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Environmental Sustainability

At Staffordshire University, we’ve placed sustainability at the heart of everything we do.

It’s how we think about our workplaces and study spaces, consume food and reduce waste, and how we make everyday decisions as staff and students.

To help reduce our environmental impact, we have also set some challenging targets. They include a commitment to operate our buildings as carbon neutral by 2030.

Sustainability Matters 2023

Our June 2023 sustainability update from Executive Lead for Sustainability, Sally McGill.

Sustainability Matters 2024

Our June 2024 sustainability update from Executive Lead for Sustainability, Sally McGill.



Race to Zero

Staffordshire University has signed up to the Race to Zero. We have set a target of reaching Net Zero by 2030 for Scopes 1 and 2 and 2050 for Scope 3. 

What is the Race to Zero?

Race to Zero is the UN-backed global campaign rallying non-state actors – including companies, cities, regions, financial, educational, and healthcare institutions – to take rigourous and immediate action to halve global emissions within this decade and deliver a healthier, fairer, zero carbon world in time to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement.

All members are committed to race towards the same overarching goal: reducing emissions across all scopes swiftly and fairly in line with science, with transparent action plans, robust near-term and long-term targets, and annual reporting against their progress.

How will we achieve Net Zero?

To help reach Net Zero, we have created:

Who are we working with?

Staff and students

Our immediate university community help shape our vision


Including varied social groups, alongside our local and regional communities

Local authorities and sector bodies

We give and receive support from a range of organisations

Strategy, Policies and Plans

The University’s Environmental Sustainability Strategic Framework and Environmental Sustainability Policy have been revised and were approved by the relevant committee on 13 June 2023.  All documents are subject to annual review as part of the business of that committee.

The University has a Climate Change Response and Risk Management Policy which sets out its responsibilities and approach towards managing risks and opportunities arising from climate change.  In response to this policy, we have a plan which sets out the University’s annual assessment of risks and opportunities relating to climate change.  

Targets and progress

We have set targets and are monitoring annual progress in a range of areas to ensure we're keeping our commitment to our planet.

Managing Carbon

Scopes 1 and 2

We have an ambitious strategic vision for sustainability. It includes setting a target to become Carbon Net Zero for 2030 for scopes 1 and 2.

Our new Carbon Reduction Plan includes a baseline figure for 2017-18 of 6,033 tCO2e. We have an interim target of 2,627 tCO2e for 2026-27. The budget for achieving this has been incorporated into the University’s Strategic Financial Plan. Progress is monitored by our Sustainability and Resources Committee and the Board of Governors.

The plan is the responsibility of Dr Adrian Rowlands, Executive Director of Estates and Commercial Services, Sally McGill, Chief Financial Officer, Deputy Chief Executive and Exec Lead for Sustainability, and Dr Laura Rhodes, Sustainability Engineer.


Scope 3

We have set a target of Carbon Net Zero for 2030 for Scope 3.  The plan covers all aspects of Scope 3 including:

Ethical investment and banking

The University has a Responsible Investment Policy which covers all cash deposits, investments and banking arrangements.  The University currently banks with Lloyds Bank.

Investments and banking are overseen by the University’s Sustainability and Resources Committee which has a student governor as a member.

Governance and people

We have established a governance structure to help achieve our environmental goals. Our Chief Financial Officer and Deputy Chief Executive is the Lead for Environmental Sustainability

Environmental sustainability is embedded across the University’s senior management. Managers with key environmental sustainability responsibilities are listed on our governance plan.

Staff and student engagement

The University also encourages staff and student engagement including funding projects and organising promotional weeks, we also provide free carbon literacy training.

Our Board of Governors and Sustainability and Resources Committee have student representation. The Students’ Union takes part in the SOS-UK Green Impact Awards and in 2022 was awarded 'Excellent'.

We provide updates on environmental sustainability for the recognised Trades Union through the JUMC – joint committee.

Find out more about our Sustainable Union

Latest sustainability news

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Have a question about Sustainability at Staffordshire University? We're here to help.

in the UK for Quality Education

Sustainable Development Goal 4, Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2023

for Career Prospects

Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023

for Facilities

Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023

for Social Inclusion

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023

of Research Impact is ‘Outstanding’ or ‘Very Considerable’

Research Excellence Framework 2021

of Research is “Internationally Excellent” or “World Leading”

Research Excellence Framework 2021

Four Star Rating

QS Star Ratings 2021