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Net Zero - From Ambition to Action

Climate Plan

As part of the University’s ambitious Climate Plan, agreed in 2021, the University of Leeds has committed to achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. With the rapid escalation of the climate crisis, taking action is necessary and urgent.

We have now shared our plan to deliver a net zero estate, marking the latest development in our work to deliver net zero emissions by 2030. Our Net Zero Delivery Plan includes several major new projects that have been chosen based on work to model the most effective and efficient means of reducing our organisational emissions to science-based targets. It also includes the expansion of programmes that engage our University community in delivering net zero.

The identified infrastructure projects will help the University use less energy to heat and power our buildings and processes, whilst moving towards ensuring that the energy we do use is from renewable sources.

From ambition to action

The plans to make these goals a reality have now been approved by the University Council. Starting now, enabling works can begin and designs can be finalised for projects which will help us effectively reduce our emissions. The main building work will begin from 2025.

The first projects to be taken forward include:

  • Investing in new renewable energy generation to provide our grid electricity requirements across campus
  • Upgrading the Worsley Building with a heat recovery ventilation system and solar panels
  • Developing a new clean energy centre for the engineering cluster of buildings
  • Securing an increased electrical supply to campus
Read the Net Zero Delivery Plan


Engaging with our community

On 4 December, colleagues can join Ann Allen, Director of Campus Innovation and Development, and a panel of experts – including the University’s Head of Net Zero James Dixon-Gough – for a hybrid event sharing the latest progress in our work towards net zero. There will also be the opportunity to further look at the Net Zero Delivery Plan and ask questions.

Ann Allen, Director of Campus Innovation and Development, said:

Our panel discussion will be an opportunity to hear from those in the University leading some of the work on net zero by 2030. We'll be covering some of the topics that we think are important, share what we are doing but also want to hear from you about what we are doing. I really hope you can find the time to join us and share your thoughts.

Collaboration and opportunity

In tandem with the work on the University estate, a pot of £1 million in seed funding has also been created to further support Living Lab research projects. Living Lab research will play an important role in the process of finding the best way to reach net zero.

There will also be work undertaken to expand the Sustainable Labs programme – so that vital research taking place in our laboratories uses fewer resources and less energy itself.

All these efforts will require collective effort and support from all our staff, students, and external stakeholders. Look out for opportunities to get involved with helping us meet our climate targets.


United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

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

  • Goal 13: Climate action
  • Goal 17: Partnerships for the goals

Find out more about our impact on the SDGs.

United Nation Sustainable Development Goal 13: Climate action United Nation Sustainable Development Goal 17: Partnerships for the goals