Environmental metabolism of educational services. Case study of nursery schools in the city of Barcelona
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The environmental analysis of public nursery schools is of great interest since they are crucial in the early education of children and are expected to show high environmental standards. This paper aims to analyse the environmental profile (energy, water and transport flows) of this sector. A sample of 12 public nursery schools belonging to the Scholar Agenda 21 (SA21) of the city of Barcelona were selected given their data quality (eight centres applied to all analysis) to determine their energy and water consumption, as well as the greenhouse gas emissions resulting from energy consumption and transport use. For each centre, energy and water consumption were obtained from bills and surveys were conducted to get data regarding the transport associated with the centre. Results show that, on average, a child consumes 966 kWh of energy (electricity and gas) and 12.9 m3 of potable water every year. Nursery schools with more energy-efficient devices hold lower energy consumption, a trend which could not be found in the case of water and water-efficient devices. Regarding transport, car usage was the flow with highest impact, since it accounts for 69 % of CO2eq emissions, although only 19 % of the children commute by car.
KeywordsNursery school Services Energy Water Emissions Sustainability
The authors would like to thank the students of the Environmental Sciences Degree (academic year 2010–2011), matriculated at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, the headmasters of the 12 nursery schools considered in this study, the “Acció 21” programme of the A21 in Barcelona, and the Barcelona City Council.
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