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Queen’s University Belfast wins prestigious Energy Efficiency Award

Queen's University Belfast has won the ‘Best Energy Achievement in Third Level Education’ award at the Business Energy Achievement Awards 2023 in Dublin.

The Business Energy Achievement Awards recognises organisations from across the island of Ireland who can demonstrate effective sustainable energy initiatives which are delivering significant benefits to their organisation and the environment.

Queen’s was awarded for their ‘Energy Efficiency Strategy’ which focuses on tackling the climate crisis by achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040. This ambitious target reflects not just the critical contribution that the University makes through world-leading research and education provision on sustainability, but also through its role as a social and civic leader in the transition to net zero in Northern Ireland and more widely, on the island of Ireland.

Professor Michael Alcorn, Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor for Strategic Projects and Sustainability at Queen’s said: “Sustainability is a key pillar in Queen’s Strategy 2030, which includes a commitment to transition to a carbon neutral society and to embrace the UN Sustainable Development Goals across all our activities.

“Our Net Zero Plan builds on the good progress the University has already made in reducing our carbon emissions, with over £10 million invested in over 80 energy efficiency projects over the past 12 years and a wide range of impactful projects already implemented. To date, we have achieved a 21% reduction in carbon emissions at an institutional level. Our new Net Zero Plan focuses on the actions that we plan to take to continue to address our emissions.”

The actions Queen’s will take include:

  • improving the energy efficiency of buildings
  • decarbonising heating systems
  • building and retrofitting to the highest sustainability standards
  • implementing renewable energy technologies across the estate
  • avoiding unnecessary business-related travel and increasing uptake of sustainable travel
  • reducing waste and increasing recycling
  • engaging the whole University community.

Sara Lynch, Head of Sustainability at Queen’s commented: “Queen’s was commended for our educational engagement initiatives, such as Carbon Literacy Training and our Sustainable Lab programme- Laboratory Efficiency Assessment Framework (LEAF).

“We were also celebrated for our low and zero-carbon technologies in retrofit and refurbished buildings and for our range of sustainable building projects including the new state-of-the-art Student Hub at Queen’s Business School. The new £26m building boasts many sustainable features including using a renewable heating source and roof mounted photovoltaic and solar panels to generate electricity. It is also on course to receive a BREEAM Excellent certification.”


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