Issue date: 03 June 2010
The University of the West of England has gained the Carbon Trust Standard, a mark of excellence that has been awarded in recognition of measuring, managing and improving our carbon efficiency*.
Tessa Gordelier, UWE's Energy Management Engineer, said, “Having the work we have been doing externally recognised by such a prestigious award is fantastic for the University – it shows that there is real substance behind the work going on and that it is not just green wash.
“Staff in the Estates and Facilities Services are very proud of this achievement as it proves that we have taken genuine action on climate change and is external recognition for the work that we have done. We had to demonstrate an improvement in our carbon efficiency over the last three years and undergo an on-site assessment of the processes and procedures we have in place for managing UWE's carbon emissions.”
Key projects that are part of the ongoing efforts at the University to reduce carbon emissions include PC Power management, the installation of a site wide automatic metering system for electricity consumption, a trial of free cooling systems and in the Student Village automatic lighting controls and units fitted to optimise fridge energy use have been installed. In addition to these key projects the team have highlighted the importance of staff and students becoming more energy aware and responsible for the equipment they use.
The PC management improvements will save over 110 tonne of CO2 per annum; the metering system will measure energy used every half hour allowing insight into any wastage; the free cooling trials are being piloted in one part of the university and will mean a saving of 23 tonnes of CO2 per annum and the Student Village improvements will save over 120 tonnes of CO2 per annum
Tessa Gordelier continues, “The key target is set out in UWE's Sustainability Strategy which is a 30% reduction in buildings' carbon emissions between 2001/2 to 2011/12.
Currently we are on a 25% reduction so there is still a lot of work to be done but it is definitely an achievable target. In 2008/09 UWE buildings emitted 15,174 tonnes of CO2.
The Carbon Trust Standard requires us to keep reducing our carbon emissions and to recertify every two years. This means we have to continue the great work and all keep reducing our impact on the environment.
A key area to work on is individual actions, which have a large contribution to UWE's CO2 emissions. Making staff and students responsible for the areas they work in and helping them to understand where energy can be saved is crucial and this is something that we will be increasingly focusing on in the future.”
*Tonnes CO2e/£ Turnover