Environmental performance

Carbon emissions
UCA’s third Carbon Management Plan was approved in 2016 and sets out plans to achieve our commitment made in 2010 to achieve a 37% reduction in absolute carbon emissions by 2019/20 compared to 2005 levels.

The University exceeded its 2020 target for absolute carbon emissions reduction last year. Progress has continued in 2017/18, carbon emissions from energy consumption in buildings was 3,429, exceeding the 2020 target by 483 tonnes. Emissions in 2017/18 were 12% lower than emissions in 2016/17 and 44% lower than the 2005 baseline of 6,188 tonnes.

Based upon current expectations UCA is projected to exceed its Carbon Emissions target and reduce absolute carbon emissions by 48% by 2019/20 (3,129 tonnes) compared to its 2005 baseline (6,188 tonnes).

In 2017/18, 70% of UCA carbon emissions from energy consumption were from campus buildings and 30% from UCA student halls of residence.

Improvements in energy efficiency have reduced carbon intensity (the weight of carbon emissions per square meter of internal area) from 75 kg CO2e/m2 in 2008/09 to 49 kg CO2e/m2 in 2017/18.

According to an independent league table (BriteGreen) of 127 English Universities, UCA is ranked 26th for percentage reduction in absolute carbon emissions between 2005 and 2015/16 and 7th for percentage reduction in carbon intensity (KgCO2e/m2).

A renewable energy source (solar photovoltaic panels) was commissioned at our Epsom campus in 2012. A new solar panel array was installed at Hopfield House UCA Farnham, in 2017, which generated almost two megawatt hours of electricity in its first year of operation. Additional solar PV panels will be commissioned in Farnham in January 2019 and are expected to double on-campus renewables generation. In addition, there are plans to install further solar capacity and a new Combined Heat and Power facility at Farnham in 2021.

Recycling schemes operate on all campuses and directly-managed student residences and food waste composting and collection services operate at UCA Farnham and UCA Epsom. UCA is developing a new approach to waste management that incorporates 'circular economy' principles.

The total weight of waste collected in 2017/18 is estimated at 577 tonnes (346 tonnes general waste and 231 tonnes of recyclables), a 10% increase compared to the previous year. The proportion of total waste recycled in 2017/18 has remained unchanged since last year at around 40% of total waste.

In addition, surplus, used office furniture is donated to local causes. Almost 200 items of furniture including desks, office chairs and storage have been donated in 2017 to organisations in Farnham, including the Scouts, residential care homes and a school.

In December 2016, the University began to transition from a number of existing waste service contracts at each campus to one consolidated waste service provider across all four campuses. The transition to Suez Waste Services will be complete by February 2019. The new waste services are provided to the University under the South Coast Affinity Group (SCAG) agreement, which has provided services to seven other Universities in the region. As part of the SCAG agreement UCA shares the ambition of diverting waste away from landfill for reuse and recycling.

Electric Vehicle Charge points have been installed at Farnham, Rochester and Canterbury campuses with installation at Epsom campus in December 2018. The new charge points are smart phone operated and by the October 2018, there were five registered staff users. It is anticipated that demand will significantly increase.

In spring 2018, staff and students at each UCA campus were invited to participate in a sustainable travel survey to understand the mode and pattern of commuter travel to and from campus, and to ask for suggestions on what improvements could be made to improve provisions for more sustainable modes of transport.

A Sustainable Travel Plan for Farnham campus published in spring 2018 aims to increase the proportion of staff and students using more sustainable modes of transport and decrease current reliance on car travel.

To encourage staff and students to travel to and from the campus more sustainably, UCA has implemented or will soon be implementing a range of initiatives, including:

  • The launch in 2018 of UCA Liftshare (https://www.uca.ac.uk/liftshare), a car sharing community open to staff and students at all UCA campuses. UCA Liftshare allows staff and students to arrange car sharing journeys and record when these take place;
  • Since May 2018 in partnership with Stagecoach bus services Farnham staff have been able to access discounts on bus fares and apply for free one–month trial bus tickets to see if commuting by bus works for them;
  • Since September 2018, Farnham students have been able to purchase bus season tickets at a discount of over 20% off the normal price. Discounted bus travel is also available to students in Canterbury;
  • In November 2018, new improved and covered bicycle shelters will be installed in Farnham. Secure container storage for bicycles was introduced at Canterbury campus in 2017;
  • In March 2018 the Bikestart charity, ran a repair and maintenance session at Farnham campus for students and staff, to help repair bikes and provide maintenance advice to cyclists. Over 40 staff and student bikes were repaired at the session and there are plans to repeat this service on regular basis.

Sustainable Travel Plans will be developed for Epsom, Canterbury and Rochester in 2019.

Useful documents
Please click on links below to view the documents.

UCA’s third Carbon Management Plan 2015/16 to 2019/20
UCA Energy & Environment Report 2017/18
UCA Energy & Environment Report 2016/17
UCA Energy & Environment Report 2015/16
UCA Energy & Environment Report 2013/14