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March 29, 2022 | News

Update on Sustainability work at Surrey Research Park

Update on Sustainability work at Surrey Research Park

 As we look to the future, we are focused on creating an even better environment for our businesses to flourish.  In practical terms, this means we are concentrating on:  

  • Growth  
  • Sustainability  
  • Strengthening further the connectivity with the University and fostering even stronger regional partnerships

Update on the sustainability work 

To set the context, in January 2020, the University of Surrey was one of the first academic institutions nationally to set an ambitious carbon reduction target, net zero by 2030 for scopes 1 and 2, together with transparent annual reporting and a roadmap to achieve the stated target.  Now some 40 higher education institutions in the UK have set net-zero or carbon neutral targets for varying emissions scopes and target year.   

While Surrey Research Park (SRP) was included within the University’s emissions budget, that assessment included only a subset of SRP’s buildings.  It is also recognised that the Park will require different infrastructural changes to those planned for the main University campus.  

Since October, we have been working with an external consultancy, and the University’s Head of Sustainability, to understand the infrastructural options for the Park to align with, and support, the University’s ambition of net zero by 2030.   

The first step is creating a detailed emissions baseline.  For that we chose scopes, 1, 2 and 3 utilising data from FY18/19 wherever possible to provide pre-covid data, and to align with the University’s baseline.   

We also included water, waste and food in the assessment.  We then adopted a high-level approach to look at options to hit net zero by 2030, taking future potential Park expansions into account.  The options targeted clean power, heat, transport and all associated infrastructure. 

The first round of work has identified what is important and where further investigation is required.  For example, the high-level approach did not consider specific SRP building designs, but rather used generic (non-SRP specific) building information.  We are now undertaking modelling of specific SRP buildings, that are representative of others across the Park, and more detailed assessments of a range of interventions, to identify what is the best value in each location. This more detailed work is forecast to be completed by Autumn 2022, which aligns also with our anticipation of when various Government consultations will have delivered their conclusions. 

How can Park businesses input or feedback any concerns

We would love to talk to as many of our customers as possible to hear your thoughts as our planning progresses.  Please contact Grant Bourhill directly at [email protected] if you have any feedback or input.  

We envisage engaging with companies on the Park later in the year when we have a more defined route forward.   

We know that there is ever increasing market demand from businesses, the investment community and Government to support sustainability targets and practices.   

In a similar way to the University being at the forefront in committing to net zero by 2030, Surrey Research Park will continue to provide a compelling environment for companies to grow.    

 

[1] Emission inventories for an accounting organisation are split into three different “scopes”.   
Scope 1 is for emissions owned or controlled by the organisation, such as boilers, vehicle fleets, processing plant etc.   
Scope 2 accounts for emissions from consumption of electricity or heat that is procured from, and generated by, 3rd parties.   
Scope 3 emissions are those from the company’s entire “upstream” and “downstream” value chain. 

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