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Winchester reaches gold standard in new Green Universities report

house in field

The University of Winchester’s efforts to create a green campus have turned to gold.

Winchester has been ranked as a Gold Tier University in the Uswitch Green Universities 2023 Report.

To achieve gold, the University scored positively in six out of the seven criteria which featured in a Freedom of Information request from the Uswitch researchers.

Highlights of Winchester green credentials were:

  • Renewable energy installations on site, including solar panels, and air source heat pump.
  • 18 electric vehicles as part of its fleet, including 16 vans and two cars.
  • Hedgehog Friendly Gold status
  • Since 2013 the University has not sent any waste to landfill – instead waste which cannot be recycled is sent for energy recovery.
  • The University is on a renewable energy tariff for its electricity
  • The University offers sustainability workshops to students and staff

The University has used 100 per cent zero carbon electricity since 2008.  

It also has solar panels on nine of its buildings which generate approximately four per cent of the University’s total electricity consumption. 

The University’s long-term aim is to move away from gas entirely and since 2020/21 it has cut its use of the fossil fuel by 20 per cent.

A grant of £3.12M from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme in 2020/21 has seen the replacement of 35 gas boilers with low energy air source heat pumps.

Mat Jane, Head of Environment and Building Services at the University said:

“This gold ranking highlights our on-going commitment to reducing the impact our campus has on the environment.

“We have cut our scope 1 and 2 energy emissions* by 67% relative to the size of the estate and achieved a 42% reduction in absolute terms.”

Gavin Hunter Chief Operating Officer at the University said:

“Mat and his team are to be congratulated on their hard work and the effective way that they have implemented a number of sustainability initiatives which, along with great engagement by students and colleagues, have helped Winchester achieve gold status in this survey.

“It’s now more important than ever that institutions such as the University of Winchester continue to demonstrate that it is possible to reduce their carbon footprints by significant amounts.”

Winchester’s other green credentials

  • Each year People and Planet (the UK’s largest student campaign network) releases a table ranking all UK universities by environmental and ethical performance.  In 2022/23 Winchester ranked 33rd out of 153 universities. The University also finished in the top ten of all universities in the Energy Sources ranking of the league table.
  • The University has achieved a 70% recycling rate in the 2022/23 academic year.
  • In 2022 the University was awarded our Plastic Free University status from national charity Surfers Against Sewage (SAS). 

*Scope 1 emissions are directly from fuel vehicle fuel use, and/or chemical leakage. Scope 2 are indirect emissions from bought electricity, colling, heat and or/steam.

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