Sustainability Hub: Low Carbon Devon

Welcome to Sustainability Hub: Low Carbon Devon

The Sustainability Hub: Low Carbon Devon project will provide an exciting new catalyst for low-carbon economic growth in Devon.

Supported by an investment from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the three-year £2.6 million programme, will support Devon-based organisations to access research, business support, and engage with the University of Plymouth around the low-carbon agenda.

Dr Emma Whittaker is researching how Devon’s creative industries, from design to heritage, from to audio-visual arts to publishing etc, are engaging with climate change, carbon emissions and the broader environmental impact of their enterprise.
Please complete our sustainability survey and tell us what you do and the support you need.
Your response will contribute to research at University of Plymouth supporting the creative industries to reduce their carbon emissions, address their environmental impact and communicate the issues. 
Put your creative industry on the map!

<p>Low Carbon Devon</p>

Covid-19 update – we are pleased to confirm that we are now taking bookings for the Sustainability Hub, in line with latest Government guidance and all aspects of the project are progressing. For the most up-to-date information on the University’s COVID measures, please refer to our Covid-19 FAQ page.

Get involved

Sustainability Hub

The Sustainability Hub is a SKA gold rated refurbished building that provides a physical, collaborative space where businesses, social enterprises and community groups can mix with researchers and students around the issue of sustainability.

For further information on how you can use the building, visit the Sustainability Hub webpage.

Research and innovation

The Sustainability Hub is a living lab – a place where we can research and test low carbon solutions. Four industrial research fellows are now in place to carry out research, lead interactive events and bring together enterprises operating in the following areas;

  • Green wall sector
  • Power electronics (PV & LEDs)
  • Creative Industry sector
  • Energy Efficiency in Buildings (Occupant Behaviour)

Devon Net Zero Innovation Fund

Funding of up to £7,500 available to help Devon enterprises to develop new products or services for the low carbon sector, through collaboration with University of Plymouth academics. This opportunity is open for both new and existing industry-academic partnerships – email us now to register your interest;

Knowledge exchange

Events – our events support the low-carbon sector in Devon, supporting enterprises from any sector to shift to low carbon and supporting enterprises to engage with the University of Plymouth around the low-carbon agenda.

  • Green Maker Initiative Event – supporting makers to become more sustainable
    Saturday 19 February | 11.00am – 16.00pm | Riverside Mill, Bovey Tracey

  • Net Zero Visions Workshop – a creative low carbon opportunity open to all Devon residents
    Thursday 27 January | 6.00pm – 8.00pm | Online

Visit our Events page for all forthcoming events

Future Plymouth 2030 – series of webinars exploring low carbon and sustainable development in Plymouth.

Watch our past events here

Low Carbon Devon Internship and Leadership Programme – Find out more about our exciting internship opportunities and how to apply – visit Future Shift.

Carbon Reduction Project

The Low Carbon Devon project has already brought significant energy savings through a LED lighting retrofit programme in three University buildings.

We will also be trialling an innovative energy efficiency test facility or technology. The results of the trial will be disseminated, along with other energy efficiency approaches demonstrated at the University.

To find out more about energy efficiency, please fill out one of the above Expression of Interest questionnaires.


Green Walls

Our Green Wall Industrial Research Fellow Thomas Murphy is interested in the use of nature-based solutions to tackle local and global environmental issues. The project will optimise the performance and viability of green walls in sustainable building design and share information and best practice. Our thriving internal and external green walls showcase the latest research and technologies in this area. 

Thomas says, 

“With an expanding urban population, ‘green infrastructure’ provides an opportunity to tackle climate change, air pollution and biodiversity loss, whilst facilitating low carbon economic growth. Green walls can offer heating/cooling savings (CO2), improved air quality, noise reduction and elevated health and well-being. This project is a fantastic opportunity to kick start innovation by local enterprises to engender sustainable low carbon growth in Devon.”

<p>Sustainability Hub Green Wall being studied by Thomas Murphy</p>

Industrial Research Fellow Thomas Murphy studying soil insulation capacity.

<p>Lowering business carbon emissions<br></p>

Energy Efficiency in Buildings (Occupant Behaviour)

The Energy Efficiency in Buildings (Occupant Behaviour) research area of the Low Carbon Devon project will assist Devon enterprises developing building management systems to improve the control strategies and visual communication of their products. 
The wider Devon business community will be supported by our specialist Industrial Research Fellow, Sepideh Korsavi, to identify opportunities to reduce their energy consumption. 
The Sustainability Hub on campus at the University will be used as the initial pilot and solutions will be later tested, implemented and disseminated to other businesses.

Creative Industries

Low Carbon Devon is supporting the creative industries by offering:

  • Research to assist in the development of a practice, process, product or service within the low carbon agenda.
  • Free events, symposia and workshops to learn about the circular economy or reducing carbon emissions.
  • Opportunities to network and collaborate by featuring on our creative industries LCD map.
  • Creative practice – could you engage others by telling the story of how your enterprise is engaging with the low carbon agenda?

We are researching the low carbon practices of creative industries and asking, what are the narratives of low carbon and how can we take action for positive change?

Dr Emma Whittaker, our Industrial Research Fellow, will draw upon the University’s broad spectrum of research expertise to facilitate and advocate the global shift to low carbon within Devon based Creative Industries.

<p>Creative Industries</p>

Low Carbon Devon Creative Industries

<p>Jonathan Bloor, Industrial Research Fellow, Low Carbon Devon</p>

Power Electronics

Our Power Electronics Industrial Research Fellow Jonathan Bloor is supporting businesses across Devon to utilise electrical energy in a smarter way through physical or virtual adaptations to existing and new infrastructure. 

Jonathan says,

“In a future where our reliance on green electricity will become dominant for all our energy needs, it’s important that efficiencies for power conversion, transmission and usage are optimised. Our current focus on solar micro-inverters, innovative circuit design and big data will enable Devon-based SMEs to make decisions on how to reduce carbon. Our hope is to bring together the local business community – on land and at sea – to implement power efficiency methodologies to help achieve net zero carbon by 2030.”

Our team

<p>Sustainability Hub - green wall for research</p>
<p>Sustainability Hub Forum</p>
<p>Sustainability Hub - green wall</p>

European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)

The University of Plymouth is proud to be supported by the European Regional Development Fund. As one stream of funding under the European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) Growth Programme 2014–2020, the ERDF focuses on smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.
The main priorities involve contributions to research and innovation, supporting and promoting small and medium size enterprises (SMEs), and the creation of a low carbon economy.
More projects supported by ESIF with the University of Plymouth

<p>European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) logo</p>