60% Carbon Reduction Commitment
The Environmental Sustainability Strategy commits the University to cut 60% of its carbon emissions by 2020
60% carbon cuts at Leicester – what on earth for?
The 2008 Climate Change Act stipulates that everyone in the UK (including ALL businesses and organisations) need to make cuts in the carbon we emit. The cuts have to be in the order of 34% by 2020 and 80% by 2050.
Why is our target 60% by 2020?
The 34% cut is against what we were producing back in 1990, but Leicester has grown A LOT since 1990 and we also use more current data as our baseline. Hence we require a 60% cut by 2020 against our 2004/5 baseline data.
Why should I care?
As well as the environmental arguments, there's a strong financial one. Under the Government’s CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme the University of Leicester is to be charged 300K in carbon tax for the 2011-2012 academic year, a tariff which is expected to rise year on year.
A 60% reduction will not only decrease CRC taxes, but also save £3,000,000 a year in energy bills.
Where do we start with cutting the University’s carbon?
Efforts to reduce University carbon emissions are already underway. As a result of recently being connected to the Leicester District Energy Scheme, Central Campus emissions are expected to decrease by 12-15%.
But it's vital that all University staff and students do their bit to help.
We can all help by making sure that everything that CAN be switched off IS switched off. This means shutting your computer down every night, switching off lights when not needed, putting a jumper on and forgiving Estates if the heating comes on later in the year or goes off earlier.
Can’t we just use technology to achieve it? How much difference will it really make if I leave my PC on over night?
There are many techno-fixes that are being employed including new windows, meters, better boilers and lighting, IT solutions for shutting down as well as insulation. There will be continuing pressure on our efficient use of space in buildings. All our new buildings will aspire to be low or zero carbon (LZC) so we don’t create a legacy of poor performing buildings.
But we also know that 1,000 PCs are left on overnight, every night at the University which is just wasteful of the University’s resources.
So the whole university needs to ‘do it’s bit’ if a 60% carbon cut stands a chance of becoming a reality by 2020. That includes you switching your PC etc OFF!
We have other plans but we don’t know yet how the carbon cuts will be made so we’re looking at lots of other ideas. If you have any ideas (from awesome to tiny) to add then get involved. Find out how you can contribute to our 60% emissions reduction target.