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#GettingResults: How University’s green credentials are top of the agenda

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Published on 11 June 2021

St Peter's campus
St Peter's campus

The UK holds the G7 presidency for 2021 and a meeting of some of the world’s most powerful leaders takes at the Carbis Bay Hotel in Cornwall from Friday.

The region is seen as central to the UK's green technology sector. Showing off the country's green credentials is important to the government ahead of the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow in November.

This year the University is supporting Universities UK #GettingResults - a campaign to put universities at the heart of the economic and social recovery.

So how is the University of Sunderland playing their part in creating a sustainable, post-Covid world?

Well, here’s how:


Fact 1

In 2019/20 the University achieved a whopping 65% carbon savings, 22% over our target of 43% (which is the University sector target) well ahead of the 2020/21 target deadline.

How did we do it?

Well, during this period mechanical and electrical systems in buildings were closely managed to reduce energy waste during building closures. This involved walkthrough surveys in buildings, remotely managing Building Management System settings and, in many cases, temporarily decommissioning heating, hot water, ventilation and cooling systems.


Fact 2

The University segregates waste internally and stores general waste and recycling centrally on each campus and in student accommodation prior to collection.

How are we getting better?

So, our years efforts to reduce the amounts of waste generated have been successful and with an improvement in digital services means the amount of paper waste has significantly reduced. Efforts to recycled as many waste streams as possible through waste segregation practices on site means that more waste is recycled than disposed as energy from waste. It’s good news.

Fact 3

We are all too aware of plastic pollution and have ran events to address and suggest ways we can help.

The University also asked staff and students to work out how much of certain plastics they used annually using a special online calculator. We used the results to show how each person can change their habits and make a significant difference.

Fact 4

Making a personal pledge.

The University actively encourages staff and students to do their bit. Earlier this week, our students were on the beaches, picking up litter.

We also:

  •          Encourage staff and students to walk more and drive less
  •          Pick up any litter when out walking in the countryside or at the beach
  •          Buy goods that are not wrapped on plastic
  •          Take part in volunteering opportunities


Fact 5

The University is planning further phases of LED retrofits and improved controls for David Goldman and Reg Vardy Buildings at St Peter’s campus.

How will this help?

These are expected to reduce energy use, costs and carbon emissions by around 50% compared to the old, inefficient fluorescent lighting and obsolete controls.