Unite Students set net-zero carbon goal for 2030
Real estate investment company Unite Students, which provides students with accommodation across the UK, has set a new sustainability commitment to reach net-zero carbon across its operations and construction by 2030.
Unite Students unveiled a new five-pillar sustainability strategy this week, which is headlined by the net-zero commitment for 2030.
The company, which was one of the first to commit to developing and implementing science-based carbon targets when the initiative was first launched, will aim to reduce carbon from new and existing buildings.
Unite Students will follow the “net-zero carbon hierarchy”, first focusing on reducing energy consumption and purchasing renewable energy. Certified carbon offsets will also be purchased for any residual emissions.
The new sustainability commitments will also see the company reduce the environmental impact of new and existing buildings, including a focus on water efficiency.
Enhancing the health and wellbeing of employees and students, new diversity targets and working across the sector to raise the standards of student housing are also championed in the new strategy.
The company will announce further details as to how these targets will be met, along with timebound, numerical goals, in its annual report, which will be released later this year.
The net-zero commitment builds on a legacy of decarbonisation at Unite Students. The organisation has invested more than £20m into energy-efficient LED lighting and controls, alongside an £11m energy efficiency programme utilising solar PV, air source heat pump installations, and smart networked heating controls. As of May 2017, the company has been purchasing 100% REGO-backed renewable electricity.
More recently, Unite Students signed up as a supporter of the Task Force on Climate Related Financial Disclosure (TCFD) and will publish an integration plan this year.
Unite Students' group energy & environment manager James Tiernan, won the Energy Management Leader Award in 2019. You can read more about his approach to energy here.