Sustainable UCL


The Sustainable UCL Annual Report for 2018-19

29 April 2020

Read on to find out more about the future of sustainability at UCL, and beyond.

Annual Report 2018-19 Cover

The Annual Report reflects two years’ worth of collaboration that culminated in the UCL Sustainability Strategy 2019-2024 “Change Possible”. It also showcases all the work that has been done to reach the ambitious goals set out in the new strategy  since it launched in October 2019.

This report is testimony to the work which is already taking place across UCL – reflecting the energy and enthusiasm of our community to tackle social and environmental issues."

                                                                         Professor Geraint Rees, Chair of the Sustainability Steering Group at UCL.


1. A closer look at our 3 signature campaigns:

The Sustainability Strategy has been organised into three Signature Campaigns that provide an initial focus for bringing together our teaching, research and operations to tackle social and environmental challenges.

  • Positive Climate will tackle our carbon emissions, addressing international and domestic travel, energy consumption and even the food options on campus. With the recent move to remote working, we are doing even more to better understand the energy efficiency of our buildings.
  • The Loop seeks to tackle unsustainable consumption, one of the biggest issues of our time and we are committed to becoming a singleuse-plastic free campus by 2024. We have also been targeting disposables and food waste across UCL. Learning from the incredible ways we have adapted recently may provide inspiration for the future.
    Wild Bloomsbury Logo
  • Wild Bloomsbury will introduce nature-based solutions to UCL. Whilst increasing biodiverse green space by 10,000m², this campaign is a wellbeing collaboration to ensure UCL is a safe, healthy and happy place to study and work. This is just as important now, as we work remotely, as it is when we are on site.

Read the full Annual Report for more details on how the signature campaigns relate to different aspects of life at UCL.


2. Our progress in numbers:

For those wondering how much carbon, energy, waste, money and more UCL has saved due to sustainable initiatives across campus, the annual report is a great resource as it is packed with our latest numbers and statistics. Here’s a taster:

  • £350,000 was saved via energy efficiency initiatives across the year.
  • 1000 meals were saved from the bin with the introduction of the food waste app Too Good To Go.


3. The people behind sustainability at UCL:

From the Clean Energy Projects Society who worked with Sustainable UCL to install a 30kW solar array on the roof of the Langton Close hall of residence, to the architects at the Bartlett collaborating on the development of algae bio-curtains to capture carbon dioxide, this report showcases the myriad of ways in which members of the global UCL community are making change possible at UCL and beyond.

Their ingenuity and creativity is a continuous source of inspiration as we look towards the future:

as we launch our Sustainability Annual Report for 2018/19, which celebrates some of our successes, we find ourselves in uncertain times, not least trying to navigate through new ways of working and new routines. Despite this uncertainty, I have been immensely proud of the UCL community and the response which we have made. It is emblematic of what we can achieve as an institution when we work together. […] I hope the Annual Report serves to offer some hope and motivation."

                                                                                       Richard Jackson, Director of Sustainability.

Read the full Annual Report for 2018-19 here.