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We are committed to achieving Net Zero Carbon for scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions by 2040, and for all other carbon emissions by 2050.

We recognise the need to act quickly to reduce carbon emissions in line with the Paris Agreement’s aim to keep global temperature rises to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Approximately 99% of our scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions are related to the energy used to heat and power our buildings. The remainder is made up of carbon emissions related to fleet vehicles and refrigerant gases.

Our intentions are to take action to improve the energy efficiency of our buildings by upgrading our lighting to LED, improving our Building Management System, and installing renewable energy technologies such as solar panels and air source heat pumps. We are also commissioning expertise to inform our approach to decarbonising our fossil fuel heating across the University.

Our aims are:

  • Meet the University ESD carbon management targets 
  • Avoid unnecessary expenditure on utilities 
  • Improve cost-effectiveness, productivity and working conditions 
  • Protect the environment 
  • Prolong the life of useful fossil fuels 
  • Investigate and promote the use of renewable fuels.
An University branded electric vehicle driving on campus

Carbon reductions

During 2022-23 the University installed 435 kWp of solar PV across the campus, which will generate over 380,000 kWh of electricity each year, equivalent to the annual electricity use of 130 UK homes, saving around 77 tonnes of CO2 each year. We have also ensured almost all of our fleet vehicles are now electric. 

Work has also continued to improve the energy efficiency of our buildings, including LED lighting upgrades and improvements to the building management systems. We have also rolled out water metering and targeting meters, to help to reduce water consumption. 

Find out more information by reading the Annual Carbon Management Report 2022/23.

birds eye view of the solar panels installed on city campus buildings

Solar panels

We installed an arrange of solar panels on campus which will help to cut down on carbon emissions and produce free, zero-carbon power. 

The new photovoltaic array were installed on the roof of CitySpace in April 2021 and are predicted to generate 94,000kWh of free, zero-carbon electricity per year. 

Modern hanging lights turned on at gateway cafe

Heat and lights

A completely new building management system was installed in Wearside View to allow heating, ventilation and cooling to be controlled centrally and reduce energy waste. 

Refurbishment and reconfiguration works at level one of the David Goldman Technology Centre incorporated high efficiency LED lighting and improved controls to reduce energy use. 

City Campus

Building management systems

A project to modernise and improve the performance of the building management system in the majority of buildings across the estate is almost complete and building management system specialists have been engaged to repair, replace, and improve the controls systems where required to improve efficiency and reduce energy waste.