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Climate Action

Northumbria has ambitious carbon reduction targets which require a wide range of interventions and changes to behaviour. Outside of our campus operations, our researchers tackle global climate challenges, such as over-exploitation of natural resources and glacial impacts of rapid climate warming.

In the Spotlight: Carbon Management at Northumbria

Our Carbon Management Strategy 2020 -2030 sets out our commitments to an 80% reduction in emissions by 2030 (against the 2014/15 baseline) and to achieve NetZero by 2040 at the latest.  Our previous Carbon Management Plan (2010-2020) achieved a 50% reduction in carbon emissions from a 2005/06 baseline. Progress against our carbon targets can be found in our Annual Carbon Management Report 21/22.


At a Glance: From Our Research to Our Operations

  • Our Environmental Sustainability Policy considers the impact our activities have on the wider environment and aims to minimise this impact.
  • In support of our Carbon Management Strategy 2020-2030, we have completed several carbon reduction projects across campus, and have more planned for the coming year, including:

    • 2020/2021 - £90,000 Solar PV array to Northumberland Building, saving 20 tonnes of CO2/yr.
    • 2020/2021 - £80,000 Smart ventilation controls across campus.
    • 2021/2022 - £950k Air source heat pumps to CCE1 & CCE2, savings 300 tonnes of CO2/yr.
    • 2021/2022 - £117k Heat Decarbonisation Plan reviewing whole campus.
    • 2022/2023 - £90,000 Solar PV array to Wynn Jones Building, saving 30 tonnes of CO2/yr.
    • 2022/2023 - £200k Replacement ventilation fans to CCE1 & CCE2 saving 26 tonnes of CO2/yr.
    • 2022/2023 - £560k LED Lighting Upgrade to Wynn Studios & Newbridge Street Accommodation, saving 68 tonnes of CO2/yr.
    • 2022/2023 - £200k LED Lighting Upgrade to Sutherland Building, saving 35 tonnes of CO2/yr.
  • We have a comprehensive Environmental Management System in place to manage our environmental performance and deliver continuous improvement. This has achieved ISO 14001 certification.
  • 100% of our electricity comes from certified green sources and we are home to one of the oldest commercial PV systems in the UK which is still fully functional, even after 21 years.
  • Together, the photovoltaic arrays on our campuses save over 80 tonnes of CO2 each year.
  • We continue to make our buildings more carbon efficient through installing LED lighting, new boilers, energy retrofitting and improvements to our Building Management System. View the energy use of our buildings.
  • Our research-led teaching provides Quality Education that encourages students to gain an understanding of global sustainability challenges and develop skills to address them.
  • We participate in the ONE Planet Doctoral Training Partnership to provide a world-leading training environment tackling global issues in climate and environmental science.
  • We offer Continued Professional Development courses to help professionals gain an understanding of environmental management systems and carbon management, such as NEBOSH Certificate in Environmental Management, Carbon Champion: Carbon Foot-printing, Management and Reporting or IEMA Foundation Certificate in Environmental Management.
  • The Extreme Environments research theme seeks to answer questions around the impact of climate change on the planet’s natural systems. The team of earth and atmospheric scientists are exploring how regions such as Antarctica, Greenland and the Himalayas are responding to rapid climate warming to inform adaptation to water shortages in mountain regions and flooding in coastal zones. Our researchers are also involved in a £4 million international study investigating the affect of climate change on the Antarctic ice sheets.
  • Our Environmental and Global Justice researchers focus on tackling environmental degradation brought about by unsustainable practices and over-exploitation of natural resources.
  • Dr Paul Mann from our Department of Geography and Environmental Sciences leads on the international €800,000 CACOON (Changing Arctic Carbon Cycle in the Coastal Ocean Nearshore) project which investigates the impact of thawing permafrost and the subsequent release of frozen carbon on coastlines in the Siberian Arctic.
  • We have an Ethical Investment Policy and our Ethical Investment Declaration pledges that we do not and will not invest in fossil fuel companies.

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