Oxford Brookes’ green credentials recognised with shortlistings for two national awards

Oxford Brookes University campus

Oxford Brookes University has been shortlisted for two national awards after implementing an innovative heating system on its Headington campus, which will reduce carbon emissions by 20%.

The University has been commended for its environmentally friendly geo-exchange heating system, which has reduced the use of fossil fuels on its Headington Campus since the system went live in July 2022.

The University has now been nominated in this year’s Regen’s Green Energy Awards, and the AUDE Awards (Association of University Directors of Estates).

Michele Morley, Head of Environmental Sustainability at Oxford Brookes said: “We are thrilled that this innovative carbon reduction project is being recognised with these two national award nominations.

“The project has made a significant impact in advancing sustainable energy solutions and reducing carbon emissions, and it has the potential to be a game-changer for organisations with constrained sites trying to address decarbonisation of their heating and cooling systems.

“From the outset, the way in which the University has approached this project has been very different from the norm, delivering a pragmatic, realistic approach, where risk was managed, and uncertainties accommodated to deliver short and long term carbon savings on our net-zero journey.”

Oxford Brookes’ green credentials recognised nationally

Oxford Brookes’ geo-exchange heating system is nominated for the University Impact Initiative of the Year Award in the AUDE awards, now in its ninth year.

The University is also competing in the Clean Energy Scheme category of the annual Green Energy Awards. The Clean Energy Scheme award focuses on projects that will lead to significant carbon savings. 

Merlin Hyman, Chief Executive of Regen, said: “Now in their twentieth year, The Green Energy Awards recognise the pioneering people and projects leading the UK’s transition to net zero energy.

“Decarbonising our energy system is a major challenge but the inspiring achievements of all the nominees provide optimism that it is achievable.”

The winners of The Green Energy Awards will be announced on 29 March at the Bristol Harbour Hotel, and the AUDE award winners will be revealed on 5 April at a ceremony at the University of Liverpool.

A pioneering heating system to replace fossil fuel dependencies

The Geo-Exchange Heating System is located on Oxford Brookes University’s Gipsy Lane site in Headington, Oxford. It will generate approximately 1.2GW of power per year, decarbonising its Headington sites heating demands by approximately 20%. 

The project involved the installation of 14 boreholes to a depth of 220m to utilise ground source heat pump technology. The system is capable of providing near zero carbon heating in the long term as the National Grid decarbonises.

Oxford Brookes has  a deep commitment to Environmental Sustainability. In 2021,the University declared a climate emergency and also signed up to the Zero Carbon Oxford Charter pledge supporting the city’s aspiration to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2040. In December 2022, the University performed well in the latest People & Planet rankings,  jumping 35 places in the league table that ranks universities on their environmental performance. 

More information about Oxford Brookes’ sustainability work can be found on its website, including its latest Sustainability Report. 


Second image: Concept image of the Geo-Exchange project at Oxford Brookes University’s Gipsy Lane site in Headington, Oxford