UK Learning Provider Website Emissions

Last updated:
The internet consumes a lot of electricity. 416.2 TWh per year.

How are universities and colleges impacting the planet? You may not think of websites as sources of carbon emissions but they are. Data centres, transmission networks, and the devices we use to access them all use electricity which, in turn, produces carbon emissions. When your website has lots of visitors that can easily add up. We've used the Website Carbon Calculator (created by Wholegrain Digital) to assess UK learning provider homepages.

The results

The average emissions from a UK learning provider homepage are 3.00g (median of 2.19g) which is worse than an average website (1.76g). So, overall, UK learning providers are doing badly. The top and bottom 10 websites are given here with the full list below.

Top 10 lowest emissions

UK learning providerCO2 / grams
Heythrop College0.34
The University of Westminster0.37
Ravensbourne Limited0.41
The University of Manchester0.42
University of Portsmouth0.47
University of Wales Prifysgol Cymru0.51
University of St Andrews0.60
Plymouth Marjon University0.63
University of the West of England, Bristol0.63
Sruc0.66

Top 10 highest emissions

UK learning providerCO2 / grams
The Conservatoire for Dance and Drama30.21
Royal Conservatoire of Scotland17.54
Royal Academy of Music11.11
University of Lincoln10.24
University College London10.15
University of East Anglia9.50
University of London9.20
The City University8.81
University of Nottingham8.53
Writtle College8.34

Why should universities care?

Each visitor may only produce a few grams of CO2 emissions but when taken over time - and over the number of visitors - that can soon add up. For instance, if your page generates 1g of CO2 per visit and you get 10,000 visitors a month that works out at as much CO2 as boiling water for 5,700 cups of tea a year.

Aside from the environmental impact of large websites, there is also the impact on your visitors who are on limited data plans. A single visit to a 30MB homepage (12g of CO2) would use an entire day's worth of data for someone on a 1GB monthly plan.

How can a university do better?

Don't despair! The worst offenders usually have some very easy things they can do to dramatically reduce their CO2 emissions that most likely don't need the IT department to get involved. The first thing to do is check the file sizes of images you use on the front page. Often there will be a large header image, images in a carousel, or images associated with news items. These are most likely added through a content management system which doesn't optimise the image.

Check out our advice for local authorities, Wholegrain Digital's 17 ways you can make your website more efficient and our blog post from the #PlanetData2 event in 2020.

The full list

Here is the full list of universities with their CO2 emissions but you can also get this as a CSV file or TSV file. Note that university websites often change with new featured items and this can affect their CO2 emissions so this table is a snapshot.

RankUK learning providerUKPRNCO2 / gramsLast checked
1The Conservatoire for Dance and Drama1000165330.212021-06-01
2Royal Conservatoire of Scotland1000556117.542021-06-01
3Royal Academy of Music1000783511.112021-06-01
4University of Lincoln1000715110.242021-06-01
5University College London1000778410.152021-06-01
6University of East Anglia100077899.502021-06-01
7University of London100077979.202021-06-01
8The City University100014788.812021-06-01
9University of Nottingham100071548.532021-06-01
10Writtle College100076578.342021-06-01
11The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts100039457.712021-06-01
12The University of Chichester100071377.662021-06-01
13Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London100077756.912021-06-01
14Rose Bruford College100055236.712021-06-01
15Edge Hill University100078236.482021-06-01
16University of Newcastle Upon Tyne100077996.452021-06-01
17The Arts University College at Bournemouth100003855.682021-06-01
18Glasgow Caledonian University100077625.672021-06-01
19Leeds College of Music100344495.432021-06-01
20The University of Buckingham100077875.172021-06-01
21Cranfield University100078225.002021-06-01
22Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama Limited100078384.982021-06-01
23Leeds College of Art100038544.852021-06-01
24The Royal Veterinary College100077794.752021-06-01
24Bangor University100078574.752021-06-01
26The University of Cumbria100078424.692021-06-01
27University of Salford100071564.552021-06-01
27London South Bank University100040784.552021-06-01
29University College Falmouth100086404.432021-06-01
30Guildhall School of Music and Drama100078254.402021-06-01
31University of Aberdeen100077834.142021-06-01
32University of the West of Scotland100078004.092021-06-01
33University of Durham100071434.062021-06-01
34University of Bedfordshire100071523.932021-06-01
35University of Chester100078483.912021-06-01
36Birmingham City University100071403.732021-06-01
37University of Edinburgh100077903.712021-06-01
37Canterbury Christ Church University100011433.712021-06-01
39University of Essex100077913.702021-06-01
40University of Derby100078513.592021-06-01
40London Business School100077693.592021-06-01
42Liverpool John Moores University100039573.492021-06-01
43London Metropolitan University100040483.482021-06-01
44University of Hull100071493.472021-06-01
45The University of Bolton100068413.462021-06-01
46University of Glamorgan / Prifysgol Morgannwg100077933.402021-06-01
46Roehampton University100077763.402021-06-01
48St Mary's University College, Twickenham100078433.312021-06-01
49Middlesex University100043513.262021-06-01
50University of Winchester100036143.242021-06-01
51University of Reading100078023.182021-06-01
52Royal Northern College of Music100078373.152021-06-01
53University of Hertfordshire100071473.132021-06-01
54University for the Creative Arts100064273.072021-06-01
55University of the Arts, London100071623.052021-06-01
56Liverpool Hope University100039562.982021-06-01
57University of Northumbria at Newcastle100012822.962021-06-01
58Royal Holloway College and Bedford New College100055532.952021-06-01
59Leeds Trinity University College100038632.942021-06-01
60Stranmillis University College100080102.932021-06-01
60Oxford Brookes University100049302.932021-06-01
62Bournemouth University100008242.912021-06-01
63Brunel University100009612.872021-06-01
64Loughborough University100041132.832021-06-01
65University Campus Suffolk Ltd100140012.722021-06-01
65St George's Hospital Medical School100077822.722021-06-01
67Cardiff Metropolitan University100078542.682021-06-01
68University of Kent100071502.652021-06-01
68Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh100053372.652021-06-01
68Leeds Metropolitan University100038612.652021-06-01
71University of Leeds100077952.612021-06-10
72University of Bath (The)100078502.582021-06-01
73University of Sunderland100071592.512021-06-01
73Central School of Speech and Drama(The)100078162.512021-06-01
75University of Cambridge100077882.432021-06-01
76University of East London100071442.392021-06-01
77Nottingham Trent University100047972.362021-06-01
78Glyndwr University100078332.352021-06-01
79Northern School of Contemporary Dance100088162.272021-06-01
80University of Bradford100077852.262021-06-01
81Royal College of Music100077782.202021-06-01
82Royal Agricultural College100055452.192021-06-01
82Bishop Grosseteste University College Lincoln100078112.192021-06-01
84University of Plymouth100078012.132021-06-01
85Southampton Solent University100060222.092021-06-01
86Institute of Education, University of London100077662.012021-06-01
87Harper Adams University100408122.002021-06-01
88University of the Highlands and Islands100071141.992021-06-01
88St Mary's University College100080261.992021-06-01
90Norwich University College of the Arts100047751.962021-06-01
91University of Keele100077671.942021-06-01
92University College Birmingham100007121.912021-06-01
93School of Pharmacy University of London(The)100077811.882021-06-01
94University of Exeter100077921.792021-06-01
95University of Abertay Dundee100078491.782021-06-01
96Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine100032701.752021-06-01
97The University of West London100065661.722021-06-01
97King's College London100036451.722021-06-01
99University of Oxford100077741.702021-06-01
99University of Greenwich100071461.702021-06-01
99The Manchester Metropolitan University100041801.702021-06-01
102Buckinghamshire New University100009751.672021-06-01
103School of Oriental and African Studies100077801.622021-06-01
103Edinburgh Napier University100077721.622021-06-01
105University of Leicester100077961.592021-06-01
106The Queen's University of Belfast100053431.582021-06-01
107University of Wales: Trinity Saint David100078581.572021-06-01
107Teesside University100071611.572021-06-01
109Glasgow School of Art100026811.502021-06-01
110University of Huddersfield100071481.492021-06-01
111University of Sheffield100071571.362021-06-01
112Swansea University100078551.322021-06-01
113Sheffield Hallam University100057901.302021-06-01
114The Robert Gordon University100055001.292021-06-01
114Aston University100077591.292021-06-01
116Heriot-Watt University100077641.282021-06-01
117University of Southampton100071581.272021-06-01
118Royal College of Art(The)100077771.262021-06-01
119Newman University College100078321.242021-06-01
120Anglia Ruskin University100002911.222021-06-01
121University of Surrey100071601.172021-06-01
122University of York100071671.162021-06-01
123University of Bristol100077861.152021-06-01
123The University of Northampton100071381.152021-06-01
125University of Warwick100071631.132021-06-01
126Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance Ltd100080171.092021-06-01
127University of Worcester100071391.082021-06-01
128University of Ulster100078071.052021-06-01
128University of Liverpool100068421.052021-06-01
128University of Dundee100078521.052021-06-01
131Goldsmiths' College100027181.032021-06-01
132University of Central Lancashire100071411.022021-06-01
133York St John University100077131.002021-06-01
133University of Strathclyde100078051.002021-06-01
135Open University(The)100077730.982021-06-01
136University of Brighton100008860.972021-06-01
136Prifysgol Aberystwyth100078560.972021-06-01
138University of Wolverhampton100071660.962021-06-01
138Birkbeck College100077600.962021-06-01
140London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine100077710.952021-06-01
141University of Lancaster100077680.932021-06-01
142Kingston University100036780.882021-06-01
143University of Birmingham100068400.872021-06-01
144Coventry University100017260.852021-06-01
145Bath Spa University100005710.832021-06-01
146University of Stirling100078040.782021-06-01
146Staffordshire University100062990.782021-06-01
148University of Sussex100078060.762021-06-01
149University of Gloucestershire100071450.752021-06-01
150Institute of Cancer Research: Royal Cancer Hospital (The)100033240.732021-06-01
150Courtauld Institute of Art100077610.732021-06-01
152London School of Economics & Political Science100040630.722021-06-01
153University of Glasgow100077940.712021-06-01
153Cardiff University100078140.712021-06-01
155De Montfort University100018830.682021-06-01
156Sruc100057000.662021-06-01
157University of the West of England, Bristol100071640.632021-06-01
157Plymouth Marjon University100374490.632021-06-01
159University of St Andrews100078030.602021-06-01
160University of Wales Prifysgol Cymru100085740.512021-06-01
161University of Portsmouth100071550.472021-06-01
162The University of Manchester100077980.422021-06-01
163Ravensbourne Limited100053890.412021-06-01
164The University of Westminster100071650.372021-06-01
165Heythrop College100077650.342021-06-01

Where the CO2 emissions are given as "?" no result could be found using the Website Carbon Calculator.

Note that this webpage produces 0.03g of CO2 every time someone visits.