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Queen's Carbon Journey

The university sector has been identified by the Government as key to delivering carbon reduction across the United Kingdom. Queen’s is committed to improving its environmental performance and fundamentally changing the way it works so that it becomes an environmentally sustainable low carbon organisation.

As part of this commitment, Queen’s has participated in the Higher Education Carbon Management Programme and has produced a Carbon Management Plan (CMP) which sets out the University’s plans to reduce carbon emissions during the next ten years. The target is an ambitious 21% (or 22,460 tonnes) by 2020, against 2008 figures. The target will be reviewed and adjusted in light of experience, emerging technology or changes in legislation. View the Carbon Management Plan for 2013 and 2010.

If we are to meet this target, we need the help of the whole organisation rather than focusing on a strictly technical approach to carbon saving. The CMP identifies six strategic initiatives, supported by a range of projects, to achieve our target. They are: Procurement, Green ICT, Energy Efficiency and Conservation Measures, Waste Minimisation, Travel and Transport, and Change Management (Communications).

Queen’s has enlisted the help of staff across the University to act as Environmental Champions. The network of volunteers from different Schools and Directorates has a key role to play in raising awareness of environmental issues among colleagues and, ultimately, helping the University reduce its carbon emissions.

Since 2010, Schools and Directorates across the University have participated in the Green Impact Scheme, which has built upon the Environmental Champion Scheme. Green Impact is an environmental accreditation scheme with an awards element designed for university departments. University staff take part each academic year and, depending on the number of environmental actions they carry out, can achieve either: ‘working towards accreditation’, or a ‘Bronze’, ‘Silver’ or ‘Gold’ award for making their workplaces greener. The scheme is currently delivered and supported by the National Union of Students (NUS), and more information can be viewed here.

Utility meters have also been installed across the campus. Data from these, together with energy supply meters, are used to provide Schools and Directorates with Carbon Management Reports that give a regular breakdown of their individual carbon emissions. This allows budget holders to monitor performance against the emissions budget/target set for each School and Directorate; and to focus attention on how savings can be achieved. The reports are available online via individual School and Directorate Sharepoint sites.

For more information on the CMP or any other environmental information please see the Queen's University Carbon Management site on

A copy of the University's Environmental Policy can be viewed here