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Energy/environment

Energy and Environmental Impact Reduction

The Institute is committed to energy efficiency, and makes every effort to minimise its environmental impact.


Gurdon Institute

Sustaining energy reduction: We have now accummulated 12 months of data from the tracker smart meter readings. The figure above demonstrates that we are consistenly using less energy in the lab workzones than we were 12 months ago at the start of our energy reduction campaign. This equates to approximately £1,750 savings per month or a reduction of 10,499 kg CO2. Well done!

Background

The Gurdon Institute is the third largest carbon intensive building within the University Estates using approximately 705kWh/square meter/year. As energy costs are likely to double over the next 10 years, this could cost the University as much as £1m for electricity at the Gurdon alone. 
The Institute volunteered to be a pilot department for the University?s Energy and Carbon Reduction Project (ECRP) at the end of 2011.

We aim to help the University's Carbon Management Plan meet its target of 34% reduction of 2005 data by the year 2020 and any lessons learnt could be rolled out across the University. 

Data Visualisation

Smart meters were installed on electrical switches and distribution boards, dividing the Institute into 
• Workzones (lighting and power to the labs & equipment/support rooms).
• Climate (heating, cooling & ventilation)
• Services (compressed air, vacuum plant & server room)
This data can be seen on real-time, web-based energy dashboards and is easily available to staff. Each lab can see the progress they've made. 

Impact on research

The Institute's research is paramount. Environmental issues and energy reduction initiatives should not impact on our research and we have shown that it is possible to cut energy consumption without any detrimental effect on science.

For example, at a general lab's level, we have reduced unnecessary energy consumption by switching off lights and equipment when not in use.
When replacing equipment, we are switching to more efficient technologies: we chose LED light sources instead of mercury bulbs and we consider the energy rating of new fridge/freezers.

Culture

See also: Gurdon-behavioural-change.pdf

The Institute embarked on an energy reduction campaign during 2012 to raise awareness of our energy consumption. We aimed to change people's behaviour towards the use of electricity by encouraging everyone to preserve energy where possible. Utilising the real-time energy dashboards enabled the Institute to launch a competition for the best energy management amongst the laboratories. This ran until September with the winners being announced at our annual retreat. This initiative reduced the 'workzones' electrical consumption by 19% in comparison with the start of the campaign.

We aim to continue such positive approach to energy reduction and sustainability. In 2013, we are participating in the Green Impact programme, an environmental accreditation and awards scheme run by the National Union of Students.

Awards/Benefit Schemes

National Green Apple Environmental Gold Award Winner 2012
Participant in the University's Highly Commended Green Gown Award 2012.
The University's Electricity Incentivisation scheme provides financial rewards for the Institute for every kWh we use below our annual target. Our reward in 2012 was £23K. 

Funded projects

• Lighting: wireless light switches & sensors will be fitted in offices and areas such as offices, equipment rooms, TC rooms etc. in Spring 2013
• Humidification: funding has been allocated to replace an electric humidifier with a gas humidifier to reduce our carbon footprint.
• Ventilation: funding has been allocated to balance the number of air changes throughout the Institute to improve on comfort (and save energy!)

Helpful hints

• Switch off lights when you leave the room
• Switch off equipment when not in use
• Put timers on your equipment so that it is ready when you are
• Log out or put your computers to sleep rather than using screen savers
• Shut down your computer completely where possible ie. overnight & at weekends
• Recycle all your 'dry' waste (eg. paper, plastic, cardboard) and your glass (in designated bins)
• Make efficient use of your chemicals. Order the right quantity and share.
• Defrost freezers regularly
• Keep cold storage tidy & organized to minimize the length of time the door is open
• Keep fume cupboard sashes closed when not in use
• Consider energy efficiency when purchasing equipment
• Ensure good house keeping (improves equipment efficiency & longevity) 

Be proactive

• Ask yourself "What can I do"?
• Think Green!
• Keep up-to-date with the Travel for Work plan and advantages
• Join the environment committee or be an energy rep
• Remember: A little saving from everyone will make a difference in the Institute
Sign the pledge when you join the institute
Make a suggestion - help us improve! 

 

For any further information, please contact Kathy Hilton (ext 34118)