Sustainability successes at Kent include a 14% cut in carbon emissions

Water waste also reduced after several on site leaks identified and fixed.

The University of Kent has reduced its carbon emissions by 14.4% since 2005 and is on track to hit its target of a 23% reduction by 2020.

This is being achieved through numerous initiatives, such as an increase in the use renewable energy, the installation of more efficient heating systems, and automated metering systems to spot energy inefficiencies.

The reduction is just one of the key findings included in the University’s first Sustainability at Kent: Successes report for the period 2015-2016.

The report, produced jointly by the University’s Safety, Health and Environment Unit and Estates department, looks at numerous aspects of the sustainability agenda including energy, waste, transport, construction and biodiversity and details the improvements being made in all areas.

Another notable success is that water consumption was reduced by 15% between 2014/15 and 2015/16, after the University requested a leak detection survey from South East Water that led to the discovery of nine leaks within the system that have since been repaired.

Furthermore, automatic water meter reading devices have been fitted on all supply meters that provide updates on water usage every 15 minutes. This allows the University to monitor water level usage and spot possible leaks more quickly.

Other key achievements noted in the report include:

  • Recycling rates at the Medway campus increased by 102%
  • An internal furniture reuse scheme has stopped 8,000 tonnes of items being sent to landfill
  • A 4.3 hectare woodland will be planted in the north of the campus to enhance biodiversity
  • The first university to achieve the Professionalism in Parking Accreditation (PiPA).

The University also became one of the first UK universities to attain the new ISO 14001:2015 environmental management certification and the recently opened Sibson building is the first to achieve an ‘Excellent’ rating in the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) scale.