Environmental Responsibility

The RNCM joins organisations in Greater Manchester and around the world in declaring a climate emergency. This announcement is made after the RNCM Board of Governors supported our vision for a low carbon future.

We have agreed to the following key steps:

  • Completely remove all investments in fossil fuels. Achieved 2022.
  • Full heat decarbonisation by 2038
  • Reduce carbon emissions by 13% annually to achieve Greater Manchester’s net zero carbon targets

Professor Linda Merrick, Principal, said: ‘I am delighted that the RNCM and its Board of Governors has taken significant action in the last year to reduce our carbon footprint from heat decarbonisation, by securing significant external funding for major environmental works. Reducing our environmental impact through focusing on sustainable practices remains a key strategic objective which is something our students, staff and customers expect of us.’

Solar panels on the RNCM roof.

The RNCM has had a Carbon Management Plan since 2010 and has a Sustainability 2032 Framework. The work we do in this area is truly collaborative, and our Environment Working Group is made up of students and staff who are committed to meeting our environmental obligations.

Having already saved 877 tonnes of (heat/power) carbon by 2020 (from a 2005 baseline of 1755), we pledged to save a further 389 tonnes of carbon by successfully securing competitive funding from Salix as part of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme. Since then, we have delivered a full building retrofit including a new Building Energy Management System (BEMS), a hybrid air source heat pump solution, significant upgrades to motors, pumps and electrical infrastructure, the introduction of photovoltaics on our roof (pictured above), a full roof replacement, cavity wall insulation, smart metering infrastructure, and one megawatt of battery storage. We continue to identify further projects to achieve our ultimate goal of full heat decarbonisation.

The RNCM Environment Working Group

The RNCM Environment Working Group has a mix of staff and students who have a commitment to, and passion for, the environment. The Group oversees all matters relating to environmental sustainability including the development and implementation (together with all RNCM users) of the Carbon Sustainability Framework. The Group, which meets termly, is responsible for developing an action plan, setting targets and monitoring progress. Its terms of reference are:

  • To oversee the development of the College’s Carbon Sustainability Framework and monitor the completion of targets within stated timescales.
  • To ensure compliance with all relevant environmental legislation.
  • To make recommendations for further developments to the Executive Committee.
  • To develop environmental initiatives in support of the Carbon Sustainability Framework and recommend policies and procedures to underpin them.
  • To consider the results of activities.

The RNCM has a commitment to achieving net zero emissions in line with Manchester City targets by 2038.

If you have any questions about the group’s work please contact the Head of Environment and Facilities.