Nottingham reduces carbon footprint one step at a time

Nottingham University awarded funding for new carbon reduction investments

Posted by Emily Hutton

The University of Nottingham is living up to its accolade of being the world’s most sustainable University and has been awarded funding to push ahead with several carbon reduction investments.

The University has committed to move forward with projects at its Sutton Bonington campus and within its Medical School. The projects are set to reduce carbon emissions at the institution by 2,338 tonnes a year, and will also save the University over half a million pounds’ annually.

The new schemes are part of the University’s wider ‘green’ commitment, which aims to reduce the institution’s carbon footprint and lead the way in sustainable energy generation, transport, recycling, architecture and carbon management.

Andy Nolan, the University’s Director for Sustainability, said: “These combined projects will significantly reduce the University’s carbon emissions and will ensure we are able to generate more of our own energy, as well as reducing our current consumption and so reducing costs in the long term. Doing this means we can invest more of our resources into teaching, learning and research.”

Plans have been created at the Sutton Bonington campus, home to the School of Biosciences and the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science. They will see the development of a new combined heat and power system, providing up to 50 per cent of the electricity needed by students and staff at the campus.

The University has committed £1.32m to fund the scheme, which will reduce campus emissions by 26%. The combined heat and power (CHP) system will generate electricity and useful heat simultaneously, supplying heat to buildings on campus.

The University Medical School is the largest energy user across Nottingham’s UK campuses and accounts for 18% of the University’s energy consumption.

The HEFCE/Salix Revolving Green Fund has pledged £1.64m to the University to improve the performance of the building through improved insulation. It will also invest in a new chilled water system and low energy LED lighting. The projects will be undertaken over the next 12 months. 

Paul Smyth, Head of Programmes at Salix said: “The Medical School Chilled Water Plant was one of only 11 large scale projects which received such funding and we are convinced this project has the potential to make a significant contribution to the sector. We are proud to be involved in this initiative to make our universities more energy efficient. We need our universities to lead the way and influence others; students are looking to be educated in institutions which act as exemplars in terms of sustainability.”

The University has a long track record in sustainable activity. Only last month it was named the world’s most sustainable university for the second year in a row, in the Greenmetric 2015 league table.

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