Policies, standards and governance

Sustainability is embedded within the core values of the University of Leeds, and this is supported by high level commitment. 

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

Policies and standards

Environmental Policy 

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 make up our Environmental Management System, alongside policies in areas such as Health and Safety Services and Human Resources. 

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. 


Overall responsibility for Sustainability remains with the Vice-Chancellor, who along with the University Executive Group, reports to University Council. University Council receive the annual sustainability report and sign off the overarching Sustainability Strategy.

The Director of Sustainability leads the development and implementation of the sustainability strategy, leads the sustainability team and delivers the annual sustainability report to the executive group for review and discussion.

The Sustainability Steering Group reports directly into the University Executive Group. Members and invitees of this group include a variety of academic and non-academic staff, with representatives from across the institution, Trade Union representatives, as well as student executives from our Leeds University Union. This means that all staff and students have an opportunity to be involved in sustainability strategy and policy development, monitoring and decision making at the highest level.

Students also have the opportunity to feed into estates, planning, finance and strategic decision making via the quarterly Facilities Directorate and Leeds University Union Committee Meeting.

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.