Plans and policies

We achieved our 2020 carbon reduction target of 34% against a 1990 baseline a year early and are now putting in place ambitious plans to become Carbon neutral by 2030. A major new developmet on campus will see a renewable energy park installed with 12,500 solar PV arrays, two wind turbines and large scale battery storage which will reduce our emissions by 1,500 Tonnes of CO2e annually and provide 50% of the campus electricity.

Through considerable investment in infrastructure and the implementation of an internationally recognised Energy Management System, we’ve managed to reduce our carbon footprint significantly compared to 1990 despite having grown considerably in both size and student numbers.


We are a long way from finishing the job however. We are committed to continual improvement including a specific focus on improving the energy efficiency of campus buildings, replacing our reliance on fossil fuels with low and zero carbon generation and the implementation of a Smart Energy Network Demonstrator (SEND). The SEND project in particular is an exciting development that will see the deployment of emerging technologies on campus which will inform the future shape of the national and international energy sector.

Carbon management plan

To outline our approach and ensure that our actions to reduce energy usage are embraced by all within the University, we have had in place since 2010 a Carbon Management Plan. This provides us with a clear target to reduce our emissions by 34% by 2020 and 80% by 2050 against a 1990 baseline.

The latest version of the Carbon Management Plan was approved by the University Executive Committee in July 2016 and follows on from the original first implemented in 2010. As well as reaffirming our commitment to the target, the Plan outlines our progress to date and identifies the measures that we intend to take. You can download a copy of the latest plan below.

 Carbon Management Plan 2016 - 2022

‌Our carbon emissions include our emissions attributed to residential accommodation. A comparison split of carbon emissions from the residential and non-residential estate can be found here: Residential Accommodation Carbon Footprint

Net zero carbon

In May 2019 the University Council declared a climate emergency and committed to an ambitious target of net zero emissions by the year 2030. The challenge we face to reach this target is difficult to understate and a step change in our carbon strategy is required to achieve the actions necessary to slash our carbon footprint.

This is particularly the case as net zero looks beyond the typical scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions reporting that has previously been mandated on Universities. Whilst on site emissions such as those from gas for heating (scope 1) and purchased emissions such as those from electricity consumption (scope 2) are still critical, much more emphasis is now placed on indirect emissions such as transport, waste and procurement.

A Climate Emergency Group has been convened within the internal governance structure to bring together key members of the organisation from all reaches of the campus. Through this group we are developing a strategy which will identify the actions required from all areas of the University to deliver against this vitally important target over the next decade.