Partnership to help ARU achieve zero carbon goals

Published: 29 April 2021 at 10:20

View along to Tindal Building on Anglia Ruskin University's Chelmsford campus

Anglia Ruskin appoints leading energy firm to identify energy saving measures

Anglia Ruskin University has appointed leading energy firm Vital Energi to deliver a range of energy saving measures across its buildings and achieve its ambitious sustainability goals.

ARU’s new and ambitious Sustainability Strategy, published in 2020, aims to put sustainability at the heart of its curriculum, research, and campus life. Among the targets is to reduce carbon emissions to zero by 2045.

The work undertaken with Vital Energi will be carried out in several phases over the course of five years, with phase one focusing on teaching and residential buildings on ARU’s Cambridge and Chelmsford campuses. This phase will see Vital Energi evaluate a range of low and zero carbon technologies such as replacing, upgrading and optimising heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, LED lighting, smart building systems, renewable energy and water saving technologies.

The project involves the creation of an Energy Performance Contract (EPC) between ARU and Vital Energi, which guarantees energy and carbon reductions. The EPC was brokered by public sector support agency Local Partnerships, using the national Re:fit framework, under which suppliers are chosen for their excellence in providing energy efficiency and generation measures.

In addition to significant energy savings, the partnership will stimulate local economic growth as Vital Energi seeks to involve and provide opportunities for local supply chain businesses. It will also see the creation of employment training for new apprentices, support for ARU’s research programme, and career guidance and mentoring for ARU students.

 James Rolfe, Chief Operating Officer at ARU said:

“We are committed to becoming a zero-carbon university by 2045 and to accomplish this, we must put the right measures in place to make it happen. Working with an expert in the field like Vital Energi means we’re one step closer to achieving our target for truly resilient low carbon campuses.”


ARU declared a climate emergency in 2019. It has already reduced direct carbon emissions by 43% since 2006, and has built an international reputation for sustainability research through its Global Sustainability Institute (GSI).

Rachel Toresen-Owuor, Programme Director, National Re:fit Programme, said:

“Local Partnerships is pleased to support ARU with their new Re:fit Project and the selection of Vital Energi, who will be delivering energy efficiency and energy generation technologies. This project is set to deliver carbon emission reductions, as well as substantial energy and cash savings. This is a model that all universities could replicate, through the guaranteed savings achieved via the Re:fit framework.”


To find out more about ARU’s sustainability strategy and opportunities to collaborate, visit