The University of Sheffield has pledged to reach net-zero carbon emissions on campus by 2030 and across all activities by 2038.

These commitments, set out in its new five-year sustainability strategy, are informed by its academics’ research, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) call for comprehensive climate action and the Tyndall Centre’s 2019 report, ‘Setting Climate Commitments for the City of Sheffield’.

The strategy summarises the University’s thinking on research and innovation, education, campus and city region sustainability challenges. In bringing together this work, sustainability leads have drawn upon the whole University community from student climate campaigners to senior academics. Both academic staff and students continue to engage cooperatively to map out the University’s path to net-zero.

Beyond its campus, the University is also connecting its research and teaching to sustainability challenges and net zero ambitions. Working with its partners, the University aims to support Sheffield City Region to become a national leader in sustainability.

President and Vice-Chancellor Professor Koen Lamberts, said: “The world is facing a climate emergency and universities are uniquely placed to respond to the global challenges that we face.

“We aim to become one of the most sustainable research-intensive universities in the country by aligning our research, teaching and campus to ensure sustainable practice across everything we do. We will become net carbon neutral on campus by 2030 and across all activities by 2038.”

Dr Rachael Rothman, Co-Director of the Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures and Academic Lead for Sustainability, added: “The science is showing us that bold and decisive action is needed to combat the climate emergency. As highlighted by the IPCC, the next ten years will be crucial. At Sheffield, we are stepping up to the challenge by setting ourselves ambitious but achievable targets for emissions reductions.”

Jordan Weir, University of Sheffield Students’ Union Development Officer and Student Lead for Sustainability, said: “This strategy is a tribute to the years of constructive campaigning that students at Sheffield have undertaken. I am delighted that the University has committed to targeting a net-zero campus by 2030.

“This shows the University is willing to listen to climate science and student campaigners in its sustainability activities. I look forward to working with University and Students’ Union colleagues to achieve our collective goals.”

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