Social Responsibility and Sustainability

Commitment made to reverse nature loss

Edinburgh is a founding member of a new university alliance that seeks to halt and reverse biodiversity decline.

Icon concept circulating in hands for environment, society and governance, in sustainable business on networked connections

The Nature Positive Universities Alliance is a network of universities that have made an official pledge to halt, prevent and reverse nature loss by addressing their own impacts and restoring ecosystems harmed by their activities.

The alliance was launched during the UN Biodiversity Conference (COP15) by the University of Oxford and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

522 Higher Education institutions from 111 countries have so far taken the pledge which aims to drive the world’s higher education sector towards a nature-positive future (as of 13 December 2022).

Nature positive

The alliance has been created to support the UN's Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, a movement to avert climate catastrophe and mass extinction.

Universities that have made a pledge will take action to tackle their own supply chains and operational impacts on nature.

Institutions will also be encouraged to help guide wider communities to address the climate and ecological crises.

The University is delighted to be a founding signatory for the Nature Positive Alliance. Society faces twin climate and ecological crises and all of us, including universities, need to play our part. We are already taking action, but with this pledge we commit publicly to going further and faster during this UN decade of ecosystem restoration.

Dave GormanDirector of Department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability, the University of Edinburgh

Ambitious targets

The University of Edinburgh has set itself ambitious targets to address climate, environmental and sustainability challenges, including a target to becoming net zero by 2040.

Other commitments include a complete divestment from fossil fuels and plans to capture and store more than one million tonnes of unavoidable carbon dioxide emissions with the help of nature.

We launched our Biodiversity Plan in April 2022 to address biodiversity here in Edinburgh.

Biodiversity Plan 2022

Nature positive universities pledge steps

  1. Assess your baseline

  2. Set smart targets

  3. Act and influence

  4. Report annually

Related links

Nature Positive Universities Alliance

UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration

Topic: Biodiversity