University awarded £3.3 million grant to boost carbon reduction initiatives

Seacole Building

Birmingham City University (BCU) will be taking significant steps towards reducing its carbon emissions after being awarded £3.3 million by the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero, as part of the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme.

Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences

Birmingham City University

The scheme, which provides grants for public sector bodies to fund heat decarbonisation and energy efficiency measures, aims to reduce emissions from public sector buildings by 75% by 2037, compared to a 2017 baseline, as set out in the 2021 Net Zero and Heat and Buildings strategies.

The University will use the funds to upgrade the Pavilion, the university’s main sports facility; and the Seacole building, which houses the Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences and the Defence School of Healthcare Education. It is also investing over £450,000 as part of the project, taking the total to around £3.8 million.

Air source heat pumps, solar panels and LED lighting will be installed in both buildings to dramatically reduce carbon emissions.

A variety of other energy efficiency measures will be installed, including energy efficient chillers in the Seacole building and insulation and a building energy management system in the Pavilion Leisure Centre.

The projects, which are due to be completed by March 2024, will support the University’s carbon reduction and net zero strategies – contributing an 8% reduction of carbon emissions across its entire estate. The University estimates that the investment will enable it to save more than £300,000 per year in utility costs.

The Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme is delivered by Salix Finance, a Department for Energy Security and Net Zero non-departmental public body.

The announcement comes as a major boost to BCU’s sustainability and carbon zero initiatives, after it met a sector-wide target to reduce its carbon emissions by 43% between 2005-6 and 2020-21, underscoring its status as a leading institution for sustainability and environmental performance.

In December, Birmingham City University was recognised as a top-scoring university in the latest People & Planet University League, an annual report which ranks universities by environmental and ethical performance.

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