RAU tops the league for carbon reductions for second year running

Royal Agricultural University purple flowers

A recent report to highlight the progress being made by universities to lower their carbon emissions, has placed the Royal Agricultural University (RAU) as a top performer for a second consecutive year.

The University Carbon Progress Report is produced by independent sustainability consultants Brite Green. The RAU was one of only 37 universities out of 126 to exceed their 2020 carbon targets.

The RAU placed first out of all English universities for its decrease of carbon emissions in relation to income (61%), and first for its decrease of emissions in relation to floor space (58%) since 2008. The RAU was also ranked in 21st for absolute carbon reduction. These performance tables demonstrate that despite growing as an institution, the RAU has still managed to significantly reduce its carbon emissions.

These impressive reductions are as a result of installing a biomass boiler, solar panels, and air source heat pumps, resulting in 15% of the RAU’s energy being generated from renewable sources on site.

Alongside this, the RAU has upgraded to efficient lighting systems and gas boilers, provided advice to students to help them save energy, and developed an Environmental Management System. In the last year, the RAU has rolled out an extensive programme of energy efficiency upgrades including LED lighting, secondary glazing, and smart controls.

Pearl Costello, Environmental Officer at the Royal Agricultural University, said: “We’re absolutely delighted to see this result, which reflects the enormous effort the RAU has put in to reducing carbon. We’re on track to exceed our 2020 target and are currently developing a new strategy to ensure that we continue to be an exemplar for our students.”

Sustainability and environmental matters are a core element of the RAU’s teaching, research, and consultancy activities, and students have access to a ‘living lab’, with the chance to base their dissertations on the University’s carbon reduction activities.

Meanwhile, staff can get involved too; the University is launching the second year of Green Impact; a staff competition to be more ‘green’ in which students can act as project assistants to gain valuable experience and formal training.

Read the full report on the Brite Green website. Visit www.rau.ac.uk/sustainability to find out more about our green initiatives.

For more information please contact Shelly.Hampshire@rau.ac.uk on 01285 652531.