Social Responsibility and Sustainability

Climate action

The University of Edinburgh has committed to become zero carbon by 2040. The University's Climate Strategy 2016 lays out a comprehensive whole institution approach to climate change mitigation and adaptation in order to achieve its ambitious targets.

Sustainability award win for University (2022)

Why is climate action important?

Climate action megaphone illustration

The United Kingdom, along with more than 170 other countries, officially signed the Paris Agreement in 2016. The agreement sets out a global target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and a decisive call to action to mitigate dangerous climate change caused by human activity.

The University recognises the climate crisis is one of the most pressing issues facing humanity. Our commitment to become carbon neutral by 2040 aims to tackle this crisis head on.

The University’s Climate Change Strategy sets out the significant steps it will take to achieve its carbon neutral commitment. This includes adopting a whole institution approach through its research, teaching and operations.

By 2025, the University had committed to return carbon emissions to 2007-08 baseline year levels and reduce emissions of carbon per £ million turnover by 50 per cent from baseline year levels. Both of these objectives have been achieved.

To date, the University has reduced its carbon emissions by 15 per cent since 2007-08, as of 2019-20.

Social Responsibility and Sustainability annual reports

Our initiatives

Zero by 2040

Zero by 2040
The University of Edinburgh has committed to become zero carbon by 2040. The University's Climate Strategy 2016 lays out a comprehensive whole institution approach to climate change mitigation and adaptation in order to achieve its ambitious targets.

Adapting to climate change

Aerial photo of central area
Our vision: The University will become more climate-resilient, creating a sense of place on campuses and promoting well-being and biodiversity, as an integral part of the wider context of the city of Edinburgh.

Carbon sequestration

small tree shoot growing next to larger tree trunk
The University is taking responsibility for unavoidable carbon emissions by direct sequestration rather than participating in carbon offsetting schemes.

Case studies and blog posts

Read case studies and blog posts tagged as 'climate change'

Read case studies and blog posts tagged as 'Sustainable Campus Fund'

Take action

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