I came across this summary of how one UK university has been responding to the need to use less carbon (and other stuff) in its operations. I was quite impressed seeing how student numbers have grown:
– Electricity use down 2% over last 2 years despite two major new buildings being built (4.5% or £160k worth of improvement if these are taken into account).
– Energy consumption and water usage lower than 12 years ago despite significant growth over that period. When growth taken into account:
– Electricity use per m2 floor area 26% lower
– Gas use per m2 floor area 28% lower
– Water use per m2 floor area 42% lower
All this has saved £1.5m annually
– Carbon emissions down 22% since 2005, a period of significant growth in the University’s student population and physical infrastructure. Emissions per m2 building floor area are down 42% over the same period. Review of carbon strategy and targets underway.
– Self-generated electricity now accounts for almost 9% of total use – CHP (Combined Heat and Power) plants generated £300k worth of electricity, enough to power 600 houses, while also recycling their waste heat on site.
– 4,724 bags of charity donations collected and donated to British Heart Foundation instead of going to landfill, raising £60k from ‘end of term’ unwanted food, clothing, crockery and appliances.
– Accommodation and Hospitality Services maintained certification to the ISO 14001 Environmental Management standard, and ran the ‘Protecting What Matters’, ‘Leave No Trace’, and ‘Student Switch Off’ campaigns.
– University continues to operate with 100% green renewable electricity supply, now across the whole estate.
– A ‘Fairtrade University’ since 2009, and awarded Fairtrade Gold awards in 2018 and 2019.
– Sustainability & Citizenship is a key theme of the Curriculum Transformation project
Excellence all round. It is, however, a long way from the cherished and now-promised N-ZC: net-zero carbon.