As part of the Carbon Trust Higher Education Carbon Management Scheme (HECM) Phase 2, energy audits of all existing buildings were identified to establish a baseline, but also identify the buildings that were performing poorly in relation to others. Through the energy audits, a range of ‘technical’ opportunities within the Estates Division were identified, prioritised in terms of carbon savings and payback periods, from low to high.
In addition to the energy audits, focus groups involving building users (staff, academics, students, Student Union) and members of the Estates Division and senior management were held, to provide a form for individuals to raise concerns or offer ‘non-technical’ solutions to improving occupant satisfaction of buildings. In conjunction, questionnaires relating specifically to energy and waste were also circulated, and interviews with building users conducted. As a result, key stakeholder groups were targeted and included as part of the evaluation.
Waste audits were also carried out, both at LSE and other University of London Halls of residences, to establish the existing levels of waste management, and the opportunities for improved levels of recycling. Ultimately, the outcomes of the waste audit and the London Halls Recycling Project led to a HEFCE-funded project ‘Moving towards zero waste’ that is being piloted across a number of universities across the UK.
The outcome of the energy and waste audits, and post occupancy evaluation were included as part of the wider environment and sustainability strategy. This strategy has been used to provide a business case, mobilising support at the senior level (particularly the Finance and Estates Division) and implementing an ongoing behavioural change throughout the university. Moreover, the strategy provides a framework for improving the performance of the university across different environmental and sustainability issues and setting short, medium and long-term targets.
More recently, Greengage provided guidance on how the introduction of Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) and Display Energy Certificates (DECs) were likely to impact higher education sectors.