Sustainable UCL


Christmas Switch Off 2021 Results: Your Impact!

10 January 2022

Thank you to everyone who participated in 2021’s Christmas Switch Off. 200 pledges resulted in a combined saving of 173 tonnes of carbon – that’s equivalent to planting 2,883 trees!* This saved UCL an impressive £114,374 over the festive period.

Christmas tree background with text reading 'Christmas Switch Off Results', and decorative baubles with statistics which can be found in the article below.

Thanks to the hundreds of people who ‘stepped in’ to the Christmas Switch Off, we were able to switch off fridges, microwaves, lights, mics, projectors, monitors, lab equipment, ventilation, and heating! Energy savings were made across UCL, from our libraries to our labs.

We saved 173 tonnes of carbon this Christmas through your contributions, which is a phenomenal result as we move towards zero carbon buildings by 2024. Read more about UCL’s sustainability goals here.

Competition Winners

And the winners of the 2021 Christmas Switch Off competition are…the Institute of Neurology and the Department of Mathematics! Congratulations to our joint winners for achieving the highest numbers of Switch Off pledges. They will each receive prizes of £100 towards sustainable projects for making 27 pledges.

A huge congratulations also to History of Art and Library Services for coming in a very close second and third place.

Without all of you pledging and promoting the Switch Off, this result would not have been possible, so thank you.

Who Saved the Most Energy?

The Bartlett School of Architecture made the most savings during the festive period, reducing their energy use by 56%!

Several other departments also made huge energy savings following increased remote working measures from November as well as their participation in the Switch Off.

What Now?

These results just go to show the incredible changes we are capable of here at UCL. If we switched off like this every weekend, UCL could reduce its carbon emissions by around 2,600 tonnes and shave nearly £1 million off the energy bill every year.

While there are certain appliances which must stay running to ensure UCL remains a world-leading research university, we hope that we've shown how small changes can lead to a huge impact. Simple changes in our everyday behaviours, like switching off non-essential equipment, will help to tackle the climate crisis.

Time to get ready for the Easter Switch Off!

Get Involved

For energy-saving tips and resources, check out our website. If you’ve been inspired to further help UCL in its transition to a zero carbon institution, find other ways to get involved as a student here, and as a staff member here.

*On average, one tree can consume approximately 60kg of CO2 from the atmosphere.

**Savings Calculations:

  • The holiday period was from 23.12.2021 - 03.01.2022.
  • Electricity used during the holidays = 5,057,789kWh.
  • Savings compared to term time = 816,959kWh.
  • Average weekday energy use during term time = 500,240kWh.
  • Average weekday energy use during holidays = 435,247kWh.
  • Average weekend energy use during term time = 468,207kWh.
  • Average weekend energy use during holidays = 393,953kWh.
  • Figures based on DEFRA carbon factors.