Universities missing targets for reducing carbon emissions

29 April 2015

A recent report highlighted that universities and colleges in England are far from meeting their carbon reduction targets. According to the Higher Education Funding Council for England, by 2013 universities were nearly 80% short of meeting the 43% reduction target they committed to in 2005.

As 2013 represented the halfway mark for the 2020 carbon reduction targets that were set out in agreed carbon management plans, there is little time for higher education facilities to achieve these goals. Recent research predicts that a total of just 51% overall will be achieved if universities don’t take the necessary steps to change.

The good news is that suitable solutions already exist to help universities to achieve carbon reduction goals.

Chris Bedford, Managing Director of Open Technology explains:

“Reducing carbon emissions needn’t be viewed as a complete overhaul of systems, nor does it have to come with a high price-tag. Our LiGO control system is suitable for all types of buildings and can be integrated with existing building systems to ensure maximum energy savings and minimal maintenance requirements.”

Installing LiGO is simple and cost-effective. Open Technology has supported a number of universities and colleges around the UK to reduce energy consumption, resulting in anywhere between 30 and 40% cost savings. In addition, Open Technology assists all customers with integrative training and tailored support specific to each building. Our most recent university project was conducted at Nottingham Trent University’s Boots Library.


Energy efficiency will be instrumental in the UK’s strategy to reduce carbon emissions and every sector will have to play their part. Calling for universities to update their carbon management plans, the report urges that universities tackle complacency and take urgent action to get back on course to meeting targets. While some have exceeded expectations in reducing their carbon emissions, many are well below their targets and certain universities have even increased their carbon emissions. All progress (or lack thereof) is documented, ranked and readily accessible for universities to consult and take the necessary steps to deliver on their carbon reduction targets.

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