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University makes solid progress against environmental targets

Lake

Carbon emissions, waste reduction and changes in behaviour at the University are all explored in the latest Environmental and Sustainability Report.

The 2018/19 report, compiled by Sustainability Services, provides detailed analysis of our green performance over the past year - a year in which concerns around environmental issues have risen in prominence locally, nationally and internationally.

The team has noticed a distinct increase in the appetite and expectation for sustainability action within the University, which became even more apparent during the creation of our new core Strategy.

Key points

As explained in the full report, this year has been one of achievement for sustainability at the University. A few key points include:

Cutting Carbon 

Having exceeded our target of reducing carbon emissions by 40% (based on 2008/09 baseline year), we're now on track to reach 43%-45% reduction by 2021.

The programme has delivered £30 million in cumulative revenue savings since 2011. This year alone, we have installed over 500 individual solar panels at Whiteknights, London Road, Greenlands and Thames Valley Science Park. Energy efficiency continues to play a key role in logistics, as evidenced in recent improvements to the University's central servers, delivering £45,000 of annual savings.

Reducing Waste 

Our recycling rate has remained reasonably static at just over 50%. However, the University's target for total waste reductions per person has been massively exceeded, with a 15.5% reduction compared to a target of 5%. Over the last 3 years, the Waste Strategy has delivered cumulative revenue savings of £213,400.

Re-use schemes have continued to expand, with almost 20 tonnes of ‘waste' furniture/
equipment being put back into circulation this year, delivering further avoided costs of £90,000 over 2 years.

Changing Behaviour

Our behaviour change platform JUMP saw over 16,000 sustainability actions reported in just 9 months. This demonstrates how small actions can and do add up, creating an even bigger impact. The JUMP platform has been expanded to include a new section on ‘wellbeing', in partnership with HR.

As for next year, the 2019/20 academic year promises to be an exciting one for sustainability, and one in which we can set new expectations for our ongoing environmental leadership.

The full report is available to view online, and can also be found on the Sustainability Services website. 

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