Green Gown Awards 2019 - James Boyd, University of Leicester - Winner

Tags: green gown awards 2019 | university of leicester | Research with Impact Student

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One, two, tree – calculating the carbon value of the campus. Around 250,000 houses are needed to be built in England every year to address the housing shortage so it is inevitable that more greenbelt, including woodland, will be removed. It is common knowledge that trees are “good for the environment”, but how good is each individual tree? Can it be quantified?  

I have created a tool which calculates the impact by using height and diameter measurements to estimate yearly carbon sequestration and the overall carbon contained in each individual tree. My tool is already being used by the University of Leicester to calculate the impact of their own developments and to provide recommendations for mitigating their own carbon offset.  

I hope my tool can advise not only Leicester but also other universities and councils. 

Top 3 learnings:

  • Trees are more valuable than people think. 
  • Age matters: young trees absorb more CO2 and mature trees have more stored carbon. 
  • It’s great to have an opportunity to give back to my University positively.