Solution 3: Provide free bicycles Despite major changes and development needed, the huge long term savings and benefits* in return outweighs initial costs. Provides a zerocarbon emission and a healthy alternative to get around in the campus. Able to reduce carbon footprint on travel significantly. High short term costs of setting up and providing infrastructure. Students may develop the habit of cycling to places of reasonable distances, able to reduce carbon footprint not only in school but also practice it outside of school in the long term. Extra efforts needed to ensure safety and security of biking assets in campus. *Benefits: 1) Zero carbon emission mode of transport 2) better environment 3) healthier lifestyle/habit in people Minimal disruption as students used to getting around in campus by foot may continue to do so. Pedestrians and cyclists will need to abide by the rules for safety.
  21. 21. Comparison of Alternatives Criteria of assessment Feasibility Disruption Solution 3: Set airconditioning to 25 Celsius Can be executed easily, reducing carbon footprint cost-efficiently in the long term Staffs and students may have to adapt to the new room temperature. Long-term Effectiveness Can be carried out over the years to consistently reduce carbon emissions annually Cost Minimal cost of centralising airconditioning control and relocating switches to minimise temperature adjustments
  22. 22. Comparison of Alternatives Criteria of assessment Feasibility Disruption Long-term Effectiveness Solution 3: Reduce lesson days With proper arrangements, number of days students have to commute to school will be reduced, thereby cutting carbon emissions. Students may have to adjust to longer school days but get to have more days off for their own revision Fixed model can be replicated year on year to reduce number of schoolreporting days and carbon emissions with less travel. No disruption to some students who are already packing their school days so as to reduce number of days they need to travel to school Cost Administrative adjustments needed: 1) Scheduling of classes 2) Allocation of facilities, teachers and other resources
  23. 23. Recommendations • Alternative 1: Extend E-learning to all lectures and some seminars • Alternative 2: Do not buy carbon offset credits • Alternative 3: Other Solutions – Remove shuttle bus service – Provide free bicycles within campus – Set air-conditioning to 25 degrees Celsius – Reduce lesson days to reduce commute days (Based on feasibility, disruption, long-term effectiveness, and costs as analysed in our comparison of alternatives earlier. )
  24. 24. Measuring Effectiveness of Recommendations • People – Conduct student and staff surveys – NTU’s ranking to ensure E-Learning and reduction in schooling days do not affect the education quality. • Profit – Calculate cost savings from removal of shuttle bus service and savings from less electricity use. • Planet – Sustainable Earth Office can calculate NTU’s carbon emissions to see if its measures are keeping within costs and reaping the intended benefits
  25. 25. Executive Summary This presentation was commissioned to review and compare various alternative paths; E-Learning, Buying Carbon Offset Credits, and other alternatives; that would lead towards our long-term carbon-neutral target. We identified the main source of NTU’s carbon emissions to be transport. Hence, our suggested measures are geared towards reducing commuting measures. For E-Learning, shifting lessons to an online format would result in huge carbon emissions savings at relatively low costs, making it the most feasible option. Buying carbon credits is not recommended as it does not help NTU to cut down on carbon emissions. It lacks long term feasibility as there is no change in the habits of NTU that caused emissions in the first place. In addition, we’ve suggested 4 other alternatives (mentioned in paragraph below) and evaluated each of them based on the costs and benefits to all relevant stakeholders. The alternatives are also compared with each other using the criteria of feasibility, long-term effectiveness, disruption and cost. In summary, to help reduce NTU’s carbon footprint; my team recommends a paradigm shift towards online lessons. Concurrently, we recommend to have a minimum temperature of 25°C in classrooms, scrapping the shuttle bus service and use bicycles for internal campus travel and help students to achieve a weekly timetable of 4 academic days. To track the effectiveness of our suggested solutions, NTU can use the triple bottom line (people, profit, planet). NTU’s Sustainable Earth Office can use surveys, university ranking, cost savings, and tracking of NTU’s carbon emissions to assess the actual impact of these alternatives