Water efficiency case study: London Metropolitan University

December 2013

London Metropolitan University has campuses in central and north London. The university has made a commitment to reducing its environmental impact and its Environmental Sustainability Team has established projects to address key areas – energy, water, waste and travel as well as staff and student awareness. 

The university joined the Rippleffect to identify opportunities to reduce its water use. The majority of its water consumption stems from washrooms (toilets, urinals and hand washing). A Rippleffect site visit identified several opportunities where some simple, low-cost measures could be implemented. As a direct result, the installation of passive infrared (PIR) flush controls and adjusting the operating time of all percussion taps are now being considered as part of a planned programme of improvements.

An ongoing refurbishment programme means the university would benefit from purchasing more water efficient equipment so it updated its procurement policy to include specifications for water efficient sanitary ware and white goods. 

Automatic meter reading (AMR) equipment has also been installed to monitor water use more closely in buildings with high water consumption. Analysing water use data helps to identify usage trends, monitor the success of any water saving efforts and identify any abnormal consumption, such as leaks. The university originally identified budget to install AMR just on its energy meters, but negotiations with the supplier led to the cost-effective installation of AMR on water meters as well. 

Raising environmental awareness has real benefits as all staff and students can take action to reduce unnecessary water use. The university ran a series of ‘climate week’ awareness events which featured a ‘water day’ to communicate to staff and students about water efficiency. Art students were asked to design a poster to raise awareness of the importance of saving water and a book token was given to the best designer. 

By implementing these actions, the university has reduced its annual water consumption by 1,183m3 and achieved cost savings of around £2,350.

“At London Met, we are proud of our environmental achievements – we’re one of the top five universities in the UK for reducing carbon emissions and a finalist in the 2012 Green Gown Awards for reducing our environmental impact. We are committed to continuously improve our environmental performance and saw the Rippleffect as an excellent opportunity to do this by helping us to reduce our water use. By taking advantage of the free services on offer through the Rippleffect we have certainly done that.”
Rachel Ward, Estates Energy Manager, London Metropolitan University

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