University of Nottingham

Sustainability is one of the University of Nottingham’s guiding principles, to which it takes a holistic approach. As well as international recognition, having been in the top two of the UI World Green Index for the last three years, the University has recently been awarded the Times Higher Education (THE) award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Development’.

The University of Nottingham’s vision is to become ‘a leading green university’, in its teaching, learning, research, campus operations and governance. Work in this area is led by their Sustainability Team, which is based in the estates directorate.

Carbon management

The University is now in the third year of its carbon management plan, which has delivered in excess of 3,500 tonnes of carbon savings over the last two years. The plan, developed in late 2010, proposes ambitious absolute carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions reduction targets of 20% by 2015 and 40% by 2020, both from a 2009/10 baseline.

In its second year, the Carbon Management Plan developed 55 projects requiring a total investment of £1.48 million. The predicted benefits equate to 2,028 tonnes of CO2 and £350k per annum. In 2010/11, they saw a 1.7 % decrease in CO2 emissions and continued this trend in 2011/12 with a 2.3% reduction from 67,454 to 65,901 tonnes CO2, a saving of 1,553 tonnes.

A combined heat and power plant has been recommissioned at the King’s Meadow Campus. This combusts gas to provide electricity and heat in a much more efficient manner, reducing CO2 by 280 tonnes. Similar low-carbon options are also being considered for University Park and Sutton Bonington.

In ICT, 96 per cent of the University’s 10,000 PCs have been brought onto the PowerMan system, switching them to a low-power mode after a period of inactivity.

Capital investment

The University of Nottingham has continued its expansive capital investment program ensuring new developments meet nationally recognised environmental standards, utilising cutting edge technology and design. New buildings on campus are designed to be low-carbon in order to meet the BREEAM (British Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology) ‘Excellent’ rating.

More than £1.1 million has also been invested in the University’s cycle facilities. Over the last year this has included new cycle lanes, parking, storage and a cycle hire scheme.

A sustainable supply chain

The University has made significant progress in improving its supply chain. This is particularly the case around its catering operations, for which it has achieved a number of national and international awards recognising its sustainable approach to catering across the campuses.

Education and engagement

Work on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) has been taken forward by the University’s Teaching and Learning board, with new resources and opportunities for students to engage with ESD being established.

Communication and engagement with the wider community is also a key part of the Sustainability Team’s work. In the last year, the University ran a number of direct engagement activities and is increasingly using social media and technology to engage with the community. It has also launched a new and updated website, and produces a monthly Sustainable Nottingham E-news bulletin.

Recognition for sustainability achievements

This year the University built upon its positioning in The UI Green Metric World University Ranking run by the University of Indonesia, being ranked in first place. They also improved their position in the People and Planet Green League table and attained a bronze award in the sector recognised EcoCampus environmental management scheme.

The University of Nottingham has also undertaken a number of major new sustainability initiatives recently. They gained their 10th successive Green Flag award for University Park, with the judging criteria requiring strong evidence of environmental and community programmes. The University continues to win awards regionally and nationally and year on year attracts more and more visitors to the award winning grounds.

EAUC Annual Conference, 17 – 19 April 2013

The University of Nottingham is the venue for the 17th EAUC Annual Conference, 17 – 19 April 2013. For more information on this year’s conference, please visit

Main Contact Name: Gavin Scott, Environmental Manager
Main Contact Email & Telephone: and 0115 951 3572
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