The university has announced that it will begin to buy in green electricity from local, certified renewable sources. This is part of a larger effort to reduce the campus’ carbon footprint by 10,200 tonnes of CO2 per annum by 2020.
UEA has committed to a budget of £6.5million to meet this target and with 2020 fast approaching, efforts are being increased to stick to this deadline. As of 2016, 46 percent of the university’s electricity was produced by the Combined Heat and Power (CHP) engines originally installed in 1999, which is said to be 17 percent cleaner than electricity supplied by the National Grid.
On the same day, Vice-Chancellor David Richardson became a signatory on the SDG Accord, an agreement across institutions worldwide which allows educational institutions to pledge their commitment into helping the UN achieve its Sustainable Development Goals.
This means UEA will report yearly on its progress into helping achieve the SDGs, focusing on its efforts to incorporate sustainable development into the curriculum across departments.
This puts UEA among other leading UK universities already signatories of the accord and is a huge step for UEA in proving the university’s commitment to sustainable development.
According to UEA’s Sustainability Officer, Kieya Rajasegaran, ‘our commitment to the SDG Accord is another example of how UEA continues to be a world leader in climate science, international development studies and other sustainability-related fields’.
Rajasegaran also highlighted how the move to greener energy is certified as Renewable Energy of Guaranteed Origin (REGO), meaning it is ensured that all energy provided is renewable and does to contribute greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.
Individual students can also pledge to the SDG Accord at www.sdgaccord.org.