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Chichester among most environmentally-friendly universities

The University has cut its CO2 emissions by more than 1,200 tonnes since 2007

 

THE University of Chichester has been ranked in the UK’s top five most environmentally-friendly universities after reducing its carbon emissions by more than 1,200 tonnes in the last decade.

A poll by HESA, a government think tank for higher education data and analysis, rated the institution as having the country’s fourth lowest energy emissions per square metre, out of 265 others who took part.

The University has saved more than 1,224 metric tonnes of C02 since 2007, the equivalent of burning nearly 1.5 million pounds (lbs) or 680,000kg of coal. It has also cut its notional energy emissions by 52 per cent and its carbon footprint by a third in ten years despite increasing its building floor space of estate by 50 per cent in that time.

University energy officer Peter Bassett said the reductions show that students and staff are now more conscious of living sustainable lifestyles than ever before.

He added: “There has been a real community effort to reduce our carbon footprint, from the amount of electricity used in our classrooms, natural gas and oil to heat our buildings, or fuel for our vehicles. Environmental sustainability has been adopted into the very heart of our University culture – in the way we work and study – but we still have some way to go to develop a fully-sustainable university.”

The University has heavily invested in renewable technologies across its classrooms and student accommodation since 2010 in an effort to offset its carbon footprint. It has installed solar panels on new teaching spaces, energy-efficient LED lighting and controls in around 80 per cent of its buildings, and fitting a biomass boiler which burns organic material to generate heat.

Compostable coffee cups and straws made from plant-based material were recently introduced to reduce plastic pollution

Compostable coffee cups and straws made from plant-based material have been introduced to reduce plastic pollution, while Chichester remains the UK’s longest university participant of JUMP – a nationwide sustainability scheme promoting environmental issues to students and staff.

University Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Seamus Higson said that climate change is one of the greatest challenges facing our planet and all universities have a vital role in tackling it. He added: “We have made extraordinary progress since 2010, investing more than £2.6million in energy-efficiency projects across the University.

“We are also adopting a range of energy-efficient technologies and incorporating low and zero carbon (LZC) technologies into our buildings, classrooms, and accommodation. We hope that, through leading by example, we can create a sustainable future that will not only benefit our University and nearby community, but the entire world.”

News of the University’s sustained effort to cut its CO2 emissions come just weeks after it signed the historic Civic University Agreement, committing itself to driving environmental, economic, and cultural innovation across the south coast.

To find out more about how the work and research being undertaken at the University of Chichester to develop environmental and sustainable technologies go to www.chi.ac.uk. For more about the HESA rankings go to www.hesa.ac.uk/collection/c17042/a/environmentenergyemissionsandwaste.

 

Key stats

The 1,224 metric tonnes of CO2 saved by the University of Chichester is equivalent to:

  • An average family hatchback driving 2,991,433 miles
  • 137,673 gallons of petrol consumed
  • Charging 156,011,321 mobile phones
  • It has also helped to save 53,384 bags of waste from landfill
  • HESA rated the University of Chichester as having the UK’s fourth lowest notional energy emissions per square meter of gross internal area (GIA) out of 265 others who took part.
  • The University increased its building floor space of estate by 50 per cent between 2005/06 and 2017/18.
  • This figure will increase for the reporting years 2018/19 following the opening of its new £35million Tech Park, located on its Bognor Regis campus, which is 6000m2 in size.