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Plymouth Marjon set to become one of the greenest universities in the country

Released: 14.09.21


Plymouth Marjon University is embarking on a ground-breaking project to install ground source heat pumps (GSHP) and become the first university to implement a GSHP scheme of this size.

The installation of ground source heat pumps is part of a new sustainability initiative, the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme (PSDS). Ground source heat pumps harness natural heat from the ground by pumping water through it in pipes, capturing heat that can be used in heating buildings. This scheme helps the public sector decarbonise its buildings in the UK, giving them a leadership role to create exemplar projects in our communities; paving the way to help the UK meet its carbon budgets and net zero commitments.

The success of this project will put Marjon at the forefront of the race to net zero carbon by 2050, with it being one of the largest non-domestic GSHP programmes undertaken in England to date. The project is funded by a grant received by Salix, a company that runs funding schemes dedicated to enabling the public sector to reduce carbon emissions. The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has made available £3.5 million of funding for the GSHP installation.

Marjon previously received a grant from Salix for the installation of around 2000 solar panels, under the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme (PSDS).

Marjon Director of Estates and Sustainability, John Bailey, said: “The opportunity presented by the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme has allowed Marjon to accelerate our sustainability plans and the goal of reaching net-zero carbon on campus.

Once the ground source heat pump project is delivered the University should see CO2 emissions 80% below the level of our baseline and on-course to be one of first universities to achieve this level of emissions reductions.”

Works started the week of 23rd August 2021 until 31st March 2022 and involves implementing 120 bore holes on campus.

Marjon have been working on becoming carbon neutral for two years, starting with its ‘green electricity’ initiative, which switched the university’s electricity supply to be provided by only carbon neutral sources.

Marjon Vice Chancellor, Rob Warner, said: “Marjon’s response to the climate emergency is to take decisive and urgent action. We want our campus to be an outstanding environment for students, staff, the wider community - and wildlife too.

“And we are determined to play our part to the full, as Plymouth, Devon and Cornwall make urgent efforts to respond to the climate crisis. Why decarbonise now? We owe it to our students, our children and our children’s children.”

This is an exciting project for all those within the Marjon community, working together to make the university one of the greenest in the country, and doing our piece to protect our planet.

You can find out more about the project here Marjon Zero | Plymouth Marjon University


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