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Cardiff University achieves Carbon Trust Standard

20 May 2010

Carbon Trust Standard Logo

The University has become the first higher education institution in Wales to achieve the Carbon Trust Standard, in recognition of its work and results and ongoing commitment to reduce its carbon emissions.

The University has been awarded the Standard after taking action on climate change by measuring and reducing carbon emissions by 1.3 per cent, comparing 2008/9 with the average of the preceding two years.

A national mark of excellence, the Carbon Trust Standard is the world’s first carbon award that requires an organisation to measure, manage and reduce carbon emissions across their own operations. The certificate constitutes 50 per cent of the Early Action Metric for judging performance in the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme (formerly known as the Carbon Reduction Commitment) which started in April 2010. As organisations are rewarded for actions they’ve taken to cut carbon across their own operations, the award is particularly timely for the University.

Cardiff University Vice Chancellor, Dr David Grant, said: "We are delighted to have achieved the Carbon Trust Standard and to be the first higher education provider in Wales to do so. This is independent confirmation that we have significantly reduced our carbon footprint, and huge testament to the hard work so many people across the University have put in to improving our sustainability.

"As one of Wales’ largest employers it is essential that we set an example for other organisations and the Carbon Trust Standard is another means of leading the way - we are wholly committed to making further reductions in the future."

Harry Morrison, General Manager of the Carbon Trust Standard, commented:

"Being certified with the Carbon Trust Standard is proof for Cardiff University that they have taken genuine action to reduce their impact on climate change by cutting carbon emissions. We congratulate them on this achievement and commend their leadership in terms of becoming a more sustainable organisation."

Cutting carbon is a priority for the University and through its Carbon Management Programme the University has been cutting its annual carbon emissions steadily over 2006/7 to 2008/9 compared to the initial baseline of 2005/6.

Since 2007, the University has invested £1.7M in energy saving schemes and became one of the first universities in the UK to take part in the Carbon Trust Higher Education Carbon Management Programme, which paved the way to the targets set.

With an annual energy bill of more than £8 million and annual emissions of more than 40,000 tonnes of carbon, the University worked with the Carbon Trust to identify how to reduce its carbon emissions over a five-year period 2006/7 to 2010/11. The targeted 14 per cent reduction in carbon emissions is equivalent to more than £3 million saving in energy costs over five years (based on 2005-6 levels). The energy-saving recommendations included, among many other initiatives, introducing a University-wide Energy and Water Saving Implementation Plan to reduce its carbon emissions. This involved such schemes as installing lighting and heating controls and introducing office recycling schemes. A new system for powering down PCs 15 minutes after they are logged out saves an estimated £100,000 per year in energy costs and around 700 tonnes of CO2 per year.

The University has created the Eco-Champion network of 100 staff whose role is to promote and encourage the reduction in energy and water consumption, minimise waste production and ensure efficient recycling of unwanted resources; and the University introduced an annual awareness raising Sustainability Week throughout Cardiff University to encourage staff and students to become more sustainable. The support of the Eco Champions has been critical to the savings in carbon and costs made to date.

The University will continue to work hard to implement energy saving initiatives, and raise awareness across the entire University to further reduce its carbon emissions.

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