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Press Release - 02 December 2008

Going green: Uni reverses energy consumption trends

The University of Bath has cut its carbon footprint and its contribution to climate change in the last two years conserving more than 1,400 tonnes of CO2, the equivalent to saving the electricity output of more than 500 households each year.

The University’s recently released Energy Report 2007/2008, details the changes made on campus to lower emissions and reduce its environmental impact.

Over two years, electricity use has been reduced by seven per cent, saving 1,400 tonnes of CO2, and water use has been reduced by nine per cent in one year, saving 32 million litres. Electricity use in the Sports Training Village has also been cut by 15 per cent.

Any additions to the existing estate have also been designed to minimise environmental impact, with the University attaining the highest Building Research Establishment (BREEAM) eco-standard for its new £21m, 355 room student residence block, Woodland Court.

Solar thermal systems have been recently installed in updated student blocks and a green transport plan is currently being reviewed as part of the Masterplan process.

“The University takes its environmental responsibilities seriously. Our carbon footprint due to energy use is about 22,000 tonnes of CO2, a significant amount,” said Peter Phelps, Energy and Environment Manager at the University.

“We therefore have a responsibility to reduce our environmental impact and our contribution to climate change.”

Other ongoing energy saving projects include: Our Big Energy Challenge and the Student Residence Competition.

The former is a treasury-funded joint project with local public sector organisations, focussed on staff awareness-raising. A network of 55 volunteer energy champions were recruited and trained across all departments helping to raise awareness of energy usage and improve practices.

The latter is an energy-saving competition in which students compete against each other to win prizes based on minimising their electricity usage. Total savings over two years amounted to 250 tonnes of CO2.

The University’s Students’ Union (SU) achieved a ‘bronze’ for sustainability in the national SU Sound Impact Awards, a national scheme that looks at its performance over a wide range of criteria. The SU is hoping to achieve a silver award this year. Accommodation and Hospitality Services are also aiming for a Green Tourism award in a similar scheme.

“Both the SU and Accommodation should be congratulated on taking responsibility for their environmental impact,” said Mr Phelps.

“And equally, for responding well to pressure from our main customers - our students - who are more and more environmentally aware and increasingly expect a high performance from the university of their choice.”

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