Striving to improve air quality within the borough, the University of West London (UWL) has transformed its buildings to save an estimated 500 tonnes of carbon emissions per year – the equivalent of which would take 25,000 trees to offset.

UWL has introduced low-emission heating and ventilation systems allowing it to create renewable energy sources and upgrade to low-energy lighting, all of which will have a substantial impact on the University’s carbon footprint.

It means the University is now capable of generating enough energy to heat an estimated 70 homes every year – or enough electricity to make as many as 4,282,560 cups of tea thanks to work to drastically cut greenhouse gas emissions and reduce the amount of energy needed to run its buildings.

The work, which also included removal of antiquated gas boilers to reduce nitrogen oxide pollution, will help improve air quality around UWL’s main sites in Ealing and Brentford, supporting the region’s transition to becoming a low carbon economy. The project has also been recognised as the top decarbonisation project in the higher education sector after receiving the Highly Commended award in the Energy Managers Association (EMA) Decarbonisation Project 2021 category.

Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter John, CBE, said: “As a University, we are taking a leading role in our community and doing our bit to tackle the global climate crisis and build a better future.

“While there is still a long way to go, this major decarbonisation project will allow us to create our own renewable electricity and run our buildings more efficiently which is going to have a considerable impact here in West London, and further afield.”

The ambitious retrofit covers UWL’s four sites – St Mary’s Road Campus, Vestry Hall, Drama Studio London, and Paragon House and was made possible thanks to a £5million award from the government’s Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme. Part of the Chancellor’s ‘Plan for Jobs 2020’, the scheme has awarded more than £1billion to finance the introduction of heat decarbonisation and energy efficiency measures.