University’s ambitious new carbon emissions reduction target

In the face of an escalating global climate crisis, we have created an ambitious new carbon target – instead of our previous goal of cutting emissions by 33% by 2021, we are now committed to reducing them 50% from their peak by 2030. 

We face a growing threat of irreversible damage from a changing climate and urgently need to reduce emissions. Our previous carbon target did not account for the growing University estate and was based largely on theoretical calculations. The new target is based on years of practical experience of what is possible, and we are confident that we can meet the challenge.

We have already achieved a lot, and many more changes are on the way. We have moved to the Passivhaus approach to designing sustainable buildings – a rigorous, voluntary standard for energy efficiency which reduces a building’s ecological footprint. And we are targeting big emissions sources by hiring a specialist project manager to lead on reducing the environmental impact of the University's labs.

We have also increased our focus on behaviour change through national initiatives including Student Switch Off and Green Impact. Green Impact is a scheme aimed at both staff and students to help change every day behaviour, and make physical improvements to improve the sustainable practices of their building, department or college.

The work of our Green Impact teams is creating both global and local benefits, including improving air quality, increasing biodiversity and reducing waste production. Currently around one third of our staff participate in Green Impact initiatives – that’s great but we want to encourage everyone to get involved.

How you can help?

Help make the University more sustainable by joining your building’s Green Impact team – or if there isn’t one in place yet, take the lead and set one up. To find out more visit

'What if…' 

We already have lots of projects and ideas lined up that will help us to reach our target, but the University’s Environmental Sustainability team also wants to hear from you and is launching the 'What if...' initiative.

Want some help?

Please contact if you have any questions, want to discuss ideas or would like some ‘What if …’ posters and brochures to display in your building.