Sustainable UCL


UCL tops University Carbon League Table

18 January 2021

As part of our #PositiveClimate Campaign, UCL has pledged to become a net zero carbon institution by 2030.This ambitious commitment has earned us the highest score in the University Carbon League Table out of 519 institutions.

Climate protest sign that says 'There is no Planet B'

At an NUS conference last year, students passed a policy calling on UK universities and colleges to declare and act on the climate emergency.

In support of this policy, Students Organising for Sustainability UK (SOS-UK), the National Union of Students (NUS), the University and College Union (UCU) and People & Planet (P&P) have created a ranking of UK University and college carbon reduction targets to view and compare across the sectors.

The initial ranking is based on the ambition each institution sets out for its carbon targets, while future rankings will be based on the progress and implementation achieved by each university.

With our net zero carbon by 2030 commitment, we were able to top the ranking. The reasons for UCL’s success lie in the ambitious scope of its commitments as well as the engagement with students and staff to develop the objectives. UCL was also commended for its science-based approach and comprehensive action plan to ensure that we meet our targets.

With this ambitious commitment, we are building on previous success. Last year alone we divested from fossil fuels and switched to 100% renewable electricity. Moreover, we are sending none of our waste to landfill. But, with climate change, biodiversity loss, and resource depletion becoming more and more pressing, we know that we need to do more. Pledging to become a net zero institution by 2030 is based on this recognition.

Richard Jackson, Director of Sustainable UCL, said: At UCL we believe in walking the talk. UCL’s net zero commitment is part of our effort to act on our research and show that change is possible today. Ultimately, we hope that this will inspire others to act for a better future too. Topping the University Carbon League Table is not only an amazing recognition of our ambitions but also a great opportunity for sharing our work with more people.

Have a look at the ranking yourself, or visit the Sustainable UCL website for a reminder of all of our sustainability commitments.