Carbon sequestration

The University is taking responsibility for unavoidable carbon emissions by direct sequestration rather than participating in carbon offsetting schemes.

The University generates carbon emissions during many of its activities, such as when heating our buildings, using non-electric vehicles and flying for business travel.

In order to become net zero carbon by 2040, the University is:

  • reducing its emissions where there is a technical possibility to do so; such as by electrifying our vehicle fleet where possible; improving the way we power and heat our buildings; and by replacing non-essential travel with alternatives where available
  • sequestering carbon from unavoidable emissions, such as essential flights.

When emissions are unavoidable, such as from flying, it is important that the University calculates the amount of emissions produced and then takes action to ensure an equivalent or greater amount of carbon emissions are removed from the atmosphere.

Our carbon sequestration plan

In October 2021, the University announced a multi-million-pound, long-term commitment to capture and store its unavoidable carbon emissions, and benefit nature, through restoring peatlands and expanding forests in Scotland.

University commits to sequester over one million tonnes of unavoidable C02 emissions

Partner with us

Vanessa McCorquodale in woodland setting,  holding Sustainable Development Goal 17 card, partnership for the goals
Our proposed Forest and Peatland partnership programme brings together our mission as a University to make the world a better place with our goal to be carbon net zero as an organisation by 2040.

Rullion Green Wood

Rullion Green Wood November 2023
Rullion Green Wood is a 26-hectare site, next to Flotterstone, in the Pentland Hills Regional Park that is owned by the University of Edinburgh. We want to enhance biodiversity on the site by creating woodlands and improving habitats for plants and animals.


Drumbrae view by Tom Wade, Airborne Research and Innovation Facility, University of Edinburgh
Drumbrae is the first of several sites where we will create woodland and improve open habitats. We are doing this to mitigate our carbon emissions from unavoidable travel while benefitting nature. View maps, check the timeline and find out more.

Branching out, an interview with Yvonne Edwards

Find out more

For more information on carbon sequestration, to seek guidance, or speak about ways staff and students can get involved, please contact the Department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability. 

Please state that you wish to speak with the Forest and Peatland team in your message.

General enquiries

  • Social Responsibility and Sustainability

Contact details



Department for Social Responsibility and Sustainability
The Boilerhouse
High School Yards

Post Code