Cardiff University secures £8.8m in funding to help reach 2030 net zero goal

Cardiff University

Carbon-cutting and energy-saving technologies delivered thanks to Welsh Government funding 

Since declaring a climate emergency in 2019, Cardiff University in Wales has been hard at work cutting carbon emissions in pursuit of its net zero goals and those of the Welsh Government.

To drive forward this commitment, the university has secured funding of £8.8m to introduce low-carbon upgrades to its Cathays campus and Queen’s Building. 

This project was made possible by the Salix Energy Efficiency Loan Scheme, which is funded by the Welsh Government and administered by our teams at Salix.

“We take our commitment to achieving our net zero ambitions extremely seriously. That’s why we are delighted to have secured this vital source of funding as it will allow us to press ahead with a series of essential, quick-win works to provide carbon reduction and energy efficiencies across our university estate.”

Professor Damian Walford Davies Deputy Vice-Chancellor Cardiff University

The project

  • LED light fittings will replace 22,000 existing lights at 33 buildings across the university’s estate. 
  • Solar PV on six roof areas will help the university to reduce its reliance on the grid for energy. 
  • Refurbishments to air conditioning technologies will increase the efficiency of the motors and cut their annual energy usage by 22%.
  • Air handling units will receive filter replacements that reduce electricity costs and consumption. 
  • Nine laboratories will receive fume cupboard upgrades which will cut down on wasted energy. 
  • A new ground source heat pump is set to decarbonise the heating demand in the university’s Optometry Building.

Collective action

Beyond its innovative projects,  university teams are working to embed sustainability into its curriculum and ethos.

Staff and students can engage with its wider sustainability work through several initiatives such as the Responsible Futures programme, which helps integrate sustainability in all parts of learning. 

School and departmental environmental compliance officers also work to encourage sustainable behaviours across the university, prompting conversations around food waste and recycling. 

More widely, the university’s Net Zero Innovation Institute is driving innovation and technology, engaging with society, government and industry to achieve net zero.

The multidisciplinary approach spans areas such as biodiversity, hydrogen technologies and sustainable cities, as researchers aim to understand how best to drive the advancements needed to reach net zero. 

The impact

The university estimates that it will see a saving of £1.7m and 1,400 tonnes of carbon annually following project completion.

Scope 1 and 2 emissions, which are categories of emissions that are owned or controlled by the university, are estimated to see a reduction of 5%.

For further information on funding and innovative projects take a look at the news and case studies sections of the website.