Southampton Solent University

As a dynamic and distinctive University with an expanding estate and additional facilities made accessible for more days every year, Southampton Solent University is working ever harder to achieve the emission reduction targets set in its Carbon Management Plan. New developments are providing great opportunities to incorporate carbon reduction measures.

The University has been an EAUC Member since 2006!

Work has begun on a new £30million teaching and learning block adjacent to the existing city centre campus. This high-performance building will incorporate a range of low carbon features and is designed to achieve a BREEAM Excellent rating. The University has also been investing heavily in refurbishment of existing buildings, incorporating upgrades that offer cost-effective, energy saving, carbon reduction measures. It has taken a multi-faceted approach to carbon reduction, incorporating a range of carbon reduction technologies and engaging students and staff at all levels.

Energy-saving technology has been deployed across the estate. Occupancy sensors have been linked to heating, cooling and lighting to automate switching-off.  Variable speed drives, often connected to CO2 sensors, have improved the efficiency of air handling units in lecture theatres and IT suites. Retrofits of 2D and halogen lamps with LED have proved particularly cost-effective and there is  an ongoing programme of T5 lamp installations. 

Building fabric has been improved with ceiling and wall insulation and draught proofing. Lagging of valves, flanges and over 1km of pipework has improved our heating system, part of Southampton’s District Heating Scheme, which benefits from a low carbon factor.

The University has extended the automatic metering of Electric, Gas and Water supplies, essential in identifying areas where energy use could be better controlled. As part of its Flexible Energy Contract, the University has started purchasing all of its electricity from renewable sources.

A new automatic metering, monitoring and targeting portal is helping reduce water usage, especially through improved leak detection. It also allows us to monitor the efficacy of installing additional controls and improved fittings. A recent initiative with our local water company involved installation of low-flow taps and shower fittings in some of our student residences.

Raising awareness amongst students and staff has been fundamental to improved environmental performance. The University was one of the first to join the Green Impact scheme, now into its fifth successful year. Students work closely with University staff, auditing the teams’ “greening” activities The inter-hall “Student Switch Off” competition achieves worthwhile reductions in energy use in student residences and has recently extended to include recycling initiatives.

The University’s award-winning “Eco Ernie” student volunteer-run community recycling and reuse scheme, uses a converted electric milk-float for community and charity collections. The Environmental Team and Student Union have undertaken a range of collaborative ventures in recent years and the annual Green Week is eagerly anticipated by students and staff alike. Students also  assist with initial environmental audits as we progress through EcoCampus towards establishing a full Environmental Management System.

In partnership with several other universities in the region, Solent negotiated a waste contract which, year-on-year, has seen increased recycling levels and largely eliminated waste to landfill. Implementing a simplified waste bin system in many buildings has greatly reduced contamination of recyclables by food; consequently, most waste can now either be recycled or sent for anaerobic digestion.  Students are encouraged to take greater responsibility for segregating their own waste, and although there is much left to do, we have made excellent progress.

We are currently establishing a “Surplus Store”, to allow staff to redistribute surplus resources such as furniture, equipment and consumables. Based on the WARPit online portal used by many other organisations, we hope to realise the great potential of this portal to develop re-use partnerships.

Main Contact Name: Martin Walton, Environmental and Sustainability Manager
Main Contact Email & Telephone: martin.walton@solent.ac.uk and 02380 319803
Further information/website: www.solent.ac.uk
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Southampton Solent University
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Visualisation of Solent’s new teaching and learning block, now under construction
Visualisation of Solent’s new teaching and learning block, now under construction

Solent’s EcoErnie does the rounds
Solent’s EcoErnie does the rounds