Our university and climate change

As a global organisation we are committed to sustainability in everything we do at our campuses in the UK, China and Malaysia.


As a global organisation we are committed to sustainability in everything we do at our campuses in the UK, China and Malaysia. 

In partnership with our staff and student community, we are making a step-change in our long-standing mission to secure a more sustainable planet.  

We have set ambitious, science-based carbon reduction targets: by 2030 to reduce our emissions by 63%, with an aspiration of net zero by 2040 and absolute zero by 2050.   

We support Nottingham’s ambition to be the UK’s first zero carbon city by 2028 and are working with partners in China and Malaysia to improve sustainability in their regions.  

Sustainability informs every aspect of life and work on our campuses, from developing state of the art spaces for research and education, to engaging with our community and partners to further embed green behaviours and practices.

COP26: together, we can make a difference

Change is possible when we all work together. Tackling climate change in a joined up way, through what we teach, what we research and how we operate gives us the best opportunity to make a real difference. We’d love you to get involved.”

Andy Nolan, Director of Development & Sustainability at the University of Nottingham


 Sustainability initiatives at our university
Cutting carbon

Our science-based approach to slashing CO2 emissions

Between 2010-2020, the university reduced its carbon emissions by nearly 40%. Heading into the next decade, we are building on this by adopting science-based carbon reduction targets to slash our emissions even further. This approach calculates the level of carbon reduction needed to meet the Paris climate agreement and the UK Government’s aim of becoming carbon zero by 2050. Our target is to reduce our carbon emissions by 63% by 2030.

To get there, our upcoming 10-year carbon management plan will focus on demand reduction, renewable energy generation and improving building efficiencies. Whilst we already have some world-leading sustainable buildings, we will also ensure that our most energy intensive buildings are prioritised. There are also things you can do to save energy both on and off campus.

We are also committed to supporting the City of Nottingham’s goal to be a net-zero carbon city by 2028.

Find out more

Event: Cutting carbon at the University of Nottingham, 9 November

Carbon reduction 2010-20

Our 10-year carbon plan

Renewable energy at Nottingham

World-leading sustainable buildings

Energy: what you can do

City of Nottingham's net zero goal


Low-carbon, healthy transport

We recognise that travel, both for business and commuting, has a significant environmental impact and is one of the biggest contributors to the university’s own carbon footprint. We are exploring opportunities to transition to a more climate-conscious approach to business travel and engaging with staff on the issue.

Alongside this, we are investing in our campuses to ensure they increasingly support low-carbon and sustainable travel. Whether that be with cycling facilities, electric vehicle charging points or our hopper bus for travel between campuses. We are aiming to further reduce single occupancy private car travel and there are many options for staff, students and visitors to travel to the university without a car.

Find out more

Sustainable transport


Our green, beautiful campuses

The grounds of our UK campuses are truly special, comprising of a broad mix of formal landscaping, gardens as well as more natural habitats. University Park campus has won a Green Flag Award every year since 2003 which demonstrates that our green spaces are not only well managed, but environmentally friendly too.  

Our campuses are home to a variety of flora and fauna, but we’re encouraging greater biodiversity by leaving more areas to grow wild to provide a range of habitats, and by using organic gardening practices.

In the coming years we will publish clear action plans to further enhance our campuses biodiversity and undertake surveys to understand more about the creatures that call our campuses home.

We recognise the value that connecting with nature brings to our mental health. Our staff, students and visitors can take time to explore our many gardens and outdoor spaces and even volunteer with the Friends of University Park or Friends of Jubilee groups.

Find out more

Our green spaces


Let’s go wild

University Park gardens

Get involved

Together, we can make a difference

We’re committed to our university being truly sustainable, and we need everyone to join us in getting there.

The university, the UK, and the planet as a whole, won’t be able to meet net-zero carbon targets without us all playing our part and changing our lifestyle and patterns of consumption.

Whether you’re a student or member of staff you can make a difference. Even the smallest actions add up to big impacts. Every sustainable change we make takes us closer to our goal.

We’re making it easy for staff and students to take positive environmental action. Record your sustainable actions on Green Rewards and you’ll earn points and the chance to win vouchers for yourself and charity donations for your team.

Change is possible when we all work together. 

The go! campaign

Find out how to get involved

COP26: how we can all take action to tackle climate change

COP activities and events at the university 


Read our Environmental Sustainability Strategic Delivery Plan

World-class research at the University of Nottingham

University Park
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