Universities in our region are moving towards net zero

Maria Sellors, Marketing Manager – Research & Enterprise at the University of Hull, provides some information about their transition to net zero in partnership with Siemens. 

Why has the University of Hull committed to carbon neutrality by 2027? 

As a research-led institution, the University of Hull is committed to delivering excellent, innovative and impactful research that makes a positive difference.  One of our key research strengths is in Accelerating a Net Zero Future, and we felt it was important that we play our own part and be a global leader in this transition to net zero.   We have made an ambitious commitment to be carbon neutral by 2027, our centenary year.  In particular, we are transitioning to renewable sources of energy to fuel the campus, and making further energy efficiencies through optimising our estate and campus infrastructure, including the introduction of Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plants. 

What is your ‘Roadmap to Net Zero in Partnership with Siemens’?  

We are working in partnership with Siemens on a rigorous evaluation of our energy consumption, focused on reducing emissions and finding new, renewable ways to power the campus.  The resulting masterplan highlights changes we can make to our existing campus operations, as well as some significant infrastructure projects to help us reach our ambitious goal. 

Students at the University will play a key role in the development of the masterplan; several Masters students will be trained by Siemens in energy engineering and will conduct research to support the masterplan. 

Simon Burgess, Renewable Energy Project Developer at Siemens, said: “We were delighted to see the University’s commitment to becoming carbon neutral by 2027; Hull will be one of the first universities in the world to achieve this. Siemens wishes to establish a long-term partnership with the University of Hull; working together to eliminate carbon, as well as creating a cutting-edge ‘living lab’ on campus where students can learn in an interactive environment, conduct research on energy and sustainability, and collaborate closely with industry.” 

What is the impact of this work on your carbon footprint? 

We have made good progress having already reduced our carbon emissions by 46%, ahead of target. 

What new research and teaching opportunities will be created by your Smart “Living Lab”? 

The next phase of the University’s masterplan aims to convert the University’s campus into a Smart “Living Lab”, allowing our researchers, students and other external bodies the opportunity to trial new technologies in a live environment.   

What other sustainable actions are you taking? 

We are also embedding sustainability into our curricula, equipping all students graduating from the University with the knowledge and understanding to support the global transition to net zero. 

We are also eliminating single-use plastics, cutting water consumption and increasing biodiversity on campus, and sustainability will be a key consideration in our travel choices. 

We are a signatory to the Global Universities and Colleges Climate Letter, part of the United Nations Climate Change Race to Zero campaign, with our 2027 Carbon Neutral commitment.