The University of York reduces carbon emissions by 38 per cent

‘Although the University is on track to meet its current carbon reduction target, it won’t stop there’


In 2011 the University of York developed a Carbon Management Plan with the aim to significantly reduce carbon emissions each year.

Through a combination of energy efficiency improvements and behaviour change across campus the latest 2018/19 academic year figures reveal that the University has reduced it's carbon footprint by 38 per cent.

The University is now on track to achieve it's target of a 43 per cent reduction by 2021.

Mark Clough, the University of York's sustainability manager, said: "Although the University is on track to meet its current carbon reduction target, it won't stop there and is already planning a new ambitious Carbon Management Plan to take the University of York forward in further driving down its carbon emissions".

Clough added that the strategy will reflect York's "unique position of being able to enhance sustainability locally and globally through all areas of its teaching and learning, research and campus activities".

Initiatives taken to reduce the carbon footprint

The University has undergone significant operational and behavioural changes to ensure it met its target and remained true to Vice-Chancellor Professor Charlie Jeffery's word, who vowed in his inaugural speech to make the university a more sustainable organisation, by firstly no longer investing in fossil fuel companies.

Elsewhere big changes have taken place across campus: all electricity brought through the grid comes from a guaranteed renewable source and 80 per cent of buildings across campus are now controlled through a central building management system to ensure continued efficiency improvements.

Other initiatives that actively involve staff and students include Student Switch Off, a sustainability campaign which aims to encourage students living on campus to save energy and water, as well as recycle, Green Impact, an environmental accreditation programme ran by the University's Carbon Management Plan rewarding staff and students for their green habits.

Additionally, the recent launch of the Carbon Challenge Campaign, which encourages staff and students to take climate action and reduce carbon emissions by making sustainable choices part of everyday life, is another example of how the University is further taking steps to become a more sustainable institution and continue to reduce its carbon footprint.