Oxford Brookes’ green credentials recognised at prestigious awards ceremony

Oxford Brookes University representitives at the award ceremony
From left to right: Mark Tugwell, Deputy Director of Estates, Gavin Hodgson, Decarbonisation Strategic Lead, and Neil Ward, Senior Project Manager, all of Oxford Brookes University, at the AUDE awards ceremony. Credit: AUDE Awards

Oxford Brookes University has been recognised for its Net Zero emissions commitments at a prestigious awards ceremony, after implementing a heating system that will reduce carbon emissions on campus by up to 20%.

The University was ‘Highly Commended’ in the ‘University Impact Initiative of the Year’ category at the AUDE Awards (Association of University Directors of Estates) which took place at the University of Liverpool on Wednesday 5 April.

Competition judges praised the University’s pioneering Geo-Exchange Heating System on Headington Campus, which will generate approximately 1.2GW of power each year. The system became operational in July 2022. 

Michele Morley, Head of Environmental Sustainability at Oxford Brookes said: “To be highly commended in this competitive category, against a very high standard of competition, is a fantastic achievement for the University on our journey to Net Zero. 

“We hope that our Geo-Exchange project continues to pave the way in reducing carbon emissions and using greener technologies on University sites.”

Speaking on behalf of the judges of the AUDE Awards, AUDE Executive Director Jane White said: “The Oxford Brookes Geo-Exchange Heating System project has made many universities sit up and take notice, and we congratulate the team on pushing this through at a time when many projects were still badly hampered by the pandemic and its effects on everything.

“The judges would like to congratulate everyone involved in this project.”

The overall winner in the category was the new £30 million Anglia Ruskin University campus in Peterborough, which opened in September 2022. Both Oxford Brookes University and the University of Liverpool were ‘Highly Commended’ in the category.

Cutting reliance on fossil fuels

The University’s Geo-Exchange heating system consists of 14 boreholes installed to a depth of around 220m to utilise ground source heat pump technology. Oxford has an ambition to become a net zero carbon city by 2040, a decade ahead of the national target.

More information about Oxford Brookes’ sustainability work, including the latest Sustainability Report.