Welcome from Sustainable UCL!

1 December 2020

Sustainable UCL welcomes you to UCL with open arms! Here we give you an insight into the work we've done so far and the ways you can get involved to make UCL a truly green place to study.

girl holding a leaf

If you are interested in all things sustainability and are keen to make a positive impact whilst at UCL, then you have come to the right place! UCL is home to top researchers that help shape the global conversation on how to create a better society for people and planet. Thanks to a huge community that is always ready to collaborate and test new ideas, each year we climb up the People and Planet League table.  

In 2020, we divested from fossil fuels and switched to 100% electricity. Look at our roofs and you can see our solar panels and green roofs. Our waste? None of it goes to landfill. Oh, and our food? You can get vegan options at all UCL outlets. Our senior management have also committed to 100% meat-free meetings and events.

But with climate change, biodiversity loss and resource depletion becoming more and more pressing, we know that now is not the time to rest on our laurels.

In September 2019 we launched the “Change Possible” vision. Structured around campaigns on positive climate action, sustainable consumption, and biodiversity; We have vowed to be a net-zero carbon institution by 2030, go single-use plastic free, and add 10,000m² (that's 2 football pitches!) of biodiverse green spaces to campus by 2024. These headline commitments are the boldest and most ambitious in the sector, so we need every ounce of energy and creativity we can get to make them a reality.

Inspired by all this? Here is how you can make change possible at UCL

UCL is committed to enabling students of any subject to engage with sustainability as part of their studies by 2024. Our “Living Lab” approach encourages students to use the campus as a laboratory to research topics such as recycling behaviours, behaviour change, solar panel efficiency, and water consumption for projects and dissertations.

Interested in sustainability activities you can do in your free time? From using a reusable coffee cup to avoid being charged, to swapping clothes at our monthly swap shops, see our top 10 tips for being a sustainable student here.

Join our Sustainability Ambassador Programme as a volunteer to make change possible at UCL and develop your skills in project management, sustainability, team work, communications and leadership, while working with us towards UCL's sustainability goals. 

Become a member of UCL’s Student Sustainability Council, to help direct UCL’s sustainability vision with your student voice.

Check out UCL’s clubs and societies as well! From re-distributing UCL food to homeless shelters with the Zero Waste Society, to engaging students in years 9 to 12 in justice activism with the Environmental Justice Project, there are many green societies you can join.

Do you have more wacky, fun, ingenious ideas for sustainable action that are not yet a thing? Use them to make change possible at UCL. We can’t wait to see what you come up with.

Last revised: 7 September 2021.

Chiara Morfeo, Communications Officer, UCL Sustainability