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

Fully supported by the Sustainability Service, Blueprint allows staff at all levels to be involved in creating bespoke five-year plans with objectives identifying where they can have the biggest impact and what matters most to them as a department. 

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, Service, or Faculty level. All staff can play their part in developing Blueprint objectives, delivering the activities and monitoring progress, and we encourage students to get involved throughout the whole process as well. 

There are five stages of creating a Blueprint:

  1. Scoping – we work with a smaller group of staff to identify the key impacts and opportunities of your School / Service. 
  2. Workshop –we work with a wider team of colleagues and students 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. Creation – the first draft of your Blueprint is produced, including all the objectives you have discussed in the workshop. Once you’re happy, it’s signed off by the Head of Sustainability and your Head of School / Service. 
  4. Delivery - this is where the real work starts! Working as a team, and supported by the Sustainability Service, you’ll create an Action Plan and work to deliver the objectives in your Blueprint. 
  5. Review and reward – Blueprint teams gather evidence as they work on embedding their objectives, then progress is reviewed by the Sustainability Service every 12-18 months. You’ll have the opportunity to have your work recognised and shared across the University community, including at our annual Sustainability Celebration.

There is the opportunity for staff and students at all levels to be involved with Blueprint at every step of the process, from workshop through to delivery and assessment.  

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, and we hold networking and information sharing events throughout the year. 

Blueprint progress is recognised and celebrated annually at the University's Sustainability Celebration. 

The Blueprint community

We currently have 18 live Blueprint teams, with several more in development. It is now five years since the first Blueprint teams were signed off, so several are undergoing a five-year review and refresh of their objectives.

Live teams

  • Catering (approved 2019) 
  • Cleaning Services (2019) 
  • Clinical Skills team (2022) 
  • Conferences and Events (2024) 
  • Educational Engagement (2019) 
  • FBS Research Facilities (2022) 
  • Food Sciences and Nutrition (2020) 
  • IT Services (2019) 
  • Leeds University Business School (2020) 
  • Libraries (2019) 
  • Lifelong Learning Centre (2024) 
  • National Institute for Health Research (2020) 
  • Print and Mail Service (2022) 
  • Residential Services (2019) 
  • School of Computing (2021) 
  • School of Dentistry (2022) 
  • School of Performance and Cultural Industries (2022) 
  • Sport & Physical Activity (2020) 

In progress

  • Digital Education Service 
  • Faculty of Biological Sciences 
  • School of Earth and Environment 
  • School of Languages, Cultures and Societies. 
  • School of Philosophy, Religion, and History of Sciences 
  • Wellbeing, Safety, and Health 


Conferences and Events join the Blueprint community 

The University of Leeds Conferences and Events team have officially joined the Blueprint programme to drive forward sustainability initiatives across their venues, events, and operations.  The team coordinates conferences and events both internally at the University of Leeds and for external clients, with events taking place across the University campus as well as at a...

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...

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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