In July 2022 we published our new Sustainability Strategy 2022-2027, which is the University’s 3rd ‘whole-institution’ sustainability strategy.

It continues our cutting-edge and learning-based approach to sustainability and forms one of the 6 strategic enablers of the wider University Strategic Plan 2022-2027.

This new Sustainability Strategy will maximise our future impact, focusing on 3 top areas of positive change we can make through learning, practice and collaboration, with 2 headline goals in each area.

Strategy Goals 2022-2027


Goal 1 – Embed Education for Sustainability into all our courses

Goal 2 – Maximise our research outcomes and impact for sustainability


Goal 3 – Maintain leading performance and continual improvement in sustainability

Goal 4 – Achieve 2027 emissions reduction targets in the Carbon Net Zero Strategy

Students in the Green Team at Download Festival


Goal 5 – Support students to drive change for sustainability within and beyond the University 

Goal 6 – Collaborate with stakeholders to develop skills and practice in sustainability

In developing this strategy during 2021-2022, we have been in dialogue across different parts of the
university community to shape an approach rooted in our strengths. The vision for our next phase builds
upon the major achievements of our Sustainability Strategy 2017-2022, including:

Being ranked the Most Sustainable University in the UK in 2019 (People & Planet league)

Exceeding our 10 year emissions reduction target of 40% by 2020, hitting 45% drop in 2021

Complete fossil fuel divestment implemented in 2018 and zero waste to landfill since 2019

3 Winners and 5 Highly Commended placements in the UK and Global Green Gown Awards

Pioneering Education for Sustainability learning already integrated in 67.5% of courses

6 sustainability Impact Case Studies in our 2021 Research Excellence Framework submission

Sector-leading move to ditch the printed prospectus in our award-winning campaign

Sustainability has been a strategic commitment of the University since 2007 and our priorities for the next 5 years reflect our maturity on sustainability and are aligned with our core mission, vision and objectives. We will continue to report publicly through this Annual Sustainability Report on the progress we make and the benefits we are bringing to students, staff, partners and the wider public.

City campus
New sustainable campus regeneration

Photo caption: City Campus campus development project in Gloucester

In March 2021, the University announced it had bought the former Debenhams store in Gloucester city centre – and we are now transforming this building into our new City Campus.

Our sustainability commitments are at the core of the project plan, which will make this campus development a major feature in the delivery of our 5-year Sustainability Strategy 2022-2027.

Low carbon methodologies that align to our Net Zero ambitions have been planned into the building refurbishment. We gained £3.3m Salix Finance funding through the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme to resource the works that ensure the building has fully electric heating, improved insulation and thermal glazing, and a low carbon travel plan reflects its setting in the central King’s Square.

For this project we agreed an ESG financing package linked to our Net Zero goals to reduce gas and electricity carbon emissions. ESG stands for Environmental, Social and Governance, and the loan also requires that we meet our targets to recruit more UK-domiciled young BAME students and improve access and participation for students from deprived areas.

Reporting on the UN Global Goals

This report meets our annual reporting commitments on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as an institutional signatory to the tertiary sector SDG Accord.

Throughout this annual report, we record how the actions and results shown in this report contribute to the delivery of the UN SDGs. The actions on this page contribute to the specific goals marked below. For more information click here.

The Global Goals - No Poverty
The Global Goals - Zero Hunger
The Global Goals - Good health and well-being
The Global Goals - Quality Education
The Global Goals - Gender equality
The Global Goals - Clean water and sanitation
The Global Goals - Affordable and clean energy
The Global Goals - Decent work and economic growth
The Global Goals - Industry, innovation and infrastructure
The Global Goals - Reduced Inequalities
The Global Goals - Sustainable cities and communities
The Global Goals - Responsible consumption and production
The Global Goals - Climate action
The Global Goals - Life below water
The Global Goals - Life on land
The Global Goals - Peace and justice, strong institutions
The Global Goals - Partnerships for the goals
The Global Goals: For Sustainable Development