We don’t just study the climate and carry out world-leading climate change research. At UEA, we live and breathe sustainability, investing in all kinds of initiatives to reduce our carbon footprint on campus.
Since 2015 we’ve invested around £5 million to improve energy efficiency and reduce our carbon emissions, installing solar photovoltaic tech on all of our new buildings since 2013 and using LED lights with a lifespan of 20 years. Our Combined Heat and Power engines create electricity that is cleaner than that the National Grid and, as a University as a whole, we’ve reduced our carbon emissions by 5% since 1990 – despite our campus doubling in size.
“UEA has been monitoring climate change and researching its consequences for almost 50 years. We understand what is causing our climate to change and can assess the significant risks that it brings - for human society as well as for the natural world.” – Professor Tim Osborn
But we know as well as anyone that we must all do more to reduce carbon emissions and stop global warming. So in 2019 we joined forces with organisations around the world to declare a joint climate and biodiversity emergency. And we’ve also set our own net zero targets:
- Over 80% net zero campus emissions by 2030 against a 2015 baseline
- To be 100% net zero by 2045 or earlier
- To pledge not to rely on offsetting for our carbon emission targets.
We’ve partnered with Vattenfall, one of Europe’s largest producers and retailers of heat and energy, to help them achieve their mission of enabling fossil-free living within one generation. Together we aim to put the East of England at the forefront of the offshore wind industry and the fight against climate change. As well as involving cutting-edge research and teaching, this innovative collaboration will see us helping to build the workforce of the future and engaging with the public and businesses to achieve net zero.
We’ve even switched our default University search engine on campus to not-for-profit Ecosia in a move that could potentially lead to over 100,000 more trees being planted each year around the world.
“Partnering with Vattenfall will enable UEA to accelerate our progress to help develop a clean energy future. We are keen to support the region to create a thriving offshore wind energy industry cluster. We look forward to exciting future opportunities for collaborative world-class research, innovation, and training activities.” - Professor Fiona Lettice, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation