Sustainable UCL


Staff Environmental Responsibilities

Every member of UCL staff has a responsibility to carry out their duties in a resource efficient way and actively support UCL’s Sustainability Strategy, policies and objectives.

Depending on your role, this will mean different things but there are some core principles that we all must adhere to: 

Switch Off

Switching off lights, appliances and equipment saves energy. Where possible, get in the habit of switching off computers, lights and equipment at the end of the day.

On average, UCL’s buildings still use half as much energy once everyone has gone home as they do during the day. But by switching off, we can make this consumption (and its associated cost and carbon emissions) much lower.

Why not use timers to make sure items are switched off overnight?

Turn DownMake sure you select the right temperature and avoid having heating or cooling on when windows are open.
Buy Less

Every item we buy uses energy and resources. And on average, every pound spent at UCL leads to half a kilo of CO2 being produced. Think: do you really need it?

Rather than buying items new, you can also use UCL’s Warpit service to see if another department can give you the same, or similar, item free of charge.

Share More

Try sharing things with your team. This can save time, money and the natural resources associated with making new items.

The impact of this can be large: UCL’s Chemistry Department instigated a system for chemical sharing and is now saving upwards of £90k a year.

Choose Well

Make sustainable purchasing choices. Always check the energy efficiency of equipment as well as the cost; check the recycled content of items such as paper.

There’s help and resources on UCL’s procurement website, and also free sustainable procurement training available. If you do a lot of your department’s purchasing, why not take a quick online course?

Rent – Not Buy


If you need to keep up to date with the latest equipment why not rent it, rather than buying it.  This saves on maintenance costs, disposal and the cost of new equipment next year
Waste LessThere are lots of valuable resources in many of the items that we throw away.  Before ditching an item, think if it could be useful to someone else, and if so, list it on Warpit.
Recycle MoreOnce you’ve minimised what you throw away as much as possible, recycle what’s left. Familiarise yourself with how recycling works in your department so that you’re using the correct bins.
Don’t Walk ByWhether it’s a dripping tap or faulty electrics; if you see something that you don’t think is right, always report it. Whether it’s to UCL’s maintenance team or an appropriate member of staff in your department, taking actions like this make your workplace safer and more efficient. 
Spread the WordShare these simple actions with your team or department. And if you teach, think about how you can incorporate sustainability into your students’ learning. If you’d like information or resources to help you communicate these priorities with the rest of your department or division, please get in touch with the Sustainability Team.