Planet Earth as appearing from space with warm sunlight.
With our mission to advance knowledge and transform lives, the University embodies the spirit of enterprise and deep commitment to sustainability.
Sustainability Solutions is our commitment to delivering on the promise of securing a greener, cleaner future, working in partnership with communities, industry, policymakers and individuals to bring about the paradigm shifts and cultural changes our world needs to thrive.
Our commitment starts by creating a sustainable university and we are proud to be only the second university to be third party verified as carbon neutral. The key challenges facing our planet – as outlined in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals – inform and inspire all our research and teaching, as well as underpinning the way we work as a University.

A sustainable university

We achieved net zero verification through the independent PAS 2060 standard and met ambitious strategic targets three years ahead of schedule.
The University of Plymouth has won seven Green Gown accolades – and been shortlisted a total of 22 times – for our sustainability achievements. In the 2023 awards we have won the Reporting with Influence award and were Highly Commended in the 2030 Climate Action category, acknowledging the University’s long-held commitment to carbon reduction.
Across our estate, we have achieved a reduction of over 78% in scopes 1 and 2 carbon emissions, compared to our baseline year of 2005/06.

Supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goals

We are developing innovative solutions to benefit the whole of society, and providing the skills and talent to safeguard the planet.

  • UN Sustainable Development Goals - 3 Good health and well-being

    Tackling the threat of antibiotic resistance

    Developing new antibiotics to fight today’s superbugs
  • UN Sustainable Development Goals SDG 4 - Quality Education

    Raising aspirations through education

    Supporting students to become resilient, thriving individuals and global citizens
  • UN Sustainable Development Goals - SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation

    Securing the natural capital of water

    Developing technologies and influencing international policy to improve water quality
  • UN Sustainable Development Goals - SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy

    Powering the growth of renewable energy

    Investing in sustainable wind, tidal and wave technologies
  • Container ship carrying container box in import export with quay crane, Global business cargo freight shipping commercial trade logistic and transportation oversea worldwide by container vessel. shutterstock

    Advancing the Clean Maritime agenda

    Delivering innovative solutions to decarbonise shipping
  • UN Sustainable Development Goals - SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities

    Levelling up coastal communities

    Rewriting the narrative on challenges facing seaside towns and cities
  • UN Sustainable Development Goals SDG 11 – Sustainable Cities and Communities

    Developing cities and communities with technology and tradition

    Pioneering a new generation of energy efficient buildings
  • UN Sustainable Development Goals SDG 13 - Climate Action

    Working with communities to support climate action

    Inspiring and enabling individuals and communities to act for the benefit of the global climate
  • UN Sustainable Development Goals - 14 Life below water

    Driving action for clean and healthy oceans

    Advancing the understanding and sustainable use of the oceans
  • UN Sustainable Development Goals SDG - 15 – Life on Land

    Future proofing for healthy soils

    Developing sustainable soils from waste materials to support better land management and soil conservation
  • UN Sustainable Development Goals SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

    Empowering communities impacted by conflict

    Contributing to national policy discussions on responses to mass atrocities, global conflicts and human rights crises

Our research on a global stage: COP28

30 November – 12 December 2023
Expo City, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Our leading researchers and experts are tackling the global climate challenge, contributing to the United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP28) with a focus on community-led approaches to deliver evidence-based sustainability solutions, fast and at scale.
COP28 graphic

Research Centres

Each centre is home to a critical mass of researchers with the collective endeavour to find solutions to global challenges we face today.

Abstract image of a hand holding planet earth with symbols around it. 

Centre for Decarbonisation and Offshore Renewable Energy

Plymouth, UK: Marina Drone Photos, credit: Drone Motion Stock, courtesy of ShutterstockCentre for Systems Thinking lead image

Centre for Systems Thinking: Ocean, Land and Society

Coastal Communities coastal definition, the Hoe, seafront, waves, Plymouth sound

Centre for Coastal Communities

Interdisciplinary research

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

Close-up wave

Marine Institute

abstract medical pharmacy healthcare innovative concept background

Plymouth Institute of Health and Care Research (PIHR)

Aerial view from high altitude of little planet earth with small village houses and distant green cultivated agricultural fields with growing crops on bright summer evening

Sustainable Earth Institute