Together as a University, as a leader in climate research and collaborating with our global and local partners we need to ensure we have a workplace and world fit for a dynamic and sustainable future.


In this critical decade for climate action the University working with the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research has outlined its journey to a net zero UEA.

UEA’s Net Zero ambition is to achieve:

  • Over 80% net zero campus emissions (Scopes 1 & 2) by 2030 against a 2015 baseline

  • To be 100% net zero (Scopes 1, 2 & 3) by 2045 or earlier

  • To pledge not to rely on offsetting for our carbon emission targets


What does this mean?

  • Over 80% net zero campus emissions by 2030 against a 2015 baseline

This target covers what is known as Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions. Scope 1 are emissions from direct activity by the university, our overall energy consumption - such as heating, cooling and powering our buildings and fuel for our vehicles. Scope 2 are the indirect emissions from our bought energy supplies and at UEA these emissions relate only to the electricity we buy from the National Grid to provide lighting, computing and ventilation to the campus.

The baseline for these targets is 2015, the year of the Paris Agreement the international treaty on climate change. 2014/2015 was also the year we as a University reached our peak carbon emissions.

As of July 2021, the University was 31% below its 2015 emissions.

  • To be 100% net zero by 2045 or earlier

This target includes Scope 1, 2 and Scope 3 carbon emissions. Scope 3 includes all other indirect emissions that are outside of the University’s own facilities, such as the goods and services we purchase, the supply chain of companies and organisations we work with, business travel, commuting, waste collection and water.

The aim is to be net zero on all scopes by 2045 – ahead of the UK legal requirement of net zero by 2050.

  • To pledge not to rely on offsetting for our carbon emission targets

We will be prioritising avoiding and reducing greenhouse gas emissions on our own estate rather than paying into offset schemes. If a small amount of offsetting was essential and unavoidable then we would prioritise verifiable long-term local projects.


Campus Energy and Carbon Reduction


How will we achieve our ambitions?

Across our campus, departments and teams are working hard to identify the measures needed to deliver on our ambitions. Some of the work will mean changes to how we run and manage our campus, others will include how we work with our suppliers, our business travel and waste and recycling plans.

  • More efficient use of our buildings and spaces

  • Investing in making our estate more sustainable and resilient

  • Fossil-fuel free campus - prioritising renewable energy generation and supply

  • Focus on sustainable purchasing decisions and work with our suppliers on their carbon footprint

  • Support staff and students to make greener choices

  • Develop a sustainable business travel policy

  • Work with our civic partners to develop sustainable transport systems and economic policies

  • Promoting biodiversity and creating natural habitats on our campus for a wide variety of species

  • Partnering with innovators in the green economy to accelerate the transition to net zero


Tracking our progress

We track and report on our progress as part of our International Standards Organisation (ISO) 14001 certified Environmental Management System and through our Energy Management System, which we are developing to the ISO 50001 standard. These provide an externally verified framework to manage our compliance obligations, protect the environment and make continual environmental and energy improvements. This process is overseen by UEA’s Sustainability Board and ultimately the Executive Team and UEA Council.

Sustainability Board