Net Zero
Achieving net-zero – a balance between the greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere and those taken out – is fundamental in reducing global warming and therefore tackling the climate change.

The UK Government’s Net Zero Strategy outlines the ambition to reaching net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
At Plymouth, we have a strong and award-winning strategy for sustainability. Through a holistic, systems-thinking approach, the University is committed to achieving a net zero emissions target by 2025, reducing water and energy use, and increasing recycling rates.  
We also provided the academic expertise on the new Net-Zero Task Force, established by Devon County Council, assembled to deliver Devon’s Carbon Plan, the county’s roadmap to carbon neutrality.  
The Net-Zero Visions project united community groups with creative professionals and net-zero transition experts to produce visions of how villages, towns or cities in the county can meet the challenge of being carbon net-zero by 2050. While work leading the multi-million pound, cross-Channel CobBauge partnership project is investigating whether cob can become a sustainable solution for a new generation of energy-efficient housing.  
Meanwhile, our work informing the designation and management of the UK’s first Marine Protected Area in Lyme Bay, has provided evidence to support policy-making processes in the areas of blue carbon and climate adaptation for nature.  

Providing evidence to support policy-making processes

How the University of Plymouth is supporting place-based solutions to achieve carbon net zero

Successfully achieving carbon net zero will require profound changes to the UK economy and society
Universities are rooted in their respective city and regional networks and, as organisations where knowledge is gained, produced and exercised, they should play a key role at the forefront of leading the country’s action to achieve carbon net zero.
Read the full evidence summary 
360 Civic Centre

The role of peatlands in achieving carbon net zero

Covering almost 10% of the UK, peatlands represent our single most important terrestrial carbon store
“Peatlands provide vital ecosystem services and more should be done to preserve and restore them. Greater consideration should be given to how peat is used, what can be done to prevent the deterioration of peat bogs and how they can be managed more carefully.”
Read the full evidence summary 
Peat or peatlands

Traditional building techniques shaping the future of construction and carbon reduction

The CobBauge project is a crossborder research project that aims to demonstrate that this traditional technique could play a role in the future of the construction industry
Efforts to reduce the construction industry’s carbon footprint should focus not only on emissions from energy use during building occupancy, but also on emissions caused by the energy used or ‘embodied’ in the building’s construction.
Read the full evidence summary 
CobBauge project
Centre for Decarbonisation and Offshore Renewable Energy

Centre for Decarbonisation and Offshore Renewable Energy 

In response to climate change imperatives, we are bringing together a critical mass of leading research and expertise from across the University of Plymouth. Through co-creation and collaboration with partners from business, government and key communities from across the globe, the Centre aims to be a beacon for the University’s whole-system transdisciplinary approach to solutions-oriented research, accelerating sustainable developments in decarbonisation and renewable energy.

Centre for Systems Thinking: Ocean, Land and Society

The Centre for Systems Thinking: Ocean, Land and Society champions a whole-system transdisciplinary approach to solutions-oriented research to improve planetary health. The Centre brings together an unrivalled critical mass of catchment-coast-ocean expertise from across the University’s Strategic Research Institutes to address 21st-century challenges alongside national and international policy. 
Plymouth, UK: Marina Drone Photos, credit: Drone Motion Stock, courtesy of ShutterstockCentre for Systems Thinking lead image

Interdisciplinary Strategic Institutes

Our diverse research spans three Strategic Institutes. Collaborative endeavour in rich, natural environments drives solutions to global challenges.

Richard Thompson Plymouth Pioneers. plastic bottle in sea

Marine Institute
Marine, maritime, education and innovation expertise integrate to train scientists, engineers, policymakers, artists, technicians and business.


Plymouth Institute of Health and Care Research
Transformation in life course, ageing, methodologies, e-health, technology and interventions in health, social care, lifestyle, health and wellbeing.

Research with the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences

Sustainable Earth Institute
Science, engineering, arts, humanities, health and business, with community, businesses and individuals, innovate to build resilience for our planet.