As a multi-site organisation we recognise our responsibilities in tackling climate change and are working hard to reduce our carbon footprint despite the challenges of an expanding estate. Our updated Carbon Management Plan 2018-2022 sets a goal of reducing our scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions by 46% by 2021/22 from a 2005/06 baseline, as well as increasing the amount of energy generated on site, and developing activity based measures in future..


We’ve made solid progress so far:

  • Our scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions* reduced by 46% from 2005-06 to 2017-18
  • We now emit over 2,000 fewer tonnes of carbon each year than we did ten years ago – the equivalent of 250 typical UK homes worth of emissions
  • We have exceeded our targets for reducing scope 3 carbon emissions from waste production and disposal, water use and treatment, and business travel.
  • Over the last ten years we have reduced electricity use by 19% and gas by 37%
  • Our new Business School uses air source heat pumps for all its heating, eliminating the use of fossil fuels on site
  • We have tripled the size of our electric vehicle fleet since 2017

*Scope 1 – direct emissions e.g. from gas and oil combustion for heat and hot water.

*Scope 2 – indirect emissions e.g. from the purchase of grid electricity.

*Scope 3 – indirect emissions from transport, waste, water consumption and procurement.

We assess the proportion of our total carbon emissions (scope 1 and 2) arising from the provision of in-house and externally provided residential accommodation for staff and students. In 2017/18 this was 34.7%.

As well as reducing our scope 1 and 2 emissions targets, we are working to drive down scope 3 emissions from our supply chain through consistent implementation of the sustainability requirements in our Procurement Strategy.

Energy & Carbon

We’ve achieved this by:

  • LED lighting – we have rolled out LED lighting to halls and operational buildings and installed efficient lighting control
  • Over 500m2 of solar PV panels – a 64kW solar PV array at Oxstalls and a 4kW  array at Park Campus provide around 45,000 kWh of electricity each year
  • Switching to cleaner fuels – by switching from using oil for heating to high efficiency gas boilers at our halls we have reduced carbon emissions from oil burning by around 200 tonnes
  • Building energy management – improved sub metering has helped guide our refurbishment and efficiency initiatives, ensuring temperature and humidity levels are well controlled
  • Increasing our efficiency – we now evaluate energy use against building and room usage patterns to optimise our space management efficiency

Help us achieve even more:

  • Switch things off – consumption of electricity and heating fuel accounts for 98% of our scope 1 and 2 emissions, and costs the university over £750,000 annually.
  • Adjust office temperatures – the Carbon Trust recommends a comfortable working temperature of no more than 21 degrees.
  • Choose low carbon travel options – avoid the car where possible and travel smarter, on foot, by bike, bus or public transport.

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