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The strategy for carbon reduction for HE in England comprises:

  • sector-level targets for carbon reduction 
  • a requirement for institutional targets and carbon-management plans
  • funding incentives.

HEFCE activities on carbon reduction

To help the sector reduce carbon emissions, we work in the following areas:

Carbon reduction targets for institutions

We have published carbon data, provided by institutions as part of the Capital Investment Framework; a commitment  to transparency is consistent with the Environmental Information Regulations.

This data included institutions 2020 carbon reduction targets (against a 2005 baseline), which will contribute to the sector target of a 43 per cent reduction over the same period.

Institutional targets are not required to be the same as the sector target because it is recognised that each institution will be able to make a different contribution to the target, and that carbon emissions will vary according to several factors.

The collective impact of institutional targets is a 38 per cent reduction between 2005 and 2020. This is slightly lower than the sector-level target, but demonstrates the commitment of the sector to reducing emissions. 

Performance against the sector level target is published annually using data collected through the Estates Management Record.

Carbon baselines and targets

 Download the Carbon baselines and targets as MS Excel Spreadsheet (55 KB)

Comments from institutions on their carbon data and target (Please note that not all institutions provided a statement)

 Download the Comments from institutions on their carbon data and target (Please note that not all institutions provided a statement) as PDF (142 KB)

Useful publications on carbon reduction

 Research report into a carbon reduction target and strategy for higher education in England 2009

Carbon reduction strategy consultation seminar report 2009

Impact assessments of carbon reduction in HE

In developing our policy towards carbon reduction, we have assessed its impact on the HE sector in terms of regulatory burden, equality and diversity, and sustainable development.

Initial thinking

Download the Sector impact assessment of carbon reduction in HE: initial thinking as PDF (42 KB)

Post consultation

Download the Sector impact assessment of carbon reduction in HE: post consultation as PDF (42 KB)

Further information

For more information on reducing carbon emissions see our frequently asked questions or contact Andrew Smith, tel 0117 931 7001, e-mail a.smith@hefce.ac.uk.

Page last updated 24 February 2015