Energy and Carbon
It is now widely accepted that human activities, primarily related to the use of and emissions from fossil fuels, are accentuating the earth’s natural climate cycles, and as a result our climate is changing. In order to reduce our contribution to this trend, the UK government has made a commitment in the Climate Change Act 2008 to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by at least 34 per cent by 2020 and 80 per cent by 2050 compared with a 1990 baseline.
In turn, the University, recognising the role higher education has in contributing to these targets, has set itself a target to reduce its carbon emissions by 43 per cent by 2020 compared with a baseline year of 2005/06. We intend to achieve this target by investing in our estate, existing and future, and partnering with our staff, students and local community to drive cultural change.
In 2010 we produced a Carbon Management Plan, which we are in the process of reviewing, and are committed to reporting on its progress annually as part of our Annual Environmental Report and Management Review of the EMS. In 2016/17 the University reduced its carbon emissions by 10.7% from the previous year, equating to a 39.9% reduction from a baseline year of 2005/06 through investing in energy saving measures such as lighting controls, variable speed drives, LED lighting, insulation and draught proofing.
A sustainable City Centre Campus
As well as investing in our existing estate, we are building an extension to our flagship City Centre Campus. Phase I, The Parkside Building, of this extension opened in autumn 2013 and Phase II opened in September 2015. The Campus is being built to a minimum of a BREEAM Excellent standard and this includes an Energy Performance Certificate rating of B. We are committed to building all new university owned buildings to this standard.
The Student Energy Project
The Student Energy Project (TSEP) is in operation at BCU accommodation with the aim to encourage students to reduce their electricity, gas and water use in their halls of residence. For every unit of energy and water students save, they will earn points which they can exchange for vouchers at the end of the academic year.
In addition to this, TSEP will be operating an engagement programme across the year providing students with ways to educate students and equip them with the skills to become better energy and environmental users, skills that they can take throughout their university life and beyond.