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Policies, standards and governance

Sustainability is integral within the core values of the University of Leeds, and this is supported by high level commitment, with sustainability embedded into the University Strategy . 

To support the delivery of the University's sustainability commitments we have a set of clear and actionable plans, standards, policies and processes. 

Policies and standards

Our Environmental Policy sets out how we will manage our responsibilities to protect the environment and prevent pollution.

This is supported by a set of standards and procedures which can be found in our Environmental Management System, alongside policies in areas such as Health and Safety Services and Human Resources. 

Other relevant policies and standards

While many of the policies and standards relevant to sustainability sit within our Environmental Management System (EMS), there are also other relevant policies across the University. These include (but are not limited to):

Fairtrade Policy

Our Fairtrade Policy sets out our commitments to supporting Fairtrade.  

At the University of Leeds, we have been supporting and selling Fairtrade products since 2003, and have maintained Fairtrade status since 2005, achieving 2 star status in 2022.

To track our progress on supporting Fairtrade, we regularly review our work through Fairtrade Progress Reports (PDF).  For an accessible version of this report, please email

Responsible Investment Policy

The University's Socially Responsible Investment Policy outlines the University's approach to investment, in line with the Climate Plan 'enabling responsible investment' principle.

Vacancy advertising policy

Our vacancy advertising policy is designed to ensure organisations that want to advertise opportunities to our students are aware of and adhere to our terms and conditions when using our online job portal.


Overall responsibility for Sustainability remains with the Vice-Chancellor, who along with the University Executive Group, reports to University Council.  

Sustainability is embedded within the University strategy and Enabling Strategy, and is sponsored through the University Executive Group via the Chief Operating Officer, Rachel Brealey, in addition to a number of other senior leaders and academics. 

The Climate Plan is sponsored by the Principal Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Hai-Sui Yu, who chairs the Climate Principles Programme Board.  

The Head of Sustainability leads the Sustainability Service in delivering against University sustainability objectives, and reports through the Director of Campus Innovation and Development Ann Allen, to the Chief Operating Officer. 

Students and staff have an integral role in developing and delivering against our sustainability objectives. Both University Council and the Climate Principles Programme Board include student and staff representation in their membership, alongside other decision making bodies such as the Net Zero Delivery Working Group. The Sustainability Service maintain strong working relationships with student and staff representatives including the Leeds University Union executive, and also provide a range of opportunities for staff and students to be directly involved in the delivery of sustainability initiatives, including through our student and staff sustainability architect programmes. 

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

We use the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a framework to guide our activity. Our policies and standards are linked to all of the SDGs.

Find out more about our impact on the SDGs.