SDG #7 Affordable and Clean Energy

Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all

Building sector capability through our environmental and electrical engineering degree programmes

Committed to being carbon neutral by 2030

Home of first five-star rated 'green building' in the Waikato

A few things we are especially proud of

Our total carbon emissions are down 56% against a 2019 baseline.

Construction of an innovative new facility called The Pā underscored by sustainability principles.

Our Ahuroa - Centre for Smart Energy Systems, which will work with industry in supporting a transition to more sustainable energy.

Our sponsorship of Evolocity, an event aimed at educating Kiwis about the benefits of electric vehicles, where school students design and build their own vehicles and compete.

Light bulb

Energy efficiency and carbon reduction

To meet our commitment of becoming carbon neutral by 2030 we are carrying out actions and activities across our campuses. We continue to upgrade buildings to increase energy efficiency and reduce our energy consumption.

In 2021 we installed 50 smart meters at our Hamilton campus providing targeted real-time insights into electricity use and identify energy waste and reduced carbon emissions by 56% (against a 2019 baseline).

Also in 2021, the University secured funding for a low-emissions chiller and LED lighting upgrade at our Hamilton campus which will reduce emissions by 34T per year. We also secured funding for a new Biofuel hot water boiler and CO² heat pumps for our student accommodation which will reduce emissions by 8.6T per year.

Student Centre

Energy efficient Student Centre first 5-star green building in the Waikato

Our Student Centre (Te Manawa) was the first 5-star rated green building in the Waikato. Features include: 72 photo-voltaic panels on the roof, energy-generating lifts which create energy for the building, sophisticated lighting and heating controls, and solar heating of water. The carpet, ceiling tiles, and furniture have been produced with as much recycled content as possible. Rainwater collected from the roof is recycled through the toilets.

Other recent building projects like our law building, Tauranga Campus, and The Pā are all designed with energy efficiency and sustainability in mind.

Hand holding light bulb

Building a sustainable campus

Energy efficiency is addressed through multiple means in the University of Waikato building and design Property Services Standard Brief. Reviewed in 2021, the brief applies to new construction projects as well as the refurbishment of existing buildings. Site orientation, ventilation, control systems, fuel choice, and varied monitoring are just some of the measures the brief covers in terms of energy efficiency, so we can best meet our sustainability goals.

The Pā construction has seen many of our goals put into practice, we are particularly pleased with the specialist windows which will result in heightened thermal performance. Quality management and site control are also outlined as important factors, and they allow us to apply energy saving practices from site conception. Furthermore, the ongoing use and life of the structure is to be considered and monitored for achieving optimal energy efficiency.

Michael Walmsley

Supporting industry in transition to renewable energy

The industrial process heat sector contributes 28% of New Zealand's energy-emissions but represents arguably the most complex and challenging of the energy sectors to decarbonise by 2050. The Ahuora project team is addressing this challenge head-on with the help of $12.5m in MBIE Endeavour funding. Under the leadership of Professor Michael Walmsley, over the next seven years they will use digital twin technology to support large-scale energy users to transition to renewable energy.

Related news

Collectively combating the climate crisis

University of Waikato researchers are helping New Zealand communities mitigate emissions and adapt to the increasing number of extreme weather events we face influenced by human induced climate change.

Sustainability Summit shines spotlight on community solutions

The University of Waikato was proud to host the 4th Aotearoa Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Summit Series over two days on campus last week (9-10 February) supported by co-hosts Waikato Tainui, Te Pūkenga, and the Waikato Wellbeing Project.