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University of Bradford wins Environmental Industry Award


The University of Bradford has been praised for its green credentials at the Educate North awards, picking up the Environmental Industry Award.

The award celebrated the success of Bradford’s pioneering Bradford:50@50 carbon reduction programme. The campaign saw the University reduce its carbon emission by 50% and save almost £10m in the process.

Clive Wilson, Director of Estates and Facilities at the University of Bradford said: “The award marks a special point in our efforts to cut our carbon emissions target of 75% by 2021. We are proud to have reached the 50% cut in carbon emissions and the Estates team are working hard to make sure we achieve our 75% goal.”

As part of the University’s 50th anniversary celebrations Bradford:50@50 was accelerated and the team worked to reduce carbon emission by 50% four years earlier than the original target. The starting point was the previous year’s emission of 38% which had been achieved through low level work such as improving double-glazing and cladding. Reducing carbon emissions by a further 12% in a single year was an extremely challenging target. This has been achieved by a small and very dedicated team working within tight margins with skill and diligence. In August 2017 they achieved the 50% carbon reduction target.

Reducing carbon emissions has dramatically reduced the University’s utility costs by 30% in a market where utility costs rose by 90% in the same period. They have accrued aggregated savings of £9 million which is significant for a medium-sized university. It has also assisted the regeneration of the city campus as well as reduce the back-log maintenance spend.

The savings the university has made in utility costs have enabled new and improved green areas around campus and other initiatives such as creating an accessible veg-out patch and planting over 60 varieties of edible vegetation which the student and local community are able to harvest. In 2017 the University won its sixth consecutive Yorkshire in Bloom Gold Award and second consecutive Green Flag Award as well as retaining Eco-Campus Platinum and ISO 14001:2015.

Russell Smith, Head of Estates said: “Bradford is extremely proud of its world-leading eco-campus. Bradford is the only location in the world where a single estate has been given a three BREEAM outstanding rating and a Passivhaus building within less than a 100m of each other. These ratings promote the University and the area.”

As part of the University’s bid to save energy a micro-smart grid was completed in 2017 which manages the supply and demand of electricity between buildings through measures such as solar panels and double-glazing. This was funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) through a grant of £1.8 million.

The University estate has now become a teaching tool, not only to students and staff but also those from the universities of Huddersfield, Sheffield, UEA, Salford and Leeds Beckett. Estates staff have also been invited to give guest lectures all over the UK for organisations such as CIBSE, YouGov, RICS and Ecobuild.

Educate North Awards is a prestigious awards event, which celebrates, recognises and shares best practice and excellence in the education sector in the North. The 2018 winners were announced at the awards ceremony on the 26 April 2018 at the Radisson Blu Edwardian Hotel in Manchester.

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