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Blueprint is our flagship sustainability engagement framework which allows Schools and Services to better understand and act upon their own environmental impacts and how they can contribute towards the University’s sustainability goals.

Led by a team of staff and students with support from the Sustainability Service, the Blueprint programme involves developing a five-year action plan to map, track and audit your sustainability priorities and goals.

Interested in creating your own Blueprint for sustainability? Great! Email

A group of staff members taking part in a Blueprint workshop.

How does Blueprint work?

Blueprint teams are formed at a School or Service level. All staff and students can play their part in developing Blueprint objectives, delivering the activities and monitoring progress.

There are five phases of creating a Blueprint:

  1. Scoping session  –  first up, we work with you to identify the key impacts and opportunities of your School/Service.
  2. Workshop  –  here we work with your team to really focus on the areas where you can make the most difference, have the most impact, and that are relevant to your work.
  3. Create your Blueprint – the first draft of your Blueprint is produced, including all the actions you have discussed in the workshop. Once you’re happy, it’s signed off by your Head of School/Service.
  4. Deliver your Blueprint  –  this is where the real work starts! Working as a team, and supported by the Sustainability Service, you’ll deliver the action and initiatives in your Blueprint.
  5. Celebrate achievement  –  Blueprint progress is self-assessed and then audited internally annually by staff and/or students. You’ll also get the chance to have your work recognised and shared across the University community.

Once live, Blueprint is delivered through a five year detailed action plan with support from the Sustainability service. To track the sustainability impact, Blueprint progress is audited annually against the prioritised targets, the degree of collaboration both within your team and across the Blueprint community. Students and staff are involved throughout this process. Teams then have the opportunity to move through the Blueprint levels: working towards, explorer, change maker, leader and visionary.

As well as supporting local change, the Blueprint framework is designed to encourage collaboration between Schools or Services – all teams are encouraged to join the Blueprint community to share ideas, challenges and successes.

We hold events throughout the year and, every year, your progress will be recognised and celebrated at the University's annual Sustainability Awards Celebration.

The Blueprint community

Working towards: In the final stages of developing their Blueprint

  • School of Philosophy, Religion and the History of Science
  • Research & Innovation Development
  • Faculty of Biological Sciences
  • Lifelong Learning Centre
  • Libraries
  • Wellbeing, Health and Safety
  • The Advancement Team

Explorer: Their ​Blueprint is live and actions have started

  • Educational Engagement
  • Clinical Skills Team in the School of Medicine
  • SPA (sports & physical activity)
  • IT Service
  • Business Change
  • NIHR
  • Facilities Support Services
  • LUBS  (Leeds University Business School)
  • School of Computing
  • Student Lifecycle
  • Dentistry
  • The Print and Mail Service
  • School of Performance and Cultural Industries

Change maker: The team have begun to collaborate with other teams to achieve their actions

  • Cleaning Services
  • Catering Services
  • Food Sciences and Nutrition

Leader: Have achieved 80% of their Blueprint taking a collaborative approach

Visionary: Their Blueprint is fully embedded and the team are looking ahead

  • Residences


University of Leeds shortlisted for four Green Gown Awards

The University of Leeds are finalists in the 2023 UK and Ireland Green Gown Awards, after being shortlisted for four awards. The shortlisted projects are Gair Wood, Student Engagement through Residential Services and the Student Sustainability Research Conference, as well as PhD student Hazel Mooney being shortlisted for the student impact award.   The Green Gown...

The Sustainability Service holds Sustainability Celebration

Last week we held a Sustainability Celebration event to bring together members of the University community to celebrate the diverse and innovative sustainability actions and initiatives being delivered across the University.   Thank you to everyone who attended the event, we loved seeing so many familiar and new faces and it was great to talk to...

Welcome to our nine new Blueprint teams

We’re pleased to announce that the Sustainability Service has recently welcomed nine new Blueprint teams to our engagement programme which supports Schools and Services to understand their sustainability impacts.  Each new Blueprint team will work with us to develop their own unique, 5-year action plan and join our Blueprint community in collaborating on sustainable change at the University. ...

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Blog posts

Ashley talks sustainable labs and single use plastics

Last year I began my role as a Student Sustainability Architect, where I was tasked with exploring the use of single-use plastics (SUPs) in laboratories...

Choose to reuse - alternatives to single use plastic

Perhaps you carry a refillable water bottle in your bag, pack your shopping into reusable bags at the supermarket, or nab a discount for using...

The Big Plastic Count on Campus - what happens next?

In May 2022 the Big Plastic Count came to the University of Leeds, and we asked students and staff to report the single-use plastic that...

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United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

We use the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a framework to guide our activity. Our Blueprint work is linked to the following SDGs:

  • Goal 3: Good health and well-being
  • Goal 4: Quality education
  • Goal 11: Sustainable cities and communities
  • Goal 12: Responsible consumption and production
  • Goal 13: Climate action
  • Goal 16: Peace, justice and strong institutions

Find out more about our impact on the SDGs.

United Nation Sustainable Development Goal 3: Good health and well-beingUnited Nation Sustainable Development Goal 4: Quality educationUnited Nation Sustainable Development Goal 11: Sustainable cities and communitiesUnited Nation Sustainable Development Goal 12: Responsible consumption and productionUnited Nation Sustainable Development Goal 13: Climate actionUnited Nation Sustainable Development Goal 16: Peace, justice and string institutions