HE providers who submitted environmental information for 2019/20 consumed a total of 6.6 Terawatt hours of energy during the year – a reduction of 7% on the previous year for the same group of providers. A breakdown of energy consumption shows an 8% decrease in non-residential consumption and a 1% increase in residential consumption. This difference may reflect impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic which forced students to remain in residences and away from teaching facilities for long periods during the academic year.
Over the same period of August 2019 to July 2020 scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions fell by 10% for HE providers who opted to submit data. The total of these emissions for the year stood at 1.4 million tonnes, down from 1.6 million tonnes in 2018/19. Over the last five years carbon emissions have fallen by 27% from 1.9 million tonnes in 2015/16.
The figures come from environmental information published by HESA from the annual Estates Management Record. The open data publication HE Provider Data: Estates Management includes the area of universities’ buildings and grounds, renewable energy generation, water consumption, emissions, waste, recycling, transport, and environmental management.
From 2019/20, the Estates Management Record (EMR) return is a statutory requirement for HE providers in Wales but is optional for HE providers in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Carbon emission figures relate to Scope 1 and 2 emissions excluding emissions from supply chain, transport and waste. Scope 3 emissions figures are included separately in the Environmental information statistics tables for most HE providers.