Skip to main content

Space Management to Achieve Sustainability Goals

Universities face rising energy costs and the need to address climate change. Effective campus space management is becoming a key strategy.

In 2022/2021, 537 UK institutions emitted over 18 million tonnes of CO2, accounting for 2.3% of the UK’s carbon footprint. It has been reported that the transition to net zero will cost UK universities £37 billion.

Meanwhile, Australian universities aim for below zero carbon emissions by 2030. Western Sydney University leads globally in the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings, scoring 99.4 against the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Underutilized spaces drain finances and overlook sustainability opportunities. By optimizing space management, universities can reduce their carbon footprints and enhance educational environments.

The Challenge of Underutilized Spaces

Many higher education institutions face the issue of underutilized spaces, leading to inefficiencies in energy use and overall campus management.

For instance, certain buildings may remain largely unused during specific times of the day or year, yet they still require heating, cooling, and maintenance. This not only drives up operational costs but also increases the institution’s carbon footprint.

Addressing Rising Energy Costs 

Energy costs are a significant concern for universities, particularly as they strive to manage tight budgets while advancing their sustainability agendas.

Implementing energy-saving strategies is crucial. Universities can use real-time space utilization dashboards to identify areas where campus sustainability can be improved by accurately monitoring space usage and optimizing scheduling.

This data-driven approach equips estates and campus management services with the information needed to allocate resources efficiently, reducing energy consumption during off-peak times.

By leveraging real-time space utilization and integrating with existing network infrastructure, our solution enhances estate management, supports sustainability goals, and delivers real-time room capacity management and safety alerts.

University timetabling systems

The Role of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals

Universities have a vital role in advancing the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The University of Manchester achieved the top rank in the UK and Europe in the THE Impact Rankings.

The university exemplifies how institutions can align with global objectives by integrating sustainability into teaching, research, and community engagement.

This contributes to goals such as quality education, gender equality, and climate action.

Practical Steps for Universities 

Embracing Innovation – Universities must allocate substantial investments towards energy efficiency projects and space management technologies. Initial costs may seem dauting, the long-term rewards in terms of savings and environmental impact are considerable. Digital innovation can provide detailed insights into space occupancy and usage, helping to streamline operations and reduce waste.
Strategic Sustainability leadership – To drive sustainability forward, universities require leaders committed to making it a core business objective. This means designating sustainability officers and forming boards to implement and monitor sustainable practices across campus.
Infrastructure Transformation – Upgrading physical infrastructure to reduce emissions is essential. This involves transforming old buildings with energy-efficient systems and implementing data analytics to monitor and manage energy consumption effectively.

The Race to Net Zero 

In the global pursuit of achieving net zero emissions, Australian and New Zealand universities emerge as frontrunners, setting the pace for others to follow.

Their steadfast commitment and tangible process not only demonstrates the feasibility but also highlights the numerous benefits of embracing net zero future.

These universities have made significant strides in this race by:

  1. Implementing carbon reduction policies.
  2. Investing in renewable energy infrastructure.
  3. Leading sustainable innovative research.
  4. Embracing communities focused on environment responsibility.
Race to net zero


As universities continue to navigate the complexities of sustainability, the integration of innovative solutions and a commitment to transformative leadership will be crucial in driving meaningful change.

Maximizing space utilization through technology is essential for universities aiming to meet sustainability goals. SEAtS space utilization dashboards help reduce energy waste, improve timetables, and achieve sustainability targets efficiently. Innovative solutions and transformative leadership are crucial for driving this change.


Interested in learning more about how SEAtS can help you implement more effective student interventions? Contact Us Today!