Global Business School for Health


Campus Sustainability Initiatives: Showcasing UCL's Efforts and Student Engagement

19 March 2024

Discover UCL's sustainability journey through the eyes of our Social Media Ambassador, Jingyi Zhang. Explore significant achievements, sustainable travel commitments, water-saving initiatives, and how you can contribute to creating a greener future.

sustainability ucl blog

As one of the leading research universities globally, UCL is committed to fostering a sustainable environment for its students, faculty, and staff. With a strong emphasis on reducing carbon emissions, conserving resources, and promoting environmental stewardship, UCL has implemented various sustainability initiatives both on and off-campus. 

Sustainability Achievements: 

In the past year, UCL has achieved significant milestones in its sustainability efforts, including a remarkable 53% reduction in carbon emissions from building energy use compared to the 2018-2019 baseline. Additionally, UCL expanded its offering of sustainability-related modules, with 188 sustainability-related and 115 climate-related modules now available. The university has also enhanced its commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with 2,160 modules addressing one or more of these critical goals. Furthermore, UCL earned recertification for international standards for energy and environment (ISO 14001/50001) and engaged 85 teams in Green Impact and Laboratory Efficiency Assessment Framework activities, with a record-breaking 134 staff teams participating. Notably, UCL launched Club Zero, a cup return scheme across campus, alongside a 25p disposable cup charge, to promote sustainable practices. 

Sustainable Travel Commitments:

UCL recognise that organisational travel contributes significantly to our carbon emissions. That's why we're actively working to promote sustainable travel options. This includes creating a campus where active travel is easy and encouraged, partnering with Clarity Travel to calculate the carbon footprint of your travel, implementing a Travel Expense Policy to encourage low-carbon travel, and exploring opportunities to collaborate with international partners without the need for extensive travel. Together, we can make a positive impact on our environment through responsible travel choices. 

Water Saving Initiatives:

Water conservation is another priority for us at UCL, and we're taking concrete steps to reduce water waste and promote access to clean drinking water. This includes increasing the number of water fountains across campus to reduce single-use plastic, distributing stickers to promote awareness of safe drinking water and decrease plastic bottle sales, and encouraging the reporting of drips and leaks to combat water wastage. By implementing these initiatives, we aim to create a more sustainable and environmentally friendly campus for all. 

Your Role in Our Sustainability Journey 

Whether you're a student, a staff member, or a valued member of our broader community, there are countless ways for you to get involved and contribute to our sustainability initiatives

- Attend our repair cafes and monthly swap shops, where you can learn new skills and reduce waste. 

- Take advantage of our free bike tune-ups and explore sustainable transportation options. 

- Participate in captivating lectures and workshops led by our leading academics, diving into the world of sustainable research. 

- Boost your CV and meet fellow change-makers through our volunteering opportunities. 

Our goal is to recycle 85% of our waste – that's 1,811 tonnes of material or 151 double buses! But our commitment to sustainability extends far beyond our campus borders. Join us in our journey towards a greener, more sustainable future. Together, we can make change possible. 

Get involved in Sustainable Initiatives & Events