RAU sails past ambitious environmental targets
The Royal Agricultural University (RAU) has surpassed all of its environmental targets and made major reductions across the board.
The University has stepped up its sustainability performance and has been working hard to make significant savings. Data for the 2014/15 financial year shows; a 14% carbon reduction, 52% oil use reduction, 22% water use reduction, and a 34% increase in biomass energy.
The University recorded a 5% energy decrease overall.
Recycling rates have risen dramatically, with 52% of waste currently recycled – that’s an increase of nearly 50% on previous years. This can be attributed, in large part, to the new halls of residence recycling system, due to be rolled out across the campus. There are also plans to make further improvements with more LED lighting, high-tech thermostatic controls, and smart metering projects.
The University has been making large strides to increase its sustainability and reduce its impact on the environment. Oil boilers have been replaced by a low-energy gas alternative, LED lighting and waterless urinals have been installed, student accommodation boasts new solar panels, and there are a number of ongoing energy awareness campaigns to engage both students and staff.
It’s also interesting to note that 18% of all energy used was produced by on-site renewables, and another 44% was produced by off-site renewables (purchased through a green tariff).
Pearl Costello, Environmental Officer at the RAU, said: “It’s fantastic to see such a big improvement year on year, making the RAU an even better place to live and study. We look forward to continuing to drive sustainability across our community in the coming years.”
In 2014, the RAU released its Environmental Action Plan which outlined ambitious targets across 10 areas to be achieved by 2016 and was the key driver for these encouraging results. The University is currently reviewing its strategy to 2020.