Since 2010 the University has been driving down carbon emissions and by 2020/21 had achieved a 42% reduction in scope 1 and 2 emissions compared with a 2005 baseline. This is significant progress which was driven by our investment in renewable energy, energy efficiency and behaviour change initiatives.
In 2020, the University committed to a set of ambitious new targets including Net Zero Carbon by 2030. This covers all University activities and includes scope 3 emissions. For the latest progress including KPIs, please see our latest annual report Environmental policy and governance.
A biomass boiler has been installed at Cranfield which helps to heat the campus. The new boiler and boiler room is also available to support our teaching and research.
The boiler installation was made possible through the award of a Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) loan via its Revolving Green Fund.
Combined heat and power plant
In 2010/11 we invested £2 million in a combined heat and power (CHP) plant. The CHP unit generates about 55-60% of our annual usage. By generating electricity on site we are also able to make use of the additional heat produced by the CHP in our expanding district heating network.
We have access to a Salix Revolving Loan Fund which was created by matching funds from Salix and the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).
The funds are available to invest in energy-efficient technologies and energy-saving initiatives which payback within four years. The financial savings resulting from these investments pay back into the loan fund and are available to invest in new projects across the University.
Some Salix projects have included:
- Upgrade to district heating pipework,
- Biomass boiler installation,
- Combined heat and power (CHP) installation,
- PV (photovoltaic) farm installation,
- Addition of new buildings to the district heating system,
- LED lighting installations.
Through the positive actions of our staff and students we have been able to achieve extensive energy savings. Active participation in our annual carbon-saving campaigns and ‘Christmas Shut-Down’ contests have proved very popular and helped to make a big difference in reducing energy use on our Cranfield campus. Find out more on our Environmental Engagement page.
In Spring 2018, we installed 2 hectares of 1MW solar photovoltaic (PV) array on the far side of our airfield. The solar farm will provide 5% of the campus energy consumption and save over 400 tonnes of CO2 per year.
ISO 50001 energy management system certification
Cranfield University is officially certified for ISO 50001 for its energy management system. Our Energy Management System Manual sets out the system to manage energy at Cranfield campus in line with the International Standard for Energy Management Systems ISO 50001:2011.