Environment and Energy Management

The environment is God’s gift to everyone. And we have a responsibility towards each other to protect it. We cannot think of ourselves as isolated from others or from creation.

Our impact on the planet is reducing biodiversity, changing the climate, and polluting the earth. Around the world, climate change is affecting food security, creating social vulnerability, and disrupting peace and security. There is no doubt we need to act.


St Chad’s College is committed to maintaining a sustainable environment and aims to be outstanding in its care for the environment.

The College will endeavour to meet or exceed environmental targets set by the University.  This management policy provides a framework for formulating the environmental strategies and specific ‘action plans’ needed to meet our environmental sustainability aims.

Occupying multiple historic buildings and positioned next to a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the College is situated in a local environment of great merit.  Furthermore, the College recognises that our environmental responsibilities extend to the whole planet.

Students and staff aim to co-ordinate the wider involvement of the whole College community in policy making, implementation and appraisal of environmentally sustainable patterns of college life.  Our commitment to environmental issues will be integral to every policy and development plan of the College.

The involvement of the whole College is crucial to the achievement of these aims.  Financial feasibility and health and safety considerations must always be taken into consideration, as environmental sustainability cannot be achieved at the expense of these factors.  Environmental ‘best-practice’ will be regularly debated in College, and the contributions of experts and community members alike will allow the College to reach a consensus on action plans.

The College will consult regularly with the University’s environmental staff, the Sustainable Living Action Group, and the Estates and Buildings Department of the University.


 Monitor the college’s environmental footprint

  1. Assessment of current policies via the management mechanisms described in Section III below.
  2. These data will be used to assess the feasibility and the costs and benefits of any proposals to reduce our environmental footprint and to set realistic targets for improved performance.
  3. Regularly carry out environmental audits to ensure our policies and procedures are fit-for-purpose using external criteria.

Minimise consumption of energy, especially the use of non-renewable energy resources  

  1. Increasing the energy-efficiency of systems (heating, lighting, public transport, etc.) where possible
  2. Reducing energy consumption through technological interventions (insulation, thermostatic controls, timers, motion sensors, push-taps, etc.)
  3. Looking towards sourcing energy from renewable sources so as to reduce carbon emissions from unavoidable consumption
  4. Taking initiatives to reduce the consumption of non-renewables through campaigns to encourage behavioural changes

 ‘Reduce, Reuse, Recycle’:  Minimise wastage of materials and ensure that all waste and effluent is disposed of appropriately

  1. Re-use materials wherever possible, minimising the purchase of any products designed to be disposable in offices, kitchens, bars, houses etc.
  2. Purchase recycled materials wherever available
  3. Recycle all recyclable materials
  4. Compost food waste if a use can be found for the mulch
  5. Reduce unnecessary paper waste
  6. Dispose of any ecologically unsafe substances in a legal, safe and responsible manner, including cleaning fluids and kitchen waste.
  7. Reduce the volume of waste collected for landfill
  8. Conserve water where possible and minimise sewage effluent
  9. Try to influence local government to provide services that enable us to achieve our environmental objectives

 Conserve and enhance our buildings for the future

  1. Consider aesthetic worth, utility, and environmental sustainability when acquiring, maintaining or upgrading our buildings
  2. Encourage livers-out to be environmentally sustainable in their own locale
  3. Where feasible, install new systems or alter current systems to enhance environmental sustainability

Conserve and enhance the local environment and ecology of the College’s estate

  1. Encourage bio-diverse ecosystems
  2. Time estate operations appropriately to reduce the impact on breeding, feeding and hibernating species
  3. Plant shrubs and trees native to County Durham when possible
  4. Maintain soil and water quality
  5. Enhance and maintain flora and fauna
  6. Prevent littering and degradation of the grounds
  7. Minimise chemical use and use organic fertilisers such as mulch from green waste and organic methods where favourable
  8. Conserve water, especially heated water
  9. Work with local government to preserve and enhance the local environment (including the built-environment, streets, etc.)

Manage the kitchens in line with best environmental practice

  1. Source food with regard for its nutritional qualities to promote health and well-being.
  2. Preferably source food that has been produced without undue degradation to the environment
  3. Where possible source food which has been locally produced and sold, using seasonal ingredients
  4. Minimise packaging and refrigeration costs
  5. Design menus and control quantities to minimise waste
  6. Consider  minimising or optimising foods of animal origin (meat, dairy products and eggs) given that much livestock farming is inefficient and is arguably a significant contributor to climate change.
  7. Ensure that foods of animal origin are produced to high environmental and animal welfare standards as far as possible
  8. Choose fish from sustainable resources when possible (those accredited by the Marine Stewardship Council)
  9. Avoid bottled water and similar products to minimise transport and packaging waste
  10. Reduce and recycle waste produced by the Bar
  11. Minimise chemical use where harmful to the environment
  12. Conserve water when possible

Educate and learn from all members of the college and provide opportunities to address environmental issues and policies with them.

  1. Education through the College’s Collegiate Studies Programme
  2. Incorporation into information sources supplied through the various common rooms in College (targeting livers-out as well)
  3. Clear and consistent signage and instructions for recycling facilities
  4. Campaigns for environmental sustainability
  5. Provide environmental guidelines and information in student handbooks and on websites
  6.  Participate in locally-targeted, national and international environmental campaigns
  7. Provide appropriate training for staff and students on environmental management


  1. This policy will be adopted and updated by the Governing Body.
  2. This policy will be reviewed annually by the Environment Committee; an annual progress report will be made to the Governing Body.
  3. A member of the Environment Committee will be appointed to liaise with the Governing Body on these matters.
  4. The Bursar is the Budget Officer for energy matters, and he or she will report to the Environment Committee (which monitors the Environmental Policy)
  5. The Bursar is also responsible for the procurement of energy and water.
  6. Assessment of energy consumption and costs is a key part of the termly spending reviews conducted by the Finance and General Purposes Committee.  The Bursar will facilitate the exchange of information between the F&GP and the Environment Committees.

Energy Management Policy

MISSION:  The College seeks to provide a safe, comfortable and high quality working environment, together with adequate supplies and reliable sources of energy and water to sustain its activities, and to procure and manage these supplies and their use in the most cost effective manner consistent with the College’s wider objectives and the resources available.

OBJECTIVES The Energy Management Policy overlaps with the Environment policy and seeks to:

  • avoid unnecessary expenditure; • improve cost effectiveness in producing a comfortable working environment; • protect the environment by minimising carbon dioxide emissions; • prolong the life expectancy of fossil fuel reserves; and • conform to the College’s Environmental Policy above.


Key procedures in delivery of this policy include:

  • to buy fuel at the most economic cost while ensuring security of supply; • to utilise the fuel in the most cost effective manner; • to reduce pollution levels caused by our energy use; • to reduce, wherever cost effective, our dependence on fossil fuels, through the use of good design and modern controls in the new buildings and refurbishment programmes; • to control heating temperatures and periods in each building consistent with its pattern of use, to approved College-wide criteria; • to increase awareness of energy and environmental issues among members of the College and to encourage responsible attitudes.


  • The Policy will be determined by, and implemented under the authority of, the Governing Body. • The Bursar will be responsible for advising the Governing Body on managing energy use. • The Bursar is also responsible for the procurement of energy and water. • The Clerk of Works monitors energy usage, and he or she will report to the House Committee which monitors the Environmental Policy. • Assessment of energy consumption and costs is a key part of the termly spending reviews conducted by the Finance and General Purposes Committee.


The Clerk of Works will advise on the following:

  • the energy and water supplies required to meet the College’s requirements; • improvements in energy management and utilisation; • works needed to maintain the estate in a condition consistent with effective energy management; • with the Environment Committee, to continue to increase awareness of environmental issues in the College


The Finance and General Purposes Committee (F&GP) is responsible for monitoring energy consumption across the College and ensuring that the Bursar advises users and Budget Officers accordingly.  The same committee will compare energy costs and utilisation with other similar organisations.


  • The F&GP Committee is responsible for ensuring that, in planning new buildings, major refurbishments and more effective use of space, the College considers energy usage. • The College will accord a high priority to energy efficiency in appraising such new buildings or major refurbishments, and will judge the whole life-costs of the building in agreeing cost limits.


The College will seek to make all staff, students and visitors aware of the need to make the most effective use of energy and to conserve it, including:

  • providing information in student handbooks; • making use of University-wide resources; • joining University-sponsored poster campaigns; • locally targeted campaigns (e.g. those undertaken by the common rooms); • specific training of staff as appropriate.

All members of the College are urged to become aware of the role they play in effective energy management.


Key steps in this process include:

  • purchase of energy at the best price having considered security of supply and other contractual arrangements; • to recognise statutory maxima and minima for heating non-residential accommodation (in the range 16-19°C); • introduction of an electricity savings scheme; • the avoidance of electric heaters whenever possible; • an assessment should be carried out for the lifetime consumption of energy when updating boilers; • joining information and education programmes on energy issues throughout the University; and • purchasing low energy appliances that give satisfactory lifecycle payback.


The College provides heat during the autumn, winter and spring according to the University’s schedule. During this time, we aim to provide a minimum internal temperature of 16 degrees C during daytime.  Night time temperatures will vary with the weather (most of our heating systems are shut down for 6 hours during the night to conserve energy).  The heating system in most College buildings is turned off or set very low during the summer; though, in exceptionally cold weather, the system may be turned on for a few hours to take the chill off now and then.

During the day and evening, hot water temperatures are kept at levels that help to prevent legionnaire’s disease.  This slightly increases the danger of scalding, but it greatly reduces the risk of legionella colonisation.  Many of the boilers have a once-weekly legionella cycle that increases the domestic hot water temperature for a time precisely to destroy this bug.

Last updated 12 December 2010