Sustainable Earth Institute

Towards a sustainable Earth 

The sustainability of life rests on the precarious balance between the interconnected health of our Earth, oceans and atmosphere. In turn, the stewardship of this complex system depends on the interconnected efforts of all those who rely on it.
The Sustainable Earth Institute (SEI) connects the university’s world leading research and expertise with the wider world.
We bring together researchers from natural and social sciences, engineering, arts, humanities, health and business, to take an interdisciplinary, systems-thinking approach to help tackle sustainability challenges.
Our research responds to the call of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals, contributing to both global efforts, and the needs identified locally where our capabilities can make a difference. 
We engage with all sectors – private, public and third – to work together on innovative solutions for a more sustainable Earth.
We need to protect our dynamic and unique world – after all, good planets are hard to find.

Featured projects

Interdisciplinary Research Themes 2022

The SEI brings together researchers across the University to collaborate on key sustainability challenges.

<p>potatoe crop</p>

Healthy Landscapes
Unprecedented pressure on the planet’s natural capital requires collaboration across disciplines to support land management and future policy.

<p>Data and Visualisation Sensors</p>

Environmental intelligence and sensors
Using data acquisition, interpretation and visualisation to deliver the next generation of environmental monitoring and assessment.

<p>green wall</p>

Net-zero carbon
Net-zero carbon requires a holistic, systems-thinking approach, by bringing research and cross-discipline expertise together to accelerate progress.

The South West Natural Powerhouse


Natural assets like the wind, critical minerals and heat lie at the heart of the journey to net-zero and the Green Industrial Revolution policies – which include offshore wind, the shift to zero-emission vehicles, greener buildings, sequestrating carbon and protecting our natural environment. The South West Natural Powerhouse (SWNP) is a movement that aims to connect natural capital assets – our resources – with the South-West’s ambition for clean growth. The SWNP is an independent consortium formed from industry, academia and local government that works in collaboration to facilitate clean growth in the South West. The consortium fosters responsible stewardship of our natural resources, whilst promoting sustainable and accelerated development of the blue and green economies. Find out more about SWNP

<p>South West England coastline</p>
<p>Student on fieldwork, Dartmoor</p>

Sustainability courses and programmes

Plymouth offers a range of sustainability themed courses and programmes, including architecture, entrepreneurship, consultancy, design, engineering and planning. 
Find out more about our courses and programmes
<p>On the path to net zero</p>

A whole institutional approach to sustainability

University of Plymouth has an established reputation both nationally and internationally as a leader in the higher education sector for sustainability.
Find out more about sustainability at Plymouth

Public mailing list

As a member of the public you can sign up to our mailing list to receive our monthly e-bulletin and updates about University of Plymouth and public sustainability events, workshops and news.

Join the public mailing list

University of Plymouth staff and student mailing list

As a member of staff or a student at the University of Plymouth (or a partner college) you can mailing list to receive our monthly e-bulletin and updates about sustainability events, workshops, research funding calls and news.

Sign up to the University of Plymouth staff and student mailing list

Please note - if you do not have a registered University of Plymouth or partner college email address you will be moved to the public mailing list.

Our mailing lists are hosted with MailChimp, which is not owned or managed by the University of Plymouth. For more information on MailChimp, read their Privacy Policy.

Contact us

If you’re an academic looking for a connection to industry, an organisation looking for academic research support or an individual who is inspired to work towards a sustainable future then contact us to find out how we can help