We are working to reduce our energy consumption and achieve the government legislation for net zero carbon by 2050.

The University's consumption of energy and water costs over £8 million and 16,000 tonnes of CO2 per year.

Be Chilled

One example project that goes past the usual "switch your lights off!" campaign is freezer management.

As part of our #WasteLeics Behaviour Change campaign to reduce our carbon emissions, we are aiming to target our usage of freezers in order to help lower our emissions. As a University we take pride in our scientific research, but our science buildings are our largest consumer of energy.

Refrigeration accounts for 20-30% of electricity energy (£1.56M / 880 tonnes CO2 over 5 Years).

The University recognises the importance and value of its research materials and is committed to their effective management. Some of this research material, either being actively used or archived, requires refrigerated storage, including the use of ultra-cold (-80oC) freezers, -20oC freezers, 4oC fridges and liquid nitrogen storage. We are working with lab technicians in the College of Life Sciences to develop a freezer management policy. This project will help to improve safety and decrease risk of fires and lost research among other hazards.

This campaign will save up to 600 tons CO2 over 5 years and potentially saving £1.1M to £1.2M.

We estimated by conducting simple interventions such as reducing the amount of freezers needed, re-structure the usage of space in labs and cold rooms and identifying old samples, we could reduce our energy and costs significantly over 5 years. Whilst the use of electricity to run labs cannot be avoided in a research intensive University, we can conduct these measures and reduce our consumption to 600 tCO² over five years.

Our first steps are to audit the current freezers, providing students to be part of the process to help our Labs be Green.

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