Subscribe to our free weekly newsletter and stay ahead with the latest news in education construction

How technology can reduce university CO2 emissions

Universities must act now to meet Government carbon reduction targets, says Advanced Learning

Posted by Stephanie Broad | November 05, 2015 | Sustainability

Higher Education (HE) institutions must take urgent action to meet Government carbon reduction targets by adopting new technology to reduce emissions. This is the advice from leading software provider Advanced Learning (Advanced), as many universities and colleges could be doing more to prioritise sustainability.

According to research produced by Brite Green obtained from The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), 65% out of a total of 126 universities are expected to miss the Government’s 43% emissions reduction figure by 2020, with only 35% currently on track to meet or exceed this. Based on current projections, just over half of HE establishments will eventually achieve their designated target in five years’ time.

Space utilisation figures for the HE sector, which typically monitor the frequency and use of lecture theatres and meeting rooms, are as low as 25% in some cases due to institutions using poor energy performing buildings. As universities receive record numbers of applications, many are constructing more buildings to accommodate an increasing student population instead of successfully managing their existing space capacity.

Greg Ford, Managing Director of Advanced Learning, comments: “The rise in tuition fees, combined with greater restrictions being imposed on international students, has understandably led to a greater focus on student satisfaction and retention. However unless universities act now, they face inevitable penalties if carbon reduction targets are not met.” 

HE providers can significantly lower their environmental impact by implementing timetabling and resource management technology to create best fit timetables for individual departments for an entire academic year. Leading solutions can effectively manage thousands of bookings to ensure rooms and resources are used practically even when classes are not being held to maximise carbon efficiency savings. 

Users can monitor room usage by reporting on planned attendance versus actual attendance and set parameters – such as event size or room restrictions – to cross-reference live events to eliminate the chance of double booking.

Solutions with integrated mobile functionality can further boost HE institutions’ environmental goals.

Ford adds: “Universities can still make a significant impact on carbon reduction before the 2020 deadline. Timetabling and resource management systems can be implemented swiftly and record and report on vital attendance data to determine whether rooms are being appropriately utilised.

“With access to real-time information, they can easily identify poor energy performing buildings and make more informed decisions to increase their space utilisation statistics. Effective space management also provides tangible financial and efficiency benefits and ensures a fully supported student experience.”

Subscribe to our free weekly newsletter and stay ahead with the latest news in education construction

Related stories

New Cambridge accommodation completes first milestone

UB July issue out now!

UCEM expands their horizons of sustainability

DB Group: Leading Lights in Energy Management

Modular construction: 4 health and safety benefits

Cutting costs and creating comfort at MMU

Nottingham Trent gets even more green

Passivhaus at University of Leicester wins at S-Lab Awards

Creative buildings that inspire pupils

Infant school overhauls its heating system

Market place - view all


Interface is a global leader in the design and manufacture of susta...

Student furniture

LOFT Interiors offers a complete furnishing service to the resident...

Tamlite Lighting

Tamlite Lighting was founded in 1967 at Telford in Shropshire and t...

Sports facilities

Sports Facility Services Limited was set up in June 2013 with the ...


Marsh is a global leader in insurance broking and risk management. ...

The Brookwood Partnership

Brookwood Partnership is the only owner operated contract catering ...