Energy and Carbon Management

With a Campus of more than 250 buildings, 10,000 students and employing 3,000 staff, Keele University is a significant energy and water user.  This results in a substantial carbon footprint and therefore to meet the aim of being a truly sustainable organisation, we have implemented a combined Environment & Energy Policy, esnuring a comprehensive approach.  To meet the aims and objectives declared within this policy we have developed a clear sustainability framework which ensures that each thematic area has a considered approach and group of actions.  These actions are then monitored routinely at high level.

Carbon Management

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.  

Residential Accomodation

A significant proportion of the University's Carbon emissions is attributed to residential accomodation on campus. We run the national NUS Student Switch off energy saving competition within the Halls of Residence to encourage energy efficiency and reduce our impact on climate change. Further information on the University's residential accomodation carbon footprint can be found below.

Residential Accommodation Carbon Footprint

Energy Management


Keele was one of the first universities in the UK to have its Energy Management System (EnMS) certified to the prestigious quality standard  ISO 50001. This assists in achieving continual improvement in the management of energy used across campus. The University's Energy Management system currently covers a combination of academic buildings, classrooms, lecture theatre, restaurant/cafe, teaching labs, kitchens and the estates activities for the academic buildings.

Lucideon ISO 50001 Logo

A key pillar of the EnMS is the University Energy Management Strategy.  This document provides specific targets for energy efficiency and Low-Zero Carbon generation on campus and provides an action plan to achieve each.  Agreed in 2017, the targets are to:

  • Increase energy efficiency by 28% by 2022 against a 2015/16 baseline
  • Increase energy generated from Low-Zero Carbon Sources to 25% of total campus energy use by 2022 against the 2015/16 baseline

The Strategy can be found here: Energy Management Strategy 2016-2022.

Reducing Consumption

Energy Efficiency Funding

Since 2010, The University has invested more than £2.6m in projects that have reduced both our energy consumption and carbon emissions.  These projects include the installation of new efficient gas boilers, the development of a Combined Heat and Power energy centre, the replacement of inefficient lighting systems and improved insulation amongst others and are expected to deliver lifetime carbon savings of over 30,000 tonnes.  We've been so successful that we were shortlisted for a Green Gown Award in the carbon reduction category in 2016.

We are consistently identifying and evaluating new projects and opportunities and have specific funding to allow us to implement those that meet specific payback criteria.  Although we routinely identify new projcts from building energy audits and maintenance programmes, we encourage both staff and students to assist us by providing suggestions for how we can improve the energy and water efficiency of your workspace or residence.  We get some of our most effective projects this way so please feel free to fill in the KU Sustainability Ideas google form which you can find here

Energy & Water Consumption Performance

Please follow the following link to see reports of our University Utility Consumption.

Low Carbon Energy

Low-Zero Carbon Energy

Keele University is committed to reducing our impact from the energy consumption for our day to day business.  For this reason we buy 100% of electricity through 'green' tariffs which is guaranteed to be from renewable sources.  In addition, we now produce more than 5% of our energy on site through low-zero carbon measures.  These include more than 150kWp of solar photovoltaics, a biomass boiler and a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) engine. In addition, our Sustainability Hub has been testing a number of different types of decentralised energy production, including ground source heating and biomass.  More information on the Hub can be found here.

Behaviour Change

What You Can Do To Help

The only way Keele University will be able to achieve its goal of becoming truly Sustainable is to ensure that everyone that uses our campus or facilities is playing their part.  To understand how you can contribute please see the Environmental Good Practice page for tips on how you can reduce your own environmental impact.

We also find that some of the best opportunities for improving our environmental sustainability come from our staff and students.  If you have a good idea please let us know by filling in the Google form located here.  We aim to respond to all of the responses as soon as possible.


Keele University has joined a partnership to trial a new natural gas/hydrogen mix for homes and offices. The project is called HyDeploy. It will take advantage of Keele's unique position as a self-contained energy network and aims to demonstrate that blending up to 20% hydrogen into the natural gas supply can be delivered without distuption. The results of this project will help inform and influence future energy technology policy developments in the UK.

For more information go to