From 1 October 2021, The Wellcome Trust requires all grant applicants to offset all research related travel carbon emissions as part of their grant funding conditions. The trust will cover the cost of this requirement as part of their research grant funding.

Carbon Offsetting is the process of compensating for carbon dioxide emissions arising from an organisation’s activity, by participating in schemes designed to make equivalent reductions of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere e.g., sequestering carbon dioxide through growing new forest.

Offsetting can be a controversial area, and as such can attract significant reputational damage if approached incorrectly. Leading academics from the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge have developed the Oxford Principles for offsetting and EAUC Carbon Coalition scheme for Universities. To meet the minimum standards that avoid risk to reputation and ensure authentic carbon sequestration in line with the Oxford Principles, the University of Bath has created an offset mechanism through the EAUC Carbon Coalition scheme using the highest quality offsets recommended within the Oxford Principles. This involves a mix of 93% UK Woodland Carbon Code accredited offsets based on UK afforestation and 7% of Climework’s accredited offsets based on direct air carbon capture and storage (DACCS). We have also mandated the use of a higher quality carbon calculator than Wellcome Trust requests ensuring the full climate change impacts of flying are captured.

As such the University of Bath is taking a sector leading position on offsetting for the Wellcome Trust, ensuring offsets are authentic, accredited and will actually sequester carbon in a meaningful way whilst supporting growth of new forest.

You can view the Wellcome Trust offsetting requirements for more information, or the guidance document for including the new costs in grant applications on RIS’ website here.

If you have any questions about the University of Bath carbon offsetting position and process, please contact the Climate Action Team.

If you have any queries about where to include these costs in your proposal, please contact the Pre-Award team.

If you have any queries about how to ensure your offsetting costs are charged correctly to an existing project, please contact the Post-Award team.