Sustainable UCL


Environmental Sustainability Management System

UCL’s integrated management system for environment and energy provides a structured framework for managing our sustainability impacts in a way that is integrated into our operations.

We are currently certified to the ISO14001 & ISO50001 standards. This takes into account the things that UCL is required to do because of legislation/ regulations as well as the things UCL chooses to do (such as increasing biodiversity on campus). The system therefore supports the delivery of UCL’s Sustainability Strategy and enables all individuals to contribute towards its objectives.

ISO 14001

ISO 14001 is an international standard which sets out requirements for an effective Environmental Sustainability Management System. It provides a framework that an organisation can follow, rather than establishing environmental performance requirements. It is developed by the International Organization of Standardization (ISO). View our certificate here as a PDF or as a Word Document.

Continuous Improvement

UCL built its ESMS since 2010 and has now achieved certification to the latest 2015 standard of ISO14001,.

A key component of any management system is continuous improvement. Therefore to maintain certification, UCL is required to improve our sustainability performance year on year.

ISO 50001 EnMS

UCL has implemented an Energy Management System (EnMS) and is certified to ISO 50001. View our certification here as a PDF document or as a Word document. 

Who is responsible?

We are all responsible for the environmental impacts of the University:

The University Senior Management provides leadership around ESMS. UCL Sustainability Team manages the system and offers support to university staff with regards to their ESMS responsibilities. All staff in UCL departments and Professional Services will have responsibilities for managing their impacts. We expect all staff to support our work by implementing and championing new ESMS operational procedures and environmental best practice​​​​​​

Sustainability Policy

Our Sustainability Policy, which is endorsed by the Provost, is the core of our system. Visit our Policy and Strategy page to find out more

Audit Programme

To ensure successful implementation of the ESMS, UCL sustainability Team conduct an audit programme. This consists of investigating compliance areas, such as waste management, energy reduction and procurement. Additionally, the programme includes auditing of selected departments. Any department could be selected, therefor it’s essential that all departments are able to demonstrate how they are addressing their environmental and sustainability impacts.

A typical departmental audits consists of a site visit and sit down conversation. Findings are presented in an audit report. As well as checking our progress under the ISO standard, the audits present departments an opportunity to:


  • Understand the overall aims of Sustainable UCL Strategy 2019 - 2024
  • Advice on current and upcoming environmental legislation
  • If your department would like to find out more or have an audit conducted, please contact alexander.jones@ucl.ac.uk
  • Explore how Sustainability Team can support you to make necessary changes and areas for improvement
  • Identify and capture best practice
Audit Programme Sustainability Checklist

To enable virtual internal audits, a sustainability checklist is initially completed by departments being audited. The checklist is reviewed annually. The latest checklist can be downloaded below. Even if not being audited, a department can use it themselves to conduct a self-assessment of their sustainability performance

Supporting Programmes

Many departments choose to take part in UCL's Green Impact Programme, while lab groups can use LEAF. These accreditation and award schemes are all about staff and students working together in their departments to improve their environmental and sustainability performance. Results from these programmes are utilised by UCL's ESMS.

Accessing UCL's ESMS

All Registers, Policies, Strategies, Processes, Resources and Certifications which support the UCL ESMS and EnMS systems are available on SharePoint, which all staff can access.