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Plymouth Marjon University, UK

What is the name of your institution?

Plymouth Marjon University

Why did you sign up to the Race to Zero for Universities and Colleges?

Alignment with MarjonZero, representing our strategic goal to move to zero carbon emissions by 2030.

What have you achieved since you have joined the Race to Zero for Universities and Colleges? 

By the end of 2022 we will have reduced our carbon emissions by 60% in two years.  This includes 2000 new solar panels, energy efficient LED lighting, a new building energy management system, major transformer upgrade and installation of 120 ground source heat pumps . These projects, supported through public sector decarbonisation funding, will save 783 tCO2e equalivalent to the energy use from 245 homes. We are the forefront of sustainability initiatives in the race to net-zero carbon, the first university to implement a ground source heat pump installation of this size.  Broader sustainability initiatives include five electric vehicle charging stations, establishing a bee hive on campus, biodiversity survey, plantied 210 additional trees and agreed an ethical investment strategy.

How are you leading the transition to net-zero? Consider the Leadership Practices and how you are engaging others to join the Race to Zero for Universities and Colleges or other Race to Zero campaigns.

Marjon has committed to a 10-year sustainability strategy.  Our leadership approach empowers our community ensuring strategies, policy and practice support sustainability.  The Student Union have removed single use plastics where possible and requested most packaging is recyclable. A student researcher has worked with academics exploring what sustainability looks like and means to our community.

What challenges have you had?

Our community cares about our sustainability goals, but patience is stretched during installation of bore holes, across campus, during all weather and term time. Managing the impact on student life as not to disrupt their overall success at university was a key challenge. Public sector funding and tight timelines have often meant rapid installation rather than systemical time optimised approaches.

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