Sussex strives to climb green rankings with Britain’s biggest university solar panel installation

Sussex University has announced plans to be among the greenest universities in the country once again after a dramatic fall in an annual environmental league table.

The university aims to cut its carbon emissions by 45 per cent by 2020, with a £1.5 million solar panel project among the ideas to make the Falmer campus more sustainable.

University bosses said that the “first stage of a number of projects in the university’s commitment to going greener” were already under way.

Sussex has already installed 490 solar panels on the roof of accommodation blocks at Northfield, on campus. The target is to install 3,000 solar panels in total on buildings across the campus.

The university expects the power generated to meet about 5 per cent of the campus’s energy demand.

Sussex University has been putting solar panels on the roof at its Northfield residences

Sussex University vice-chancellor Adam Tickell said: “As a university it is only right that we live by our values and ensure our campus is as green as possible.

“This is exactly why over the next three years I will be spearheading a programme which aims to significantly reduce the university’s carbon emissions.

“I am committed to the university looking at a whole institution approach to carbon reduction and working to ensure this is embedded in everything we do.”

The renewed commitment to green values comes after the university dramatically fell in last year’s Green League ranking, tumbling from 21st to 81st. Brighton University was ranked 2nd.

The league is compiled by student campaign group People and Planet and ranks universities’ public commitment and performance towards environmental and social justice.

At the time, the university told Sussex student newspaper The Badger: “The league table is devised by the People and Planet team carrying about web-based research so we need to look at how we are sharing information online on our concerted efforts in this area.”

Since last year the university has reiterated its commitment to its new, cleaner investment policy and to reducing carbon emissions.

It said that more information would be released on the university website as the green initiative continued.

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