The University of Sussex reduced its annual CO2 emissions by 13 per cent (2,493 tonnes) in 2011-12 and is now two years ahead of schedule in its bid to nearly halve its carbon footprint.
Emissions were 25 per cent (5,643 tonnes) lower than in 2005-06, when the University outlined plans to achieve a 44 per cent reduction by 2020.
They were also lower than the target emissions for 2013-14 as laid out in the Sussex Carbon Management Plan.
Pat Pica, the University’s Energy and Environment Manager, said that a project to install LED lighting in many campus buildings contributed to the reduction last year.
He said: “It is encouraging that our investments in energy-efficient technologies are paying off.
“It is a big challenge to make the University more environmentally sustainable at a time when it is enjoying wide-scale expansion.
More students, more staff, new buildings – all these things have an environmental impact and we are having to find creative ways to lessen that impact.”
Other recent green initiatives at Sussex include using state-of-the-art technologies such as passive ventilation, reduced solar gain, rainwater harvesting and energy-efficient lighting for new buildings.
Fulton, Jubilee and Northfield have all been classified ‘Excellent’ by the Building Research Establishment’s Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM).
The University has also begun developing new action plans on waste, sustainable procurement, water and biodiversity, carrying out comprehensive auditing of transport, sustainable procurement and water management.
The University’s commitment to environmental issues and sustainability was underlined last year when the Daily Telegraph named Sussex the top UK university for recycling.
In December 2011, Sussex also became one of just 11 UK universities to receive the ‘gold’ accreditation for the EcoCampus Environmental Management System (EMS). Work is already well under way to achieve ‘platinum’ accreditation.
Press Release from the University of Sussex