Carbon and Utilities
We’re proud to be one of the first UK universities to declare a climate emergency.
Aberystwyth University published our Towards Net Zero 2030 Strategy in 2023, highlighting the steps we're taking to achieve these goals.
Over the last 3 years, we've invested over £6 million in carbon reduction measures, including our solar array, energy efficiency improvements and lighting projects. Read more about these below.
In February 2023, the University completed works on a 2.5MW solar PV array near Fferm Penglais that will generate 25% of the annual electricity requirements of Penglais campus. The site has already reduced emissions by nearly 300tCO2e, and expected to reduce annual outputs of energy-related CO2 emissions by >500tCO2e.
The University is also part of a wider group of 20 UK universities which has struck a £50m landmark green energy deal, reducing emissions and our carbon footprint as part of an aggregated power purchase agreement (PPA). It is the first time that public sector energy users have collaborated on a deal to buy clean electricity.
Annual Carbon Management Performance Statements
To ensure our Net Zero Strategy is on track, we annually monitor our carbon performance to compare this with our baseline year of 2019-2020.
In 2023, we saw a 29% reduction in emissions since 2019, indicating our commitment to net zero.
See our Performance Statements:
Towards Net Zero Carbon 2030 Strategy
Read our Towards Net Zero Carbon 2030 Strategy.
In 2019, Aberystwyth University declared a climate emergency, acknowledging the need to support the transition to a low carbon future.
In support, Aberystwyth University has voluntarily agreed to commit to a net zero target by the end of the financial year 2030-31, with our Towards Net Zero Carbon 2030 Strategy, setting SMART targets to reduce emissions.
To achieve this, our 9 initial decarbonisation targets are:
- Renewable Energy - Aiming to have at least 25% of the Universities total electricity to come from renewable sources by 2030.
- Decarbonise heat - Seeking to convert at least 85% of our annual gas demand to renewable sources by 2030.
- Energy Efficiency - With hopes to reduce total energy consumption by at least 15% by 2030.
- Construction and refurbishment - ensuring stringent sustainability standards for all new projects and refurbishments in order to improve energy efficiency and minimise embedded carbon by 2024.
- Travel - by following the travel hierarchy, we are aiming to reduce business and commuting emissions by at least 54% by 2030.
- Waste - reducing general and DMR waste by a minimum of 25% by 2030.
- Water - reduce water consumption by at least 25% across our estate by 2030.
- Procurement - Ensuring sustainability is a key consideration in the procurement process.
- Agriculture - develop detailed decarbonisation targets and action plan by the end of 2023.
Renewable Water at Aberystwyth
The university has already invested in the use of renewable water supplies. For example, toilets in our IBERS building on Penglais use harvested rainwater to flush, and university owned Trawscoed farm has invested in rain water harvesting technology and storage systems to become more self-sufficient thus saving water.
Aberystwyth intends to increase water efficiency, reduce consumption and produce its own supply of renewable water. We will do this through:
- Metering and targeting, behaviour change and training, and regular inspection and auditing.
Demand Side Investing to Save
Upgrading infrastructure, reducing leaks, modernising facilities, improving water controls.
Supply Side Invest to Save
Investment and Integration of Renewable Water Supplies
The Built Environment
Aberystwyth University's Energy Policy Statement ensures Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Monitoring (BREEAM) 'Excellent' ratings in new university buildings and 'Very Good' in refurbishments. BREEAM provides a comprehensive environmental evaluation, assessment and rating system for buildings, which includes aspects related to energy and water use, the internal environment (health and well-being), pollution, transport, materials, waste, ecology and management processes. Aberystwyth are also heavily invested in a variety of other environmentally friendly, energy saving schemes. See our Carbon Management Performance Statement 2022-23 review for more information.