Sustainability sits at the heart of the University of Leeds. We take our responsibility to have a positive impact on society and the environment very seriously and believe that we all have a part to play in this.
We have gathered a range of sustainability training resources and further links into this webpage to make it easy for all staff, especially when starting out, to understand the University’s approach to sustainability, and how they can contribute.
University Sustainability Strategy
Sustainability is embedded in both our academic strategy Universal Values, Global Change, and in the Enabling Strategy which underpins this. Find out more about our strategic approach to sustainability.
You should also be aware of some of the University’s key strategic commitments in relation to sustainability. These include:
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
These interconnected 17 goals, each address global challenges such as poverty, climate change, equalities, peace and justice and provide a framework for our work on sustainability.
The University of Leeds Climate Plan
In September 2019 we announced our Seven Climate Principles to tackle the climate crisis. We use these principles to guide all University activity in moving towards a sustainable, low carbon future.
In November 2021, the University Council unanimously approved the University Climate Plan and the dedicated pathway to net zero that underpins it. Information and updates on the progress of the Climate Plan can be found on the Climate Plan Sharepoint hub (University login required) or in the regular Climate Plan reports.
The University is committed to removing and reducing single-use plastic through our Plastics programme.
We have held Fairtrade University status since 2005, and achieved a two star Fairtrade award for 2021-22.
Compulsory training modules
All staff are required to complete two training modules, which are available on Minerva.
Sustainability in Practice training module
All staff must complete this module as part of your induction and then retake it on an annual basis to make sure you are up to date with sustainability at Leeds.
The University Environmental Management System (EMS)
You also need to learn about our Environmental Management System (EMS) and how this may relate to your role.
Additional learning resources
The University has contributed numerous Future Learn courses on the themes aligned to the UN SDGs. A number of these courses are available to staff to access free of charge.
LinkedIn Learning also hosts courses on sustainability and UN SDG themes. University staff can access this for free.
Explore the UNESCO SDG Learning Objectives – a UNESCO resource to support educators in embedding the SDGs into teaching
Opportunities to get involved with sustainability
There are many ways to get involved with sustainability at Leeds: from formally committing a proportion of your time, with support from your manager, as a Staff Sustainability Architect; to getting involved with our Biodiversity Community. Take a look at the number of ways you can contribute to sustainability at the University.
- Join our Sustainability Community on Teams
- Become a Staff Sustainability Architect
- Develop and work towards a School/Service level sustainability action plan through Blueprint
- Become a Positive Impact Partner and work with the third sector
- Become involved in Living Lab projects, using the campus as a test bed to find solutions
- For staff with teaching responsibilities, learn more about incorporating Sustainability into the Curriculum
- For those working in Labs, explore our Sustainable Labs programme and resources
- Get involved with the diverse biodiversity activity on campus
Take a look at our Get Involved webpage for more.
How can I reduce my environmental impact?
Simple environmental practices at work can go a long way when we act as a University community. Take a look at the suggestions below for ways to reduce your impact at work, and help us to become a more sustainable University.
- To save energy and carbon, non-essential equipment must be turned off at the end of the day and during University closures (unless equipment is required for research or health and safety reasons).
- Before any items are purchased or disposed of, individuals should first consult the Reuse@Leeds website.
- Staff with purchasing responsibilities should be aware of the University sustainable procurement standards and processes. See the procurement section in our Environmental Management System (EMS).
- Environmental Compliance: We all have a responsibility to ensure the University complies with relevant sustainability standards and policies. Take a look at these on our EMS.
- All staff should be aware of local recycling facilities and what can be recycled at the University. Further information and a copy of the recycling and waste guide is available online.
- All staff should be made aware of sustainable travel options and benefits available to them.
If you have any questions or need help then please get in touch with us at email@example.com
United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
We use the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a framework to guide our activity. Building staff knowledge and capacity links to the following SDGs:
- Goal 4: Quality Education
- Goal 11: Sustainable cities and communities
- Goal 12: Responsible consumption and production
- Goal 16: Peace, justice and strong institutions
- Goal 17: Partnerships
Find out more about our impact on the SDGs.