The University of Ulster has been awarded a prestigious Carbon Trust Standard Award.
The award is a public affirmation of the quality of Ulster’s carbon performance and management regime, which has already saved the University hundreds of thousands of pounds.
Over the past five years, the University of Ulster has
· become the first UK higher education institution to install on campus a large wind turbine generator;
· fitted the latest low carbon energy technologies to its upgraded Belfast campus;
· deployed a ground source heat pump to deliver low-emission heating to the high performance sports centre at Jordanstown;
· switched from fuel oil to lower-carbon natural gas at Coleraine and Magee;
· fitted room sensors that switch off lights if they do not detect movement
· installed sensors that automatically adjust ventilation and air quality according to Co2 and temperature levels;
· put in place energy and environmental policies designed to reduce carbon emissions in the institution.
In 2008/2009 the University achieved a 13.4% reduction in energy use/m2 from the baseline. The target of 13% for 08/09 was based on Government guidelines for improving energy performance by 15% over the 11 years from the 99/00 base year.
The 13.4% reduction in energy against baseline equates to an approximate annual saving of £540K per year at current prices – cash which can be ploughed back into the University’s core educational services.
Head of Engineering Stephen Doherty said: “We’re delighted to have achieved the Carbon Trust Standard. It demonstrates that we have effectively managed energy usage and carbon emissions and we intend to use it to communicate our environmental credentials to those that matter.
“In the current climate it’s essential that we remain competitive. Cutting carbon is a priority for us and delivers tangible bottom-line benefits for the institution. We have already reduced our carbon emissions over an 11 year period and are committed to making further reductions in the future.”
The award submission was prepared by Sean Conway, the University’s Energy & Environment Manager:
“The University of Ulster is one of the few large UK institutions where emissions have actually come down. Only 20 UK universities have been awarded the Carbon Trust Standard,” he said.
“And although we are proud of this achievement, we cannot rest on our laurels. New, very challenging emissions targets have recently been published for UK Higher Education institutions. They will be difficult to meet – but we have to rise to the challenge.”
For further information contact David Young, Press Office, University of Ulster, 028 90366074/07808 911 343.