Lancaster University has won a prestigious award at the Green Gown Awards for its Wind Turbine Community Benefit Fund.
The award, in the Money for Good category, recognises the beneficial impact the fund has had in supporting community and environmental projects in Lancaster over the last 10 years and demonstrates the benefit that the turbine can provide to the community, as well as the important role it plays in generating renewable energy for the University.
The wind turbine has enabled Lancaster University to be one of the highest producers of renewable energy of all UK universities over the last decade, with further major increases in renewable generation anticipated in future from the planned solar farm.
Since 2005, Lancaster has reduced its electricity and heating emissions from its energy consumption by approximately 50 per cent, and is committed to achieving ‘net zero’ carbon emissions from energy use by 2030.
The Awards, which celebrate innovative and change-making initiatives and projects in sustainability across the further and higher education sectors, were presented at a ceremony in Liverpool, organised by the Environmental Association of Universities & Colleges (EAUC). Lancaster’s Wind Turbine Community Benefit Fund was praised by the judges for the way it generates income which is then turned into investments for other environmental and community projects.
Vice-Chancellor Professor Andy Schofield said: “Sustainability has been at the heart of Lancaster University since its foundation. We're very proud that this Green Gown Award emphasises our commitment to building strong communities by creating positive change and working collaboratively.”
The Wind Turbine Community Benefit Fund recently celebrated its tenth anniversary. It allocates up to £20,000 per year to Lancaster District-based not-for-profit organisations, charities, trusts, community groups or voluntary organisations to support sustainable projects, large and small.
The wind turbine produces around 15 per cent of the overall energy demand on campus each year. The fund uses some of that benefit to engage with the local community and promote sustainable projects. A total of £200,000 has been donated over the last ten years.
Lancaster University’s Carbon, Environment and Sustainability Manager Jon Mills said: “I'm delighted that the Wind Turbine Community Benefit Fund has won a Green Gown Award. It’s fantastic that the fund has been recognised for the great work it has done in supporting so many community and environmental projects in and around Lancaster over the last 10 years.”
The University is set to virtually eliminate the use of gas for heating on its Bailrigg campus through the creation of a new Low Carbon Energy Centre, following more than £21 million of funding from the Government’s Green Heat Network Fund (GHNF).
The Centre will use air source heat pumps, thermal storage and electrical infrastructure to create an innovative heat network providing 45 GWh of low carbon heat, which will be sufficient to provide heating and hot water for nearly the entire campus.
In addition, Lancaster is committed to tackling the climate emergency by embedding sustainability into all areas of university life, and many academics work on globally significant sustainability projects. The curriculum continues to centre teaching around current events, and the ever-changing landscape we live in.Back to News