University of Sheffield switches to renewable electricity

  • The University of Sheffield has signed new renewable electricity contracts, sourced exclusively from solar, wind and hydro sources
  • The contracts will provide electricity for all of the University’s estate
  • Electricity is the biggest component of the University’s on-campus carbon emissions

Wind turbines and solar panels

The University of Sheffield has signed new electricity contracts, making its purchased supply 100 percent renewable for the first time.

The contracts, with Bryt Energy, will see electricity generated exclusively from wind, hydro and solar sources supply all of the University’s buildings, including its central campus, residences and the University facilities on the Sheffield/Rotherham border including Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) and the Nuclear AMRC.

Electricity accounts for over half of the University’s on-campus emissions, meaning the new supply will reduce net carbon emissions by up to 17,000 tonnes CO2 per year, helping the University on its journey to becoming carbon neutral.

Professor Koen Lamberts, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield, said: “We are absolutely committed to addressing climate change via our research, our education and our institutional actions.

“Switching to a 100 per cent renewable electricity contract is an important step in our sustainability work and follows our work to completely divest from fossil fuels and incorporate sustainable development into our education.

“We look forward to working closely with our students and staff on the next phase of our sustainable development.”

The switch to renewable energy comes after close ongoing cooperation between the University and student groups to establish priorities for sustainability.

Harry Carling, Sheffield Students’ Union Development Officer, said: “It is so important that we have a University that values our student voice, and this is particularly important when talking about environmental issues. I’m exceptionally proud of our student-led Clean Energy Switch Campaign and Sustainability Committee, who have done an incredible job in making sure this issue has been pushed to the top of the agenda in the University. The University of Sheffield has set an example to the rest of the higher education sector, and organisations around the world. It is now the responsibility of others to follow.”

The University of Sheffield is committed to bringing together academic expertise to tackle global problems, and translates its leading research into real-world solutions that make its campus and city more sustainable. As part of this, the University of Sheffield was one of the first universities in the country to completely divest from fossil fuel investments. Last year, Professor Lamberts announced the university would be embedding Education for Sustainable Development into all courses over the next five years, helping students to understand how they could use their skills, experience and subject knowledge to have a positive impact in their future careers. Academics at the University are currently working on measures which will help it to become carbon neutral.

Bryt Energy is part of the Statkraft group; Europe's largest generator of renewable energy and leading international hydropower company.

Additional information

The University of Sheffield

With almost 29,000 of the brightest students from over 140 countries, learning alongside over 1,200 of the best academics from across the globe, the University of Sheffield is one of the world’s leading universities.

A member of the UK’s prestigious Russell Group of leading research-led institutions, Sheffield offers world-class teaching and research excellence across a wide range of disciplines.
Unified by the power of discovery and understanding, staff and students at the university are committed to finding new ways to transform the world we live in.

Sheffield is the only university to feature in The Sunday Times 100 Best Not-For-Profit Organisations to Work For 2018 and for the last eight years has been ranked in the top five UK universities for Student Satisfaction by Times Higher Education.

Sheffield has six Nobel Prize winners among former staff and students and its alumni go on to hold positions of great responsibility and influence all over the world, making significant contributions in their chosen fields.

Global research partners and clients include Boeing, Rolls-Royce, Unilever, AstraZeneca, Glaxo SmithKline, Siemens and Airbus, as well as many UK and overseas government agencies and charitable foundations.

Contact

For further information please contact:

Emma Griffiths
Media and PR Assistant
The University of Sheffield
0114 222 1034
e.l.griffiths@sheffield.ac.uk