The UK Government is proposing to introduce a voluntary emissions target for the higher education and public sectors in England.
It is seeking comments on its proposal for those sectors – excluding central government departments and their agencies which already have their own goals – and inviting views on the action required to deliver an “ambitious” decarbonisation programme across the public and higher education sectors.
They use significant amounts of energy, spending more than £2 billion a year in total on energy – since they have a large number of buildings and extensive landholdings.
The government believes there are “significant opportunities” for them to invest in energy efficient technologies and services to cut bills, generate new sources of income and contribute towards reducing emissions.
Its statistics suggest investing in cost effective efficiency improvements could lead to savings of around £860 million a year across the UK.
It adds the voluntary target would support the UK’s fifth carbon budget, which requires a 57% reduction in emissions by 2032.