Upper School CO2 Emissions at 332 Tons, Says ZIS 2012 Carbon Footprint Report


Just last year, Zurich International School released so much carbon dioxide gas into our atmosphere, a forest capable of absorbing the same amount would have to cover an area more than 12 times the size of Adliswil.

Bar graph

Clearly, that’s not ideal. Especially in Switzerland, the world’s greenest country running eleven years in a row. The Upper School in particular consumes nearly 100% of its energy through conventionally produced electricity. This goes towards heating, lights, electronics, cooking, nearly everything. And we use a lot–as much as 43 average homes. Fortunately, however, there is a solution…

pie chartCosts: for Panasonic HIT-N240 panels, each panel is 630 CHF. Each panel covers 1.28 square meters, roof area available is 4500 square meters. Number of panels needed: 3515 modules, at 630 per panel = 2.2 million CHF for +600,000 kilowatt-hours (~750,000)

Costs for little more than half the panels and roof space: 15 meters by 160 meters (2400 square meters), produces about 400,000kWh per year, 1818 panels needed at 630 CHF per panel = 1.2 million CHF for 400,000 kilowatt-hours

Costs to produce half of school energy use (200,000 kWh): 10 meters by 120 meters (1200 square meters), 906 panels needed at 630 per panel = 570,000 CHF for 200,000 kilowatt hours

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  1. Great podcast, guys. It also makes me wonder if maybe there are government programs out there that would help subsidize the cost of a solar installation on the school’s roof. I know that in Germany there are such subsidies to incentivize renewable energy production. If this were the case, then the 2.2 million chf (or 1.1 million for half our roof) could end up being reduced and it could be more attractive from a financial standpoint for the school to make such an investment.

    Hopefully some of the “higher ups” in the school listen to your podcast and give this issue some serious consideration.

  2. Its interesting to see how much more it costs to switch to hydroelectricity and solar electricity. Apart from solar panels, how would you implement for desktop computers, Smartboards etc. to be shut down over night and during other times when they aren’t needed? Would you use timers in each classroom or simply promote turning off electronic devices?

    • I think simply asking students and teachers to turn off their smartboards and computers, and to just close their outside doors should be enough. If everyone gets into the habit of turning off things when they’re done using them, the school’s energy consumption will easily decrease. It’s surprising how effective it is when everyone turns out the lights and shuts down the computer all at once, and the school could save a lot of money.

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