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Cardiff University achieves Carbon Trust Standard

20 May 2010

Cardiff University has become the first higher education institution in Wales to achieve the Carbon Trust Standard, in recognition of its work, results and ongoing commitment to reduce its carbon emissions.

The University has been awarded the Standard after taking action on climate change by measuring and reducing carbon emissions by 1.3 per cent, comparing 2008/9 with the average of the preceding two years. A national mark of excellence, the Carbon Trust Standard is the world’s first carbon award that requires organisations to measure, manage and reduce carbon emissions across their own operations. The certificate constitutes 50 per cent of the Early Action Metric for judging performance in the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme (formerly known as the Carbon Reduction Commitment), which started in April 2010. As organisations are rewarded for actions they’ve taken to cut carbon across their own operations, the award is particularly timely for the University.

Cardiff University Vice Chancellor, Dr David Grant, said: "We are delighted to have achieved the Carbon Trust Standard and to be the first higher education provider in Wales to do so. This is independent confirmation that we have significantly reduced our carbon footprint, and huge testament to the hard work so many people across the University have put in to improving our sustainability.

"As one of Wales’ largest employers it is essential that we set an example for other organisations and the Carbon Trust Standard is another means of leading the way - we are wholly committed to making further reductions in the future."

Harry Morrison, General Manager of the Carbon Trust Standard, commented:
"Being certified with the Carbon Trust Standard is proof for Cardiff University that they have taken genuine action to reduce their impact on climate change by cutting carbon emissions. We congratulate them on this achievement and commend their leadership in terms of becoming a more sustainable organisation."

Cutting carbon is a priority for the University and through its Carbon Management Programme the University has been cutting its annual carbon emissions steadily over 2006/7 to 2008/9 compared to the initial baseline of 2005/6.

Since 2007, the University has invested £1.7M in energy saving schemes and became one of the first universities in the UK to take part in the Carbon Trust Higher Education Carbon Management Programme, which paved the way to the targets set.

With an annual energy bill of more than £8 million and annual emissions of more than 40,000 tonnes of carbon, the University worked with the Carbon Trust to identify how to reduce its carbon emissions over a five-year period 2006/7 to 2010/11. The targeted 14 per cent reduction in carbon emissions is equivalent to more than £3 million saving in energy costs over five years (based on 2005-6 levels). The energy-saving recommendations included, among many other initiatives, introducing a University-wide Energy and Water Saving Implementation Plan to reduce its carbon emissions. This involved such schemes as installing lighting and heating controls. A new system for powering down PCs 15 minutes after they are logged out saves an estimated £100,000 per year in energy costs and around 700 tonnes of CO2 per year.

The University has created the Eco-Champion network of 100 staff whose role is to promote and encourage the reduction in energy and water consumption, minimise waste production and ensure efficient recycling of unwanted resources; and the University introduced an annual awareness raising Sustainability Week throughout Cardiff University to encourage staff and students to become more sustainable.

The University has introduced a number of other policies and procedures to support the University in becoming more sustainable in recent years and in 2009 the University improved 67 places from the last year’s ranking of 84th to 17th in the annual People and Planet Green League table published in Times Higher Education.


Notes to editors

For more information, contact Lowri Jones, Public Relations, Cardiff University, T: 02920 870 995; E:

For further information or interviews on the Carbon Trust Standard, please contact our press office on 020 7544 3100 or at

Cardiff University
• Cardiff University is recognised in independent government assessments as one of Britain’s leading teaching and research universities. Founded by Royal Charter in 1883, the University today combines impressive modern facilities and a dynamic approach to teaching and research. The University’s breadth of expertise in research and research-led teaching encompasses: the humanities; the natural, physical, health, life and social sciences; engineering and technology; preparation for a wide range of professions; and a longstanding commitment to lifelong learning. Cardiff is a member of the Russell Group of Britain’s leading research universities.

The CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme (formerly known as the Carbon Reduction Commitment)
• The Scheme requires more than 5,000 organisations to buy carbon allowances for each tonne of carbon dioxide they emit and measures the performance of participants in a league table. Top performers are rewarded with at least reimbursement of the money paid out for allowances.

The Carbon Trust Standard
•All businesses and organisations, both in the UK and internationally, are eligible to apply for the Carbon Trust Standard including FTSEs, mid caps, SMEs and public sector organisations. Organisations that are awarded the Carbon Trust Standard hold it for a two year period and to maintain the certification they must reapply and demonstrate that they have continued to make year-on-year reductions in their carbon emissions.

• Organisations wanting information about getting the Carbon Trust Standard can call: 0800 019 1443 or visit

• Organisations that are certified with the Carbon Trust Standard are listed at

• Through a commitment to continually reducing their carbon footprint, Carbon Trust Standard achievers have together cut their emissions by 2 million tonnes of CO2.

The Carbon Trust

•The Carbon Trust is an independent company set up in 2001 by the Government in response to the threat of climate change, to accelerate the move to a low carbon economy. We work with organisations to reduce carbon emissions and develop commercial low carbon technologies.

• For more information on the Carbon Trust visit or call the Carbon Trust Advice Line on 0800 085 2005.