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Brunel awarded Carbon Trust Standard after significant improvement in carbon efficiency

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Brunel has been officially awarded the Carbon Trust Standard, demonstrating the University's commitment to taking action on climate change.

To attain the Standard, the University improved its carbon efficiency by 7%* over a three year period to 31 July 2010. This was achieved through a variety of measures across the campus aimed at improving infrastructure and energy efficiency and reducing carbon emissions, including:

  • launching campaigns to remind and encourage all students and staff to switch off their lights and computer equipment;
  • installing technology to increase the efficiency of heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems;
  • introducing green travel initiatives such as the Brunel Car Club, the staff car share scheme, and a programme to identify carbon reduction in different travel options;
  • installing Voltage Optimisation equipment in two Halls of Residence and an administrative building.


Bob Stiff, Brunel’s Environment and Sustainability Manager, said: “Obtaining the Carbon Trust Standard is a reflection on our excellent efforts so far in improving our carbon efficiency, but we still have a long way to go to meet the milestones and government targets we are aiming for and which were agreed by Council in the University Carbon Management Plan. We need committed engagement from all Schools and Departments to achieve a further 7% reduction in University energy consumption, to meet our first 2012/13 milestone.”

The Carbon Trust’s Harry Morrison said: “Being certified with the Carbon Trust Standard is proof that an organisation has taken genuine action to reduce its impact on climate change. We congratulate Brunel University on this achievement.”

* Co2 emissions (tonnes) / turnover (£)

The future

The Carbon Trust Standard requires us to keep reducing our carbon emissions and to recertify every two years. This means that the challenge of saving energy and reducing emissions will become even greater, especially given Brunel's increasing research profile in energy expensive areas such as liquid metals engineering.

In the light of these challenges, the University's successful bid for a £400,000 long term loan from the Revolving Green Fund, supplemented by a further £100,000 of internal investment, is particularly significant. The loan is intended to fund carbon reduction projects, with energy cost savings paid back in to provide ongoing finance for future initiatives. This summer it will fund the instalment of Voltage Optimisation equipment in three further residence complexes.

Campus lighting is another major focus for future development. Lighting will be replaced in a number of areas including the Bannerman Centre, offices in the Towers, corridors and stairwells in Wilfred Brown and the UBS Offices in the Hamilton Centre. In some areas, lighting controls will be installed to automatically dim lights when sufficient daylight is available, and presence detectors will turn lights off when rooms are empty. Work is also being carried out to begin replacing the external lights on the Campus with LED fittings.

Brunel's carbon emissions in figures

Brunel's reduction in carbon emissions is most striking in the light of the University's expansion over the same period. As part of the University’s wider activities, the Carbon Management Plan was established in September 2010, using 2005/06 as a base year. We have so far recorded carbon emissions as follows:

Academic Year Carbon Emissions (tonnes CE) Total University area (square metres)
2005/06 (baseline) 23,743 162,780
2008/09 22,083 220,400
2009/10 21,237 220,400