Objective 2: Decarbonising the economy

We will reach net zero by 2035 through our action plan for achieving this.

We will achieve this objective through four key areas of activity. Firstly, by setting strong aspirational net zero targets. Secondly, by accurately recording and analysing our emissions annually via excellent carbon accounting. Thirdly, by decarbonising our energy infrastructure; and fourthly by creating a more energy-efficient campus through better insulation and energy use. Our key commitments in this area are summarised below and explained in more detail in the remainder of this section.

Key commitments

  • Set a target of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2035, with indicative interim targets for 2025 and 2030
  • Set an annual carbon reduction target every August to be monitored as a key performance indicator by Council each year from August 2022
  • Put in place more robust carbon-accounting practices and achieve Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) Net Zero Carbon Standard accreditation by August 2023
  • Begin to invest in replacing priority fossil fuel dependent infrastructure with lower carbon alternatives by December 2026, with a first step of producing feasibility studies in each of the following areas by December 2021:

    - Replacement of our Combined Heat and Power Plant with a low carbon alternative

    - Expanding our renewable energy production

    - Creating a new sustainable transport hub

    - Upgrading electric vehicle, scooter and bike charging infrastructure

  • Reduce our digital emissions through our IT Network Replacement Project and Cloud-First Policy by December 2024
  • Improve the energy efficiency of our campus by:

    - High-level auditing of the energy efficiency of all of our estate by December 2021

    - Producing investment opportunity analysis of the 20% of our most poorly performing buildings and business cases for improvements by 2023

    - Upgrading our Building Energy Management Systems – e.g. automatic heating controls – by summer 2024

    - Developing minimum environmental product standards for the furnishings and fixtures that we buy for our estate by December 2022

    - setting new environmental standards including BREEAM Excellent for new builds and refurbishments, and creating accompanying design guides by October 2024 

  • Introduce new more modern flexible ways of working that can reduce our carbon footprint by 2025.

Our aims