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The Gurdon Institute


Energy and Environmental Impact Reduction

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

The Institute has saved over FIVE MILLION kWh of electricity since 2012, equivalent to one whole year's usage before we began our energy saving project!

Sustaining energy reduction: We have now accumulated four full calendar years of data from the tracker smart meter readings. The graph above demonstrates our continuous effects to reduce electrical consumption throughout the whole Institute.  Red shows our total electricity in 2016 compared to 2013. This equates to an overall reduction of 25% of our annual usage. A tremendous achievement - Well done!


The Gurdon Institute used to be the third largest carbon intensive building within the University Estates using approximately 705kWh/square meter/year. But is now the fourth using approx. 530kWh/square meter/year. 
The Institute volunteered to be a pilot department for the University's Energy and Carbon Reduction Project (ECRP) at the end of 2011. During the 5 years since becoming a pilot department we have embedded energy savings within the culture of the Institute and optimised some items of plant.

Our aim is 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 (Workplace Footprint Tracker) and is easily available to staff. 

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 have replaced some -80 oC freezers with more 'green' ones and purchased new drying cabinets - based on development work involving VWR, Genlab & Department of Chemistry.



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 initiative reduced the 'workzones' electrical consumption by 27% in comparison with the start of the campaign.

Embedded sustainability: Our inter-lab competition officially ended in 2012 however the good practises have continued over the years and we have now achieved a 27% reduction in the 'workzones' 

We aim to continue such positive approach to energy reduction and sustainability. 

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 2013/14 was £49K. 

Funded projects

• Lighting: wireless light switches & sensors were fitted in offices and areas such equipment rooms, TC rooms etc. and LED 'Skytiles' in the corridors.
• Humidification: we replaced our electric humidifiers with gas humidifiers at the end of 2014, and this has helped significantly with our total electrical reduction.
• 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 Vickie Stubbs, Shared Facilities Manager (ext 34118).