The University of East London (UEL) in the United Kingdom has established a strategic partnership with Siemens to collaborate on their aspiration of achieving net-zero carbon by 2030. Siemens will deliver improvement measures to reduce overall energy use, and engineer solutions to drive the shift to renewable and on-site low-carbon energy generation at UEL’s campuses in the London Docklands and Stratford.
In addition to targeting net-zero for the University’s urban sites by 2030, the partnership also aims to enhance the wellbeing of students and staff, foster inclusivity by creating new learning opportunities, and to support a digital-first culture through the roll-out of technology.
The net-zero carbon roadmap identified four focus areas for UEL’s campuses: introducing renewable energy sources and reducing overall energy consumption; supporting sustainable enterprise; leveraging real-time energy data through the creation of a Living Lab and nurturing a strong talent pipeline.
The first phase will immediately cut 10 percent of UEL’s carbon emissions and reduce operational costs by installing LED lighting in all buildings, and upgrading the Building Management Systems (BMS). A second workstream will focus on engineering the design of sustainable energy technology, including solar panels on rooftops and in car parks, ground source or water source heat pumps fed by the River Thames, and electric vehicle charging solutions.
“We are committed to becoming a national and global decarbonisation leader by considering the economic, social and environmental impact of everything we do,” said Professor Amanda Broderick, Vice Chancellor and President, University of East London. “With our university-student-industry triple helix partnership approach, we are confident that we can achieve net zero in our publicly engaged and vibrant learning environment where everyone can succeed. The campus carbon transformation will give our students the opportunity to become the sustainability leaders of tomorrow. They will have access to the latest thinking in smart technology, to industry experience and mentorships and a vital edge in the jobs market.”
In the second phase, Siemens will support UEL in the creation of an innovation hub for local green energy enterprises, giving students the opportunity to engage with the latest green technologies on-campus. Students will also be able to further strengthen their skills through mentoring and internships with Siemens. UEL and Siemens will work together to embed sustainability across the curriculum, allowing students to develop the skills they need to succeed in a green economy. The partnership is also exploring the creation of a Living Lab, to make campus data available to students and researchers for teaching and research.
“This is an exciting time for the University of East London; we’re proud to be supporting their strategic objectives with technology solutions, and collaborating on the transition to net-zero,” said Constantin Ginet, Global Head of Energy & Performance Services, Siemens Smart Infrastructure. “Beyond decarbonization, this partnership also demonstrates the additional positive impact of a technology-focused net-zero journey, including improvements in learning and teaching, a better experience on campus for both students and staff, and the potential to create positive social impact in the surrounding community.”
To support the energy transition in the wider East London area, UEL and Siemens will also explore ways to introduce local-scale energy projects which make an immediate difference to local communities.