The University of Sheffield has ranked as a top tier university in Uswitch’s first annual study of UK universities’ commitment to renewable energy. 

The study of 136 institutions looked at three areas; renewable energy supply, renewable energy installations on campus and existing or planned renewable energy schemes. Uswitch commended the University of Sheffield’s work in all three categories.

Earlier this year, Sheffield signed electricity contracts with Bryt Energy, a 100% renewable energy supplier supporting solar, wind and hydro power. This will make a significant difference to the University’s carbon footprint, reducing its carbon emissions by approximately 17,000 tonnes per year. Furthermore, the University has multiple renewable energy installations across campus such as solar panels on the Hicks Building (pictured) and a wind turbine on the AMRC site.  

The recognition of the strength of the University of Sheffield’s commitment to renewable energy comes weeks before the University is set to publish its new sustainability strategy. The strategy will set out the University’s vision for sustainability over the next five years, including its ambition to become a carbon neutral university.

In 2019, Vice-Chancellor Professor Koen Lamberts announced that the University would be embedding Education for Sustainable Development into all taught courses at the University as part of the new sustainability strategy.      

Sarah Broomfield, energy expert at Uswitch.com, commented:

“It’s great to see that some universities are going above and beyond when it comes to sustainability.”

“Having renewable installations on campus and schemes in place to produce more of their own renewable energy shows that they are leading by example in trying to achieve net-zero carbon emissions.”

“While not every university will have the same financial resources to generate their own power, it’s good to see that they are willing to “go green” by choosing a renewable energy tariff from their supplier.”

Dr Rachael Rothman, Co-director of the Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures and Academic Lead for Sustainability at the University of Sheffield added:

“It is fantastic to be recognised for the excellent progress the University of Sheffield has made on its sustainability journey. As a University, we have set ambitious targets and we make evidence based decisions, recognising the urgency needed to tackle the climate emergency.”

“Supporting the renewables industry, both on campus and through our procured electricity, is a key strand of our new sustainability strategy which we will be publishing shortly.”

Jordan Weir, University of Sheffield Students’ Union Development Officer and Student Lead for Sustainability, said: 

“Students have worked closely with the University to promote renewables on campus and in our procured electricity. I am delighted that Sheffield’s unique approach to sustainability, placing students alongside academics in shaping our work, has been recognised in this way. It shows we are on the right track as an institution and we are committed to continuing the pragmatic relationship that works closely with the University to ensure environmental sustainability remains a priority.” 

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