Green efforts save DKK 35 million a year – University of Copenhagen

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24 May 2016

Green efforts save DKK 35 million a year


An ambitious effort to save energy at the University of Copenhagen has paid off, yielding both green results and large economic gains.

New data shows that UCPH has reduced its CO2 emissions by 48% in ten years, while energy consumption has been reduced by 32%.

These impressive results are fuelled by Denmark’s, and in particular Copenhagen’s, green transformation to renewable energy sources. Power stations using biomass and wind turbines have contributed to a significant part of the CO2 reduction for UCPH. But UCPH's own efforts to use energy more efficiently has also had a significant impact.

“We’re seeing the results of many people's efforts - from individual employees who remember to close the fume cupboard, to technicians and project managers who make sure that the buildings are becoming more energy-efficient," says Tomas Refslund Poulsen, Green Campus team leader at UCPH.

Improved ventilation, LED lights, efficient building management and distant cooling are just some of the specific initiatives that contribute to the results.

In this six-minute video you can see examples of UCPH's energy and climate efforts and some of the people behind.

With these results, the University is on its way towards the two most important objectives in UCPH's sustainability strategy 'Green Campus 2020’. The aim is to reduce CO2 emissions by 65% in 2020 and energy consumption by 50%, both calculated per full-time equivalent.

The results at UCPH contribute to a more sustainable development, while the more efficient use of energy certainly also benefits UCPH’s bottom line. With the efforts to improve energy efficiency, UCPH today spends around DKK 35 million less on energy per year. The approximately DKK 110 million which have so far been invested in energy projects are well spent and mean more funds for research and education.

In the years up to 2020, UCPH will maintain a strong focus on energy efficiency, just as work on UCPH's other objectives in Green Campus 2020 will continue.

Recycling waste

However, there is also room for improvements to the green effort. Recycling of waste, for example, is an area where more can be done.  The target is that 50% of the university's waste is reused. Today, less than 30% of waste is sent for recycling, which is far from enough.

“In some areas at UCPH, employees and students have well-functioning options to sort waste, but there are also several areas where these options are not available. This is something we must work on in the coming years if we are to reach the target," Tomas Refslund Poulsen says.