Energy and carbon

Energy and carbon

Within our Campus Management Climate Action Policy we have made a commitment that 'The University is committed to the effective management of energy used on the estate, including gas, electricity and heat to reduce the associated carbon emissions produced. To be achieved through energy efficient design, consideration in products and services, energy efficiency projects and the purchase of renewable energy'

Our measures and targets 

  • 2018/19 Baseline footprint (8,046,8229 kg CO2e / 36,484,350 kWh)
  • 2030 Target reduction net zero on direct emissions

Reducing our energy use

We are certified to the ISO 50001 energy management system. This ensures effective monitoring and measurement of our usage and emissions. 

Purchased electricity and heat used on the estate equates to a sizeable proportion of the Scope 2 carbon footprint for SHU. A considerable proportion of the potential savings of the University’s Scope 2 carbon footprint is projected to be achieved through grid decarbonisation over future years (to 2030), the remainder of the potential savings will be achieved through developing a smaller, better utilised and more energy efficient estate, a commitment to the procurement of 100% green energy and through ongoing effective energy management.

It has been identified that to further improve energy reporting and management, building level targets would improve the University’s ability to have an overview of consumption and better targeted energy projects. The University is committed to maintaining university wide energy and carbon reduction, consistent with the downward trajectory achieved in the application of the previous Environmental Plan. To achieve this, a ‘Climate Action Readiness Plan’ will be created to establish a more detailed baseline of carbon (and equivalent) emissions across the campus at building level and develop bespoke targets and action plans based on this to achieve in the long term.


To achieve these long-term objectives, the following actions have been set for the 2023/24 year:

  • Conduct carbon assessment of key buildings across the estate in preparation for building level target setting
  • Create energy plan for each key building using DEC data as baseline
  • Use increased resource to analyse energy data to identify savings through small projects and interventions, to reduce baseload consumption across the estate
  • Begin process of purchasing energy that meets UKGBC (UK Green Building Council) criteria to be recorded as 100% green.

Monitoring and reducing Scope 3 emissions

Progress against targets is monitored on an ongoing basis, using a projection tool that predicts the impacts of potential projects. This tool was developed as part of a consultancy project and populated by a master's degree student as part of their studies. You can find out more on our education pages.

The University is also working towards calculating and reporting Scope 3 emissions. See our travel monitoring page for information on how we're reducing our business travel impact.