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Environmental sustainability - end of year review

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The University is continuing to lead the way in delivering environmentally sustainable solutions on campus.

Carbon, Energy & Water

We have now cut our carbon footprint by 37% since 2008/09, and our water consumption by 29% since 2011/12.  This has seen some major investments over the last year, including:

  • Our first district heating extension, to bring the Hopkins building and Chemistry research wing onto our low carbon heating network – targeted to save 163 tCO2/year
  • Installation of 144 kWp solar photovoltaic (PV) panels on Edith Morley and Windrush (Greenlands) buildings – bringing the total number of individual PV panels on our estate to over 1,000 – generating up to 60% of the buildings’ energy consumption in the summer
  • Installation of centralised vacuum and chilled water systems in 2 large Chemistry Teaching Labs as part of their wider refurbishment – which is expected to deliver 23,000 m3 of water savings per year.
  • Since 2011, our carbon and water management programme has now delivered £29 million in cumulative revenue savings.


We have achieved our highest recycling rate to date of 51%, with a 7% year-on-year reduction in waste produced per person.  Catering’s the award-winning Sustain It bottle scheme has been a particular success this year, seeing plastic bottle waste reducing by 150,000 bottles. 

Our significantly improved recycling signage is beginning to pay dividends, with signs of further rises in our recycling rates this academic year. 

Sustainable travel

85% of staff and student journeys to campus are now through sustainable travel methods.  This has already exceeded our 2022 target for 83% and we have now set a further stretch target of 87% for 2022. 

The University’s full annual Environmental Sustainability report is available online at

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