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UK first at Leicester: putting carbon reduction in a box

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UK first at Leicester: putting carbon reduction in a box


Published by University of Leicester Press Office for University of Leicester in Education and also in Environment

University of Leicester to display physical representation of a tonne of carbon in UK first: Carbon Cube 25 – 31 October

The University of Leicester is building a ‘Carbon Cube’ in the centre of its main campus to show the space that a tonne of carbon dioxide takes up at standard atmospheric pressure.

Brought to Leicester in collaboration with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the University’s Environment Team will offer an opportunity for visitors to calculate their carbon footprint and relate it to the Cube to comprehend just how much their lifestyle has an effect on the environment.

The University has teamed up with Willmott Dixon Construction to specially design and construct the first UK life-sized depiction of a tonne of carbon, which at 559.48m3 will be larger than the average house.

The Carbon Cube is just one of the initiatives during the University’s Big Green Week from 25th – 31st October, designed to highlight the importance of cutting carbon emissions. The average carbon footprint per person in the UK is 10.92 tonnes of CO2, whilst the University emits the equivalent of over 30,000 tonnes of carbon every year and has committed to cutting this by 60% by 2020.

The Cube will be officially launched on Monday 25 October at 10am by Willmott Dixon’s Head of Sustainable Development George Martin.

Mr Martin commented:

 “Carbon reduction is a hot topic with the Government at the moment and is frequently talked about in the media, but how many people can say they really understand the true effect carbon has in modern society?

“The cube will enable people to gain a more realistic view of the enormity of carbon consumption across the UK and hopefully drive home the message that more must be done to reduce it.”

Environmental Manager, Dr Emma Fieldhouse, explained that:

“It is important to make carbon dioxide a visual concept for people; whilst it remains a concept rather than a physical entity it is easier to ignore. Big Green Week is about highlighting how everyone can cut their CO2 and help the University, and the planet, benefit from lower emissions.”

For more information about the event and the work of the Environment Team: tel 0116 223 1439, e-mail or visit


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