Sustainable UCL


Easter Switch Off 2022: This is how much carbon we saved!

10 May 2022

Thank you to everyone who participated in 2022’s Easter Switch Off. All of your pledges resulted in a combined saving of 69 tonnes of carbon – that’s equivalent to planting 1,143 trees.* This saved UCL an impressive £39,710 over the Easter closure – more than a sizable nest egg!

Bunny with the words 'Easter Switch Off Results'

Thanks to the hundreds of people who participated, 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 69 tonnes of carbon this Easter through your contributions, which is a great step towards zero carbon buildings by 2024. Read more about UCL’s sustainability goals here.

Competition Winners

And the winners of the 2022 Easter Switch Off competition are…the Institute of Neurology and Stapleton House! 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 63 pledges.

A huge congratulations also to Library Services for coming in a very close second 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?

Due to changed working patterns and building use due to COVID combined with the UCL community's switch off efforts, we saw the lowest energy use over Easter we have seen since monitoring this data. The Bartlett School of Architecture made the most savings during the Easter period, reducing their energy use by 51%!

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 1,300 tonnes and shave nearly £700k 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.


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 13.04.2022 – 18.04.2022
  • Energy used during the holidays = 2,379,873kWh
  • Savings compared to term time = 353,406kWh
  • Average weekday energy use during term time = 434,091kWh
  • Average weekday energy use during holidays = 388,850kWh
  • Average weekend energy use during term time = 363,655kWh
  • Average weekend energy use during holidays = 353,020kWh
  • Figures based on DEFRA carbon factors