Sussex Estates and Facilities



Energy & Environmental Manager - Matthew Arnold

T 01273 (87) 3517

For queries, contact the Service Centre: 
T 7777 (external: 01273 87 7777)



Introduction - Climate Change

The scientific opinion on climate change is that the Earth's climate system is unequivocally warming.

Climate change is at least 95% probable as a result of human activity, through activities that increase concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere

As a result we face unprecedented challenges to our environment, our economy, and the future security of our energy supplies - and the decisions we make now will affect the planet and our way of life for generations to come. Almost all climate scientists agree that the climate is changing. Global and national action is driven by the recognised need to limit the severity of future climate change. Legislation, best practice guidance and voluntary agreements are increasingly focussed on carbon reduction in particular, and sound environmental practices. For the HE sector, as well as the increasing cost of energy and concerns over the security of supply, effective carbon management will become a prerequisite of future HEFCE funding.

People & Planet Green League

 People and Planet 2016 logoOne of our biggest challenges is to make the University more environmentally sustainable at a time when it is enjoying wide-scale expansion. More students, more staff, more buildings - all these things have an environmental impact, and the University has a duty to look at ways to lessen that impact.

People & Planet’s Green League is the only comprehensive and independent league table of UK universities. It assesses the environmental and ethical performance of all universities annually, awarding degree style qualifications, as an example First Class "degrees" to the greenest.

In 2016-17, The University of Sussex achieved a "Lower Second Class" award. Sussex Estates Facilities will increase efforts to improve on this years result and will reassess all information made available on the University's webpages to ensure we achieve the league placing representative of our ongoing environmental activities. 


Carbon Management

HEFCE has published guidelines for the development and implementation of Carbon Management Plans, based on the requirements of the Climate Change Act. Our Carbon Management Plan fully complies with the requirements of HEFCE and was approved by the University's Governing Body, Council, on the 25th March 2011. 

The Carbon Management Plan has since been scrutinised by the University's auditors, who have independently confirmed its compliance with the requirements of HEFCE and the Climate Change Act, and noted several areas of best practice in relation to our carbon reduction initiatives.

The Carbon Management Plan has since been updated (February 2012) to include baseline data on the University's Scope 3 emissions and an updated carbon reduction project plan.

With the inclusion of SEF, The University of Sussex are working towards reducing its carbon footprint by 43% from a baseload year of 2005/6, which equates to approximately 9,000tCO2, or equivalent to £1.5M from the annual electricity bill.

 Carbon Management Plan February 2012 [PDF 1.22MB]


Environmental Management System 

Sussex Estates & Facilities are committed to minimising the environmental impact of the Universities activities and to the safeguarding of the campus heritage, buildings and grounds. The Universities chosen approach to managing the environmental impacts of the University is via an approved Environmental Management System (EMS).

The University of Sussex and Sussex Estates Facilities are working to update, outdated policies and procedures to achieve ISO14001 by 2020.

Environmental Policy & Action Plans

Waste Management Audit, Travel and Transport Audit, Energy Audit and Water Audit

As part of the second stage (Silver) accreditation, a series of environmental objectives and targets have been produced based on an assessment of our significant environmental aspects and impacts.

Environmental Aspects & Impacts

These were approved by the Physical Resources Committee in October 2009. The objectives and targets have been derived from baseline environmental reviews of 8 key themes; community involvement, construction & refurbishment, emissions & discharges, energy & water, health safety & welfare, sustainable procurement, transport, and waste management. These form the basis of the Environmental Management Plan, which incorporates our Carbon Management Plan (as per HEFCE Best Practice Guidance).

Green Impact

Sussex Estates Facilities, The University of Sussex and the Student Union worked collaboratively in 2014-15 with Green Impact to improved energy awareness on campus. Within the first year of participation 4 teams achieved Green Impact Bronze Awards, from Sussex Estates and Facilities and Sussex Sport.

"For the first year of the programme, the University, SEF and USSU have excelled ‐ great levels of staff team sign‐ups and student auditors, some great support events and really positive, pro‐active leadership from the SEF Environment team. Next year we'll look at expanding out the programme across the university’s departments and keeping staff motivated with innovative support events and more tailored resources." 

This is great start, for all areas of the university to work together to eliminate waste and improve sustainability across the campus. We are awaitng the results from the 2nd year activities and are expecting 1 Gold, 2 Silver and 4 Bronze awards.


BREEAM is the leading and most widely used environmental assessment method for buildings.

Northfield BREEAM Excellent

 It sets the standard for best practice in sustainable design and has become the de facto measure used globally to describe a building's environmental performance. In order to manage the environmental lifecycle impacts of the University's new developments, new buildings are designed to a minimum standard of BREEAM Very Good, and higher where possible. 

The Northfield Residences project is the largest single new build project on the Campus since the University was constructed in the 1960’s. The project is only the second student accommodation scheme nationally to have been awarded BREEAM Excellent and has also attracted a coveted Green Apple Award for environmentally sustainable construction.

Current Projects

Solar PV 

The University of Sussex is situated in a desirable location of the country that benefits from good levels of natural daylight. There are a number of suitable roofs available on campus that will house up to 750kWp of solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, able to generate circa 750MWh’s per annum. With the assistance of the Government backed Feed in Tariff (FiT) incentive scheme, The University will take a good step towards achieving its carbon reduction targets and, create a revenue stream to assists the university's green aspirations.

Future Projects

AMR Metering (Completion in 2017)

There are approximately 440 utility meters recording campus/building/residential accommodation across the university campus. At present they are manually read either monthly (where we are billed by a utility supplier) or quarter yearly (for sub-metered meters). We will be installing Smart/AMR (Automatic Meter Reading) Meters where possible. AMR meters read themselves every 30 minutes (day and night), providing accurate consumption data to the supplier and a clearer picture on energy and water usage within all our buildings. This will assist in raising energy awareness, highlight good and bad activities and assist in the justification and validation of energy saving projects.  

In summary

The University has done a huge amount to improve its environmental performance. In 2009, it was awarded a Green Gown Award for it's world-leading research on the transition to low carbon technologies.

In January 2010, Sussex was voted Member of the Month by the Environmental Association for Universities & Colleges, in recognition of the progress made to date in sustainability and environmental management.

The university's reported carbon emissions for 2015-16 is a 5.9% reduction from 2013-14 and an 8.7% reduction from 2005-06, through low/no cost projects.

2017 will be the year for noticeable "Big Ticket" projects across the university.  

There remains a huge amount left to do in the coming years in support of the university's agenda for change and growth, and in light of the challenges that exist in achieving continual improvement in our environmental performance.



University of Sussex and Interserve partnered to form Sussex Estates and Facilities, delivering the University’s efm services.

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