Cookie Consent by
Students working with Yorkshire Wildlife Trust

Essential Info

Your uni's commitment to sustainability

By ResLifeLeeds 07 Aug 2023

How we are working towards a greener future for everyone.

At the University of Leeds, we make being eco-friendly and promoting sustainability a priority. We as humans are slowly getting how crucial it is to take care of the environment, and we're committed to making big moves for a greener future. So here is a breakdown of our goals and what we are currently doing to achieve them. You can see our progress so far by reading the annual reports we release on sustainability.

Our goals and actions

We use the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a framework for our own goals and actions at Leeds. The goals are made up of many different areas the world needs to tackle but goals 11, 12 and 13 are focused on sustainability. Here are some of the things we have implemented already for each:

  • Sustainable cities and communitiesOur Bike Hub achieved CityConnect’s Bike Friendly Business Gold Standard accreditation for its ongoing work to promote cycling to staff and students and the storage, maintenance, training and equipment it offers. The Bike Hub orders in bulk to reduce emissions associated with deliveries and prioritises plastic-free suppliers, and it’s also chemical free, having switched to plant-based Green Oil products in 2017.
  • Responsible consumption and productionIn 2018, the University of Leeds made a pledge to become single-use plastic free. Since then, we have removed over one million pieces of single-use plastic from our teaching, research and operations.
  • Climate action - As part of our Seven Principles, the University of Leeds has committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2030. As part of our Seven Principles, we are developing the University’s Climate Plan, which recognises the need to work closely with Leeds City Council who declared a Climate Emergency in 2019 and have committed to net-zero emissions by 2030.

These are just a few examples of what we have done and our overall goals each year do shift to reflect what we need to prioritise so keep checking back to see how our goals might impact your university experience.

Currently, we are developing our latest sustainability strategy but you can still check out our Climate Plan. We're also looking at how we impact nature and the environment, how we get and use stuff, how we connect with our community and how we properly promote this way of life.

While we're cooking up the new plan, you can check out our old sustainability strategy. Plus, our aims and targets are now part of the Facilities Directorate's Our Way Ahead business plan.

Sustainability in halls

In Residential Services (the wider team that manage University accommodation) we’re equally committed to promoting sustainability. With advice from the Uni’s Sustainability Service we’ve drawn up action plans to address our environmental, social and economic impact over the coming years and are making great progress on these!

Lots of our halls (Devonshire, Henry Price, Ellerslie, Lyddon, Charles Morris and Central Village) have achieved the Green Tourism Gold accreditation recognising our commitment to making our accommodation environmentally friendly.

We’re also working to make our sites hedgehog-friendly which contributed to the University getting Gold Hedgehog-Friendly Campus status! We won another gold at the Yorkshire in Bloom Awards in 2022 which recognised the greenery and tranquillity of campus. We have also created the North Hill Well Wood on what was abandoned land behind North Hill Court and James Baillie Park which has been nominated for two different awards.

We run frequent volunteering days with Yorkshire Wildlife Trust throughout the year – we’ll let you know when the next one is!

Check out our Sustainable Living Guide for more info on what we’re doing!  

If you would like a copy of our strategy in an accessible format please contact us: