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Eco-champions already cutting Carbon

19 Hydref 2007

The University has officially launched its Energy, Water and Waste Policy, which is already making great savings in energy consumption, helping Cardiff meet the challenges of climate change.

In the first six months of this year, the University saw gas consumption fall by 15% while electricity usage fell by 2% in comparison to 2006. Average temperatures in the main University building are down from 22º Celsius to 20º.

Much of the success has been achieved by the University’s army of around 60 "eco-champions" – representatives in every academic and administrative department who encourage colleagues to remember the environment in everything they do.

The Energy, Water and Waste Policy aims to save some 26,000 tonnes of Carbon over the next five years. The ten-point strategy will introduce environmentally-friendly measures into all University activities, including major capital projects, purchasing, maintenance, and transport. A team of specialists is to advise on how the cutting-edge equipment in the schools can be used to best effect.

The policy also puts the University’s world-leading academic resources to use in reducing Cardiff’s Carbon footprint. The Estates Division is to adopt a software package developed in the Welsh School of Architecture which can monitor energy and water consumption on a room-by-room basis. Students in the School of City and Regional Planning will advise on the energy efficiency of University buildings as part of their courses.

The policy was formally launched at the University by Welsh Assembly Government Minister for Environment, Sustainability and Housing, Jane Davidson. She said: "Cardiff University's Energy Policy is an excellent example of how other organisations can actively reduce their emissions and save money, and sets a high benchmark for others to follow. Education establishments like the University play a very special part in spreading the message of sustainable living to the wider community."

The new policy was developed in consultation with Cardiff University Students’ Union and with advice and support from the Carbon Trust. The Higher Education Funding Council for Wales has provided a £1M grant for the University’s metering systems. At present 1,100 meters are read manually and the University now aims to be able to read more than 3,000 meters automatically every month.

The Vice-Chancellor, Dr David Grant, said: "The Energy, Water and Waste Policy sets ambitious Carbon reduction targets and places sustainability at the heart of everything the University does. The policy is already proving successful in reducing energy consumption and demonstrates the commitment of Cardiff University staff and students to enhancing the environment in Wales and beyond."