Sustainability

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Take a look at our current energy and water consumption in our handy infographic.

View or compare building by building energy and water usage using our handy tool.

We have ambitious plans to reduce our carbon emissions by 2020. Find out how we plan to get there, and what you can do to help.

Energy and water

Reducing our carbon footprint

The University has set an ambitious carbon reduction target of 43% by 2020 based on emissions in 2005/2006. In 2012-2013 the University emissions for Scope 1 and 2 were 21,368 tonnes of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) and utility costs were over £6 million.

Achieving this 43% reduction is going to be a challenge for the University as it continues to grow and provide quality facilities for teaching, students, research and staff.

In order to allow growth, new University buildings and facilities will place increasing pressure on carbon budgets. It is essential that the University follows its robust campus wide energy strategy that deals with all existing, refurbished and new buildings.

Taking existing building stock into consideration, the University must reduce 2013 emissions by 29% to achieve the 2020 target.

The University Council approved the updated Low Carbon Commitment Strategy which commits the University to reduce CO2 emissions by a challenging target of 80% by 2050.

If you have any suggestions, comments or need further information, please email Andy Seaman.

Why should the University save energy?

  • Reduce our contribution to climate change: Over 21,000 tonnes of CO2  is emitted each year at the University through energy use
  • Conserve finite oil resources: Oil and gas will not last forever. The University's annual energy consumption would supply approximately 8,000 homes (enough for a small town)
  • Reduce our annual utility spend: The University spends over £6 million per year on utilities, equivalent to £1,500 per year for each member of staff. Savings would create more money for research and teaching

What is the University doing?

The University's Energy Manager, Andy Seaman, is responsible for formulating and implementing the energy policy, monitoring energy consumption and costs, raising awareness of energy issues among staff and students and identifying opportunities to increase energy efficiency. 

  • In four years, the University will spend over £1 million on energy efficiency
  • Install the latest energy and water management technology in older buildings to increase energy efficiency
  • Review existing utility metering and sub-metering to ensure accurate consumption profiles are generated from all buildings and colleges
  • New TEAM energy software will manage energy data from a number of energy suppliers across multiple sites
  • Central Energy Management System controls heating systems allowing temperature control supporting the Heating Policy (Non-Residential Buildings).
  • Buying energy innovatively at the best price by purchasing at month-ahead prices
  • Installing low-energy lighting
  • Upgrading insulation in our buildings 
  • Designing new buildings to be as energy efficient as possible and maximise natural daylight 
  • Improving corridor ventilation systems 
  • Cutting down on the need for air conditioning 
  • Upgrading inefficient boilers and equipment 
  • Reviewing use of fume cupboards in laboratories
  • Regular events to raise awareness of energy issues documented via news articles
  • Partner with the Students' Green Unit to run student-led energy awareness projects 

An essential part of the University's energy management is our Building Management System (BMS). The BMS is programmed to provide a comfortable environment for occupants whilst maximising our energy efficiency by using features such as:

  • scheduling – setting timers so that heating is only on when it is needed 
  • weather compensation – heating and ventilation is automatically adjusted as the outside temperature varies
  • optimum start functions – the system calculates and uses variable start times to ensure building temperatures are comfortable for occupants on arrival, to minimise 'warming-up' time

Water consumption

The University uses about 300,000 meter cube of water per year at a cost of about £1.4million. Through repairing leaks and installing electronic flush controls, the University has reduced water wastage by over 20% since 2005. However, there is much more to be done.

What can you do?

If everyone at the University switched off equipment when not in use, we could reduce our electricity consumption by around 10%. Please read the following steps and join us in reducing the University's carbon footprint and make a real difference:

  • Switch off lights when not required
  • Switch your PC monitor to automatic powersave mode
  • Unplug unused computers and mobile phone chargers
  • Buy “A” rated energy efficient appliances
  • Report overheating radiators, dripping taps and energy wastage to the Campus Services Helpdesk
  • Learn how to set your Thermostatic Radiator Valve to maintain a constant temperature in your office
  • Communicate with colleagues on saving energy and reducing waste.

If you have any suggestions, comments or need further information, please contact the Energy Team.