The University has been officially awarded the Carbon Trust Standard for the second time which externally verifies our absolute carbon reductions relating to electricity, gas, oil and fleet travel. The bar has been raised over the first certification as the report now requires us to record all business related travel. The Carbon Trust Standard is a mark of excellence that has been awarded to the University in recognition of measuring, managing and reducing our carbon emissions and demonstrates our commitment to reducing carbon emissions year on year.
The Carbon Trust Standard shows people which organisations have genuinely committed to ongoing emission reductions.
It shows that the University is taking action by reducing the carbon emissions that we are directly responsible for rather than just paying others to off-set our emissions.
Some of the projects that have enabled us to get the Carbon Trust Standard include:
- Installation of new transformer equipment, resulting in more efficient distribution of electricity on the Whiteknights Campus.
- Move to all diesel or electric fleet vehicles.
- Energy awareness and behavioural change including Green Impact, Sustainability road shows and Green Weeks.
- Installation of and modernization of BMS and heating controls.
- Installation of efficient lighting and lighting controls.
- Improved insulation in many buildings.
The Carbon Trust Standard requires us to keep reducing our carbon emissions and to recertify every two years. It means we have to continue the great work and all keep reducing our impact on the environment. There is no room for complacency – despite the overall reduction over the past two years, 2012/13 actually showed an increase in carbon emissions over 2011/12. Although this was primarily due to heating buildings during a cold, extended winter, it goes to show that we need to make every effort to reduce our total carbon emissions.
The University’s Energy Manager Dan Fernbank said “Meeting the stringent criteria for the Carbon Trust Standard is a significant achievement and recognises the good work already undertaken to reduce the University’s carbon emissions. There is of course more that we need to do to meet our ambitious targets for carbon reduction. We are always pleased to hear from staff with further ideas for reducing our energy use and environmental impact.”
To get involved or make suggestions regarding carbon management or general environmental issues at the University, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org, follow us on Twitter @UniRdg_Sust or watch out for a Sustainability Road show coming to your building.
If you would like to take action, please follow the simple steps below:
- Resist the temptation to run electric heaters. We will each save £1.50 per week if you turn off an electric heater for two hours per day
- Turn off your computer when you go home, or even better, when you leave your desk for more than 30 minutes. That will equate to a saving of £1 per week per computer if you turn off for eight hours per 24 hour day.
- Wear warmer clothes instead of turning up the heating. An increase of 1°C will raise our energy bills by 10%.