Climate Change


23 - How can a university be a laboratory for climate action?

UCL is one of the world’s most sustainable universities. It is committed to being a zero carbon institution by 2030. Through promoting renewable energy projects, building green buildings and investing ethically, its actions on campus are showing what real change looks like.

23 study building

Take action

Participate in our living lab programme to tackle UCL’s biggest sustainability challenges as part of your research.

To change the future, you have to make change possible. Sustainability is at the heart of the way we operate. From our education and our research to our campus and community, we’re committed to defining what’s next and creating new possibilities. And we’re inviting everyone to play their part.

UCL’s Positive Climate campaign is our sector-leading commitment to become a carbon-zero institution by 2030. To date, the campaign has saved over 10,000 tonnes of CO2; equivalent to planting 165,000 trees.

Some of the key changes towards a zero carbon UCL are:

  • 100% renewable electricity for UCL;

  • Divestment from fossil fuels

  • A carbon pricing scheme to incentivise departments to reduce carbon emissions

  • A world-leading sustainable science programme (LEAF) that has now been adopted by 20 other universities

  • The launch of the UCL Grove; now with 188 trees to support carbon offsetting from travel

  • Vegetarian catering for all our meetings and events

One big milestone on our path to being a zero carbon university, will be to make our buildings zero carbon by 2024. This means saving energy, generating our own renewable power and creating a low carbon smart grid on campus.

Our students bring new thinking on climate action to our approach from designing solutions to UCL's climate challenges through the Living Lab programme to helping us implement the changes as Sustainability Ambassadors and holding us to account at the UCL Student Sustainability Council

There is so much more to do to deliver on our zero carbon commitments; from exploring waste heat from the London Underground to provide heat to our buildings, to powering the university with 100% UCL owned renewable energy by 2030 we hope you'll join us in making the transition a reality.

Visit our Climate Hub for more information on our projects.  
Visit Sustainable UCL to find out how to get involved.