Energy and carbon

We currently use over 80 million kilowatt hours of energy per year. We are working to reduce our demand for energy whilst increasing the proportion generated by renewables. 

We’ve agreed a 2030 Net Zero carbon target and have published a detailed plan.


Energy Policy

(233.5 KB .PDF)

Charting Our Path to Net Zero: Our Commitment and Actions

In January 2020, the University’s Executive Board agreed to a target that will take the University to Net Zero carbon emissions by 2030. The target follows the Science Based Target initiative methodology, establishing the University’s fair share of limiting global temperature increase to 1.5°C.

The target requires the University to reduce absolute carbon emissions by 46 per cent over the next 10 years. In 2030, the University will purchase carbon offsets to cover the remaining 54 per cent but will continue to reduce its carbon emissions after 2030 to reduce the amount of offsetting it must do. 

The new target will require action on a number of fronts. These will include improving the energy efficiency of buildings, more on-site renewable energy generation, purchasing of our power from clean sources and, when the time is right, investing in transparent and verified offsetting schemes. Our new buildings and refurbishments will also need to contribute positively to achieving this target.

View full details of our announcement, including how we arrived at the target, what’s in and out of scope and how we’ll report progress by accessing the Net Zero Carbon Plan (PDF).

Periodic reviews are conducted by our sustainability team, both across the site and digitally through utilising our extensive network of more than 900 meters to identify and target high-use areas.

Climate Action Plan

The Head of Sustainability is a member of the Guilford Borough Council Climate Action Board, established to facilitate the coordination of climate action plans at the local level.

Click here to see the Action scorecard Our climate action scorecard 2023 - Guildford Borough Council

Reducing our Carbon Emissions 

We use data from our metering system to prioritise energy intensive areas for action and investigate how better building management system control can improve heating, ventilation and air conditioning.

We use tried and tested technologies such as LED lighting to cut electricity use whilst ensuring that our heating and cooling systems are effectively controlled based on internal and external air temperatures.

Half of the University’s Stag Hill campus is supplied from a district heating system and the University is currently consulting on how best to replace its combined heat and power unit.

We support the integration of research projects for energy reduction on campus which helps to create a live ‘on-site’ demonstrators. This increases the impact and chance of research success.

Total Scope 1 and 2 Carbon Emissions 2018-19

In 2019-20 our total Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions were 14,865 tCO2e, with 30% of emissions being used by residential areas and 70% of emissions being used by non-residential areas.