Tuesday, 14 June 2022
The university has committed to science-based carbon reduction targets for our UK operations, detailed in the 2030 Carbon Management Plan.
The 2030 Carbon Management Plan sets out ambitious emissions reductions targets for the next 28 years:
2030 – 63% reduction in emissions
2040 – net zero carbon target
2050 – absolute zero carbon target
To meet our 2030 target we need to reduce CO2 emissions by 26,848 tonnes.
These targets are in line with the Paris agreement to keep global temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius by 2050. They encompass the emissions that come from our use of gas/fuel and electricity, which are in our direct control, therefore making them easiest, in theory, to tackle.
The Carbon Management Plan sets out a framework to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2040 or earlier. This includes a new use-of-gas policy, which will help us to decarbonise heat as all new buildings will be designed without the use of natural gas. It also establishes the following commitments:
- Alongside the elimination of gas in new building developments, there will be a steady move away from gas in all buildings.
- We will significantly increase the amount of on-site renewable energy generation from 1% to 10%. As part of this we are looking to develop a large ground based 1.4mw solar PV system at Sutton Bonington that should be operational by 2024.
- New, higher, sustainability standards will be set for new building projects and refurbishments. Upgrading insulation will be prioritised when large-scale refurbishment is carried out. This will reduce a building’s gas consumption and allow heating systems to operate at low temperatures. This in turn enables low-carbon heat sources (eg heat pumps) to operate effectively. The refurbishments of Florence Boot and Hugh Stewart halls have included significant fabric upgrade, enabling us to utilise a blended, low-carbon heating solution.
- We have started increasing the use of technology and smart meters to help us better understand how, where and when we use energy. This building-level energy information will be made available to enable people to see the impact of their sustainable behaviours.
- A carbon offsetting plan is being developed to mitigate hard-to-remove emissions.
- We will establish an invest-to-save fund to support schools and departments to invest in low carbon solutions.
Visit our carbon and energy pages to find out more.
What you can do
It will be impossible for us to meet our net zero and other carbon targets without the support and efforts of the entire university community. Individual actions combine to have real collective impact.
Around 75% of the university’s electricity use is directly influenced by individual actions. If all lights on our UK campuses were left on overnight, it would create around 15 tonnes of CO2 in a single evening; enough electricity to power the average house for over 20 years!
You can help us reach our targets by:
- Switching off lights and equipment when you leave a room
- Closing windows
- Logging your actions on Green Rewards to be in with the chance of winning prizes each month
- Signing up to the Sustainability newsletter
- Visiting our website for more ideas