Universities have a critical role in tackling the climate emergency, having led pioneering research into the causes and effects of climate change, sharing expertise with government, businesses and local communities.

This month, ahead of COP26, Universities UK (UUK) have published their policy commitments on climate action, backed by over 140 UK universities.

These new commitments include carbon reduction targets to cut Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 78% by 2035 and to tackle the more challenging Scope 3 indirect emissions from their activities. They also propose more deliberate and joined-up action in teaching, research and leadership, including local communities and transparent reporting on progress. 

Business School building

At University of Gloucestershire we are known for our pioneering programme tackling ‘brainprint’ as well as footprint, featured in the new UUK climate emergency publication showcasing universities who are leading the way. Our track record as a pace-setter in developing sustainability across our own curriculum offer and our performance across all aspects of university life has received a range of awards and commendations, including being named the #1 most sustainable university in the UK (People and Planet league 2019).

The University has a track record for impactful sustainability research ranging from conservation and sustainable agriculture, through to biophilic design, ecological linguistics and curriculum innovation. We recently released our Carbon Net Zero Strategy to 2030, building on solid performance in cutting our emissions to date, having already reached 63% Scope 1 and 2 emissions reduction since 2005.


We hope that all students – including prospective students – will see universities are serious about sustainability. Not only in how we operate, but in their academic experience. We want them to be inspired and equipped to make a difference through their working lives, in the widest range of professional settings.

Stephen Marston

Vice-Chancellor, University of Gloucestershire