Energy and Carbon

The University of Birmingham is dedicated to reaching Net Zero Carbon Emissions for Scope 1 and 2 by 2035 and for Scope 3 by 2045 as part of our commitment to developing sustainable, smart campuses and ways of working. 

James Sharman

James Sharman

Decarbonisation and Sustainability Manager

“Our pioneering research and teaching address the realities of climate change through transforming health, environment and society. However, we also have a responsibility to ensure that we lead by example, reducing the impact of our own operations. We are committed to going beyond business as usual, eliminating our environmental impact as far as possible, and energy use and carbon emissions are an enormous part of this.”

Our Targets

The University aims to achieve Net Zero Carbon for Scopes 1 and 2 by 2035 and for Scope 3 by 2045. This is essential to produce a healthy, resilient, zero-carbon recovery that prevents future threats, creates new jobs and encourages sustainable growth. Please see below for more information about what sources of emissions are included in each scope: 

  • Scope 1: Natural gas, Gas oil, University vehicle fleet, Grounds maintenance fuel, Fugitive emissions.
  • Scope 2: Grid electricity, Purchased heat.
  • Scope 3: Business travel, Waste, Water and waste water, Employee and student commuting, Purchased Goods and Services, Capital goods, Fuel and energy procurement.

As we develop our decarbonisation strategy, we have created an annual Carbon Accounting Report so as to be transparent. It highlights our current emissions, which areas have the biggest environmental impact, and includes recommendations for areas to focus on whilst creating our net zero carbon strategy.

The full Carbon Accounting Report 2020/2021 is available to download as a PDF. An accessible Word Document version of the report is also available to view. 

Heating and cooling

The University of Birmingham plans to improve the sustainability of its heating and cooling systems on campus to reduce our carbon impact. Whilst this work gathers pace we are making positive changes to how we operate our buildings including adjustments to heating schedules to align with building occupancy. This will reduce wasteful consumption whilst ensuring comfort of building users.

What else are we doing to reduce our carbon emissions?

The University has a wide variety of sustainability initiatives and operations in place. Find out about all the initiatives and programmes that you can be part of to help make our campus as sustainable as possible.

Contact us: 

If you would like to log an issue in one of our buildings, please get in touch with one of the Estates team. 

Find out what Game-Changing work the university is doing around the energy crisis.