Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Sustainable University

Sustainable University


Warwick’s Strategy 2030 presents a vision for the University as we build into the future. It commits us to be a sustainable University in all that we do.

As we build our future, we believe that we all have it in use to make a better world and that belief gives us a responsibility that extends beyond simply reducing our environmental impact and requires us to contribute to a better and more sustainable society through our research, through our teaching and through our operations.

Our vision is to educate leaders that will have the education, the skills and the experience to include sustainability in their thinking for their personal and professional life. We will do this by combining our research, education, operations capabilities and ability to influence the community.

The university adopts the Sustainable development definition of the 1987 Brundtland report in the World Commission on Environment and Development’s ´Our Common Future` as ‘development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’

Our five pathways

  • Achieve net zero carbon emissions from (scope 1 and 2) by 2030 (emissions arising from use of energy)
  • Achieve net Zero carbon emissions from scope 3 by 2050 (emissions arising from procured goods and services)
  • Progress the University contributions to the UN-SDGs
  • Embed sustainability in curriculum
  • Education for sustainable development

Leading by example

We must lead by example (so we need to focus on our own operations, reduce the negative impacts, enhance the positive impacts) and we must be willing to be guided by our research and teaching, putting our own work into practice and learning from our own practice (campus as living lab)

We must build into the distance working to targets for 2030 and 2050 but we must also build a sustainable society using the UN-SDG’s as an overarching framework and our securing impact regionally, nationally and internationally.

Our research will focus on making a difference and on driving change bringing together technical, behavioural, policy and cultural solutions. We will work with partners and we will work across disciplines;

Our educational work will focus on current and future generations to ensure they understand and are motivated to engage with change. We will work with our current and future students, our staff but also we will work beyond our boundaries to support our community in its broadest sense.

As a Sustainability Leader we will:

  • Nurture and develop future leaders in sustainable development through the learning experience we provide
  • Prepare all our undergraduate and postgraduate students to be employable and responsible global citizens
  • Deliver new sustainability solutions through research, focussed on our global research priorities
  • Extend the University’s global reach through institutional and industry partnerships
  • Utilise our campus as a ‘Living Lab’ to further our teaching through demonstration and practical research.
  • Contribute positively to the local community and support sustainable growth of the regional economy
  • Invest responsibly and with integrity.

We will develop our Sustainable Campus to:

  • Support health and wellbeing of staff and students and encourage an engaged and vibrant campus community
  • Develop sustainable and resilient buildings and infrastructure to meet our 2030 net-zero carbon target
  • Improve resource use efficiency across all University departments’ activities and supply chain (energy/carbon, water, waste, materials) to reduce absolute scope 3 carbon emissions and meet our 2050 net-zero target
  • Develop multi-functional public realm and enhance areas of green space to enhance ecology and biodiversity to benefit the community
  • Increase the modal share of sustainable transport
  • Increase access to good quality sustainable student accommodation