Sustainable UCL



From testing plastic eating bacteria to creating carbon-absorbing bio-curtains on our campus, UCL researchers are leading the way in global sustainability.

UCL shapes the debate

At UCL, we spark debate to co-create sustainability solutions with the wider world.

We are committed to increasing our sustainability research, with increased focus on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). 

We do this, by opening a dialogue with our wider community, and using our campus as a living laboratory to create, test and disseminate sustainability solutions.

We have developed a programme called LEAF (Laboratory Efficiency Assessment Framework) to help scientists improve the sustainability of their laboratories, so our research has limited impact on the environment. 

Explore how UCL is helping to achieve the UN SDGs

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Explore some of our research initiatives making change possible

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UCL Climate Hub: a community for change

The UCL Climate hub illustrates the extraordinary breadth of climate-focused activity taking place at UCL, and how you can get involved. 

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UCL Environment Domain

The Environment Domain connects UCL's research community to support the development of new insight and expertise on environmentally relevant research activity.

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UCL Grand Challenges: Climate Crisis

UCL's Grand Challenges initiative enables and encourages colleagues to come together across UCL to develop holistic solutions to the Climate Crisis.

Explore UCL Institutes researching sustainability
  • The UCL Clean Air Network showcases the research on clean air conducted by UCL in collaboration with London hospitals, building on the Clean Air Hospital Framework (CAHF). 
  • UCL Anthropocene works as a virtual school by assembling projects, people, courses, and events from across UCL to articulate and address the problems that the Anthropocene poses for our collective future.
  • The Plastics Waste Hub is a multidisciplinary team of researchers, including scientists, engineers, designers, and social scientists, taking a design-led approach to the issue of plastic waste.
  • USAR carries out world-leading, interdisciplinary research into sustainability and resilience in the urban environment. USAR manages postgraduate programmes and works with industry and NGOs.
  • UCL ISR generates knowledge in the globally sustainable use of natural resources and trains the future leaders of this field. 
  • The CBER is an interdisciplinary centre within UCL’s Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment.
  • The Circular Economy Lab is an exciting cross-faculty, cross-discipline initiative, aiming to use UCL's expertise to improve the design of buildings and products, their re-use and recycling, and the return of their constituent materials back to the economy.
  • The Climate Action Unit works to change how scientists, policymakers, businesses, media, civil society organisations and citizens engage with each other about climate change.

Published research

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Living Laboratory

The UCL Living Lab enables students and staff to solve UCL’s sustainability challenges through research, teaching, dissertations and projects.

> Trial innovative solutions on campus here.


Our sustainable laboratory programme is being used by 85 institutions across the globe to address the climate and ecological emergencies through science.

> Make your lab sustainable here.