Our sustainability plan

Becoming the sustainable university

To achieve our big goal to be a sustainable university, we have a three-point plan covering: 

  • Campus operations  
  • Teaching and learning 
  • Research

We have a big responsibility to reduce our impact on the planet, ensuring that our students are educated for sustainable development, and to research the solutions to the world's most pressing sustainability problems. 

A sustainable campus

To become a sustainable campus, we want to:

  • Reduce carbon emissions by 52 per cent by 2020
  • Reduce water consumption to below 3.3m3 per student by 2015
  • Recycle 70 per cent of waste by 2015 and reduce waste to 20kg or less per student
  • Deliver a sustainable campus infrastructure, with all construction and refurbishment projects rated BREEAM Excellent
  • Increase the number of people commuting by walking, cycling and car sharing by two per cent each for staff, and one per cent each for students - by 2017
  • Maximise biodiversity on campus compared to 2011 levels and find opportunities to create green environments
  • Create a sustainable food culture, providing Fairtrade products where possible and working with local food partners to increase the demand and supply of seasonal, local and organic food
  • Embed sustainable procurement by ensuring the University purchases from socially, ethically and environmentally responsible businesses
  • Deliver a sustainable campus infrastructure - including all construction and refurbishment projects
  • Support the community and local, regional and social enterprise through business community partnerships

Education for sustainable development 

To become a sustainable education provider we will:

  • Provide education for sustainable development
  • Develop the education potential for sustainable development by enriching learning across the formal and non-formal curriculum 
  • Promote and advance education for sustainable development research in relation to enhancing the student and staff experience and building a more sustainable university
  • Advance and articulate the central role of education and learning in furthering the University's cross-institutional sustainability agenda - and in relation to our sustainability leadership and profile in the HE sector.

Sustainability research 

To deliver sustainability research solutions, we will:

  • Undertake substantial sustainability research to deliver solutions to the world's most pressing sustainability problems
  • Facilitate internal communications and enhance internal research interaction for sustainability
  • Promote sustainability research, making the Sustainable Earth Institute the single point of contact for organisations wanting to engage with the University on sustainability. We also want to increase the impact of sustainability research
  • Support understanding of multi-disciplinary funding. Identify and communicate funding opportunities and support teams and their project ideas for sustainability research.