The Physical Science Basis for Climate Change: Causes and Consequences
Professor Richard Allan, Professor of Climate Science, University of Reading

Professor Allan will summarise recent findings from the 6th assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Although Earth's climate has always varied, it is now an established fact that human activities are driving current environmental change, which are widespread, rapid and unprecedented in thousands of years. Human activities are intensifying heavy rainfall events, heat waves and droughts and every bit of global warming increases the severity of climate change and associated weather extremes. Limiting warming to below 2°C above pre-industrial levels requires immediate, rapid, and large-scale reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.


Scope 3 emissions – what do they mean for IT?
Paul Rock, IT Architect, Cardiff University

Most Higher Education Institutions have externally and / or self-imposed targets to reduce carbon emissions. In this interactive session we will look the three direct and indirect “scopes” that carbon emissions fall into and work together through the implications of some relevant practical examples.


Sustainable Procurement
Andrew Meikle, Head of Corporate Information Systems, Lancaster University

As well as demonstrating a tool that combines finance and carbon data, this talk will explore how best we can, as a sector, engage with our suppliers to hold them to account for the carbon embodied in the products and services we buy from them. IT accounts for a significant proportion of universities’ carbon footprints. As our institutions establish carbon targets, how can we work with our suppliers to ensure that IT meets its targets?


Cloud vs. Data Centre Panel Session
Chaired by Trevor Baxter, Director of IT Innovation, King's College London

Universities approach the need for central data storage and compute in very different ways. Some will seek to use just local data centres, others will try and put everything in the cloud. Most of the decisions around this are made for security or accessibility reasons. Many researchers like to see and touch the devices they use, and some grants have restrictions that inform the decision. All of which tends to drive a hybrid environment.

One thing that is rarely considered in this though is the sustainability impact of the choice. With cloud vendors seeking to improve their sustainability through things like undersea cooling, are there sustainability benefits to the cloud that a local data centre cannot give us? Or does a local data centre give us more control and repairability improving sustainability.

In this panel session we will consider the topic of cloud vs data centre with experts from across HE and try to help you reach a conclusion.


Net Zero Campus: The challenge in identifying the carbon impact of Digital & IT
John Ireland, Director of Customer Services, IT Services, University of Oxford and Clare Casey, Head of Environmental Sustainability, JISC

This session looks at the environmental impact of digital and IT, particularly in terms of carbon emissions. It considers how these impacts are accounted for and managed as part of broader net zero ambitions. It looks at the challenges faced by the sector and provides case studies from both the institution, University of Oxford, and service provider, JISC, perspective.


Going Beyond Hardware: Sustainable Product Design
Lydia Painter, UX Designer, Jisc

As our society becomes increasingly reliant on technology, the environmental impact of digital products and services is becoming more apparent. Sustainable design is no longer limited to physical products; digital products must also be designed with sustainability in mind. In this session, we will explore, through participatory discussion, digital design principles and provide practical examples of how these can be implemented in design and development processes.

We will cover topics such as understanding and overcoming project constraints around applying sustainable design, operationalising the measurements of sustainability, and promoting eco-friendly mindsets in a team. By the end of this session, you will have a better understanding of how to design digital products and services that are both user-friendly and sustainable, contributing to a more environmentally conscious and responsible digital landscape.


Digital Sustainability at a Social Purpose University
Polly Mackenzie, Chief Social Purpose Officer, and Lise Foster, Director Technology at the University of the Arts London

UAL has committed to becoming a “social purpose university”: maximising the positive contribution we make to long term human and planetary wellbeing. This session will set out how we’re approaching this journey to reviewing how the university operates, teaches, and influences the outside world, and the vital role that digital sustainability will play in achieving change.

Universities have a unique role to play in the lives of our students: shaping the professional habits they will take into a lifetime of potential impact. Getting the environment right in these crucial educational contexts has the potential for positive impact far beyond the direct on-campus emissions and waste for which our technology is responsible. UAL trains creatives: if we get this right, they can be change agents in the technology footprints of creative businesses and industries globally, influencing not just the university sector but design, film, art, performance – and their increasingly digital counterparts as well.