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Energy and Carbon

Cardiff Met recognises the important role and responsibility it has in tackling climate change, reducing our estate wide carbon footprint and contributing to improving building performance, occupant wellbeing and local air quality for the benefit of our staff, students and visitors.

Our carbon reduction journey has resulted in a number of notable achievements.  Our current Carbon Management Strategy 2018/19- 2022/23 aims to build on the strong energy performance of the University through the promotion of best practice energy efficiency, leading by example and the engagement of students and staff to foster a collective responsibility towards continuous improvement in sustainability across Cardiff Met.

With continued investment in energy efficiency this strategy will deliver a 60% overall reduction in carbon emissions compared to the 2005/06 baseline.  This keeps us firmly on course to achieve identified sector carbon targets, work towards achieving proposed Welsh Government public sector targets for 2030 and continue the course to achieve the national target of reducing carbon emissions by 80% by 2050 against a 1990 baseline.

Welsh Government are encouraging all HE institutions to adopt the 2030 Net Zero goal and lead by example in decarbonising their estates.  In response to this, we are developing a new Net Zero Carbon Management Strategy that will plot our journey to achieving net zero by 2030 across Scopes 1 and 2 with a commitment for Scope 3 by 2035.

We publicly report our carbon emissions (Scopes 1-3) annually alongside other UK HE institutions on the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) website.

Our headline achievements:

  • In the last 12 years we have reduced our Scopes 1 and 2 building carbon emissions by 53% to the end of 2019/20, a saving of 3,699 tonnes of CO2e.

  • We now emit over 3,699 fewer tonnes of carbon each year than we did twelve years ago – the equivalent of 450 typical UK homes worth of emissions.

  • Over the last 12 years we have reduced electricity use by 33% and gas by 39% respectively.

  • We have purchased 100% fully renewable electricity since 2017.

  • We have not disposed of any waste to landfill since 2013/14 with all general waste now processed in a local energy from waste plant.

  • We have converted our fossil fuel pool car fleet to electric

  • We generate around 45,000kWh annually from our solar PV on our buildings in Llandaff and Cyncoed saving grid electricity costs of approximately £6,250 per year, which equates to circa 15 tonnes of CO2e.

What have we done?

  • Extensive LED lighting upgrades with improved controls have taken place in various buildings across the estate achieving savings of 150tCO2e and £115k in cost savings per year

  • A site wide BMS upgrade and controls optimisation for heating and ventilation plant delivering annual cost savings of £40k and a reduction of 175tCO2e;

  • Installation of new high performance boilers, hot water heaters and plant across various buildings.

  • External lighting upgrades across both Llandaff and Cyncoed campuses saving around 65% in energy consumption and 18tCO2e per annum

  • Improvements and expansion of the building sub-metering network across the estate.

As well as reducing our scope 1 and 2 emissions targets, we are fully aware that our Scope 3 emissions represent a significant volume of our overall carbon footprint. 

We are developing systems and processes to better capture, analyse and report on our Scope 3 data to establish baselines and meaningful targets that we can work towards to reduce the indirect impacts the University has on the environment.  This includes working closely with our Procurement team, our suppliers and contractors and decarbonising travel emissions through incentives and initiatives for increasing low carbon travel among our staff, students and visitors.

What's next?

As part of our accelerated drive to reduce our carbon emissions, we are in the process of reviewing proposals for increasing our estate wide renewable energy generation, the provision of electric charging infrastructure and low/zero carbon technologies.  We will be undertaking further BMS upgrades and optimisation, LED lighting upgrades, optimising sustainability through our refurbishment programme using the RICS SKA environmental assessment methodology and the provision of a full estate condition survey to inform decisions around improving building performance.