7 May 2014

Deep green cuts reduce University energy consumption 20%


The University of Copenhagen has met its first climate goal of reducing carbon-dioxide emissions 25%. The next sustainability targets are in sight.

Since 2006, the University has reduced CO2 emissions 28.8% per employee.

In 2008, the University of Copenhagen set a goal of a 20% reduction in carbon-dioxide emissions and in energy consumption per student and employee. Both goals have been met: the University’s 2013 Green Account shows that carbon-dioxide emissions are down 28.8% and energy consumption per student/employee is down 20.4% on 2006 levels.

- We’ve met our goal, even though they were ambitious targets when we set them in 2008. The results are an example and they show that it is possible to make significant reductions in carbon-dioxide emissions and energy consumption. This is something that we, as one of the city’s largest employers, have an obligation to do. Financially, it also makes a lot of sense, says Prorector for Research and Innovation Thomas Bjørnholm.

The reduced energy consumption can primarily be credited to major investments in efficiency. Some 69% of the savings came from new technical projects.

The green patio on the roof of the Faculty of Humanities building (KUA2). Other sections of the building have a green roof.

But, overall, the lower energy consumption was something that the entire University contributed to. Some18% was found through energy optimisation, while the remaining 13% were chalked up to changed student and employee behaviour. 

Saves 35 million Danish kroner a year

The results were recognised during the University’s annual Spring Festival. As a way to thank students and employees for their efforts, Prorector Bjørnholm served up green cake.

He noted, however, that the energy savings had an even sweeter reward.

- Our calculations show that we will have saved 35 million kroner annually when all projects are fully implemented in 2015. The money we don’t spend on energy will be re-directed to instruction and research in the faculties that reduced their consumption, Prorector Bjørnholm says.

New sustainability goals

The energy-efficiency efforts do not end here. The administration is identifying new goals for the next five years that can make the University more sustainable.

Since 2006, the University has reduced energy consumption 20.4% per employee

These initiatives, expected to be approved by the Board of Directors some time this year, will set even more ambitious targets for energy consumption and carbon-dioxide emissions. Other sustainability goals will also be set up, such as reduced resource and chemical consumption, and the University itself will serve as a proving ground for sustainability solutions.

The full results of the 2013 Green Account can be found on the Green Campus website.


Thomas Refslund Poulsen, Green Campus team leader
Phone: +45 3070 4109