Sheffield Hallam University makes global pledge to take climate action

5th November 2021

Sheffield Hallam University has joined a global campaign to commit to climate action to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Sheffield Hallam is one of more than 1,000 universities and colleges from 68 countries to join the United Nations Race to Zero campaign and pledge to half their emissions by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050.  

The University’s own ambitious target is to deliver net zero on direct emissions by 2030, and significantly reduce indirect emissions by 2038.  

Sheffield Hallam University has a comprehensive environmental plan, with a range of initiatives already underway, including active travel campaigns and transforming energy use through smarter more efficient buildings.  

Newly approved plans for the development of the University’s city campus, include the latest technology and measures to make the new buildings zero carbon ready and reduce environmental impact during construction. We are also improving the biodiversity of our campus wildlife by increasing the number of green spaces.  

The University has also established a Climate Action Steering Group to form an ambitious approach to climate action and in 2022, the University will launch a climate action strategy which will outline challenging but achievable targets.  

Other action the University is taking includes: 

  • Committing to a fully electric fleet of vans. Currently almost 75% of our fleet is electric.  
  • We have installed a bio-digester for food waste from our catering outlets. In an average year, this can save around 4.9 tonnes of food from general waste.   
  • For the fifth year, catering services have provided 3,000 reusable cups helping to reduce the number of disposable cups on our campus by 20,000 each year.  

Sheffield Hallam University Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Chris Husbands, said: “Universities have a crucial role to play in helping to tackle climate change and reduce carbon emissions.  

“I am pleased to have signed the Race to Zero for Universities and Colleges pledge, which underlines our institutional commitment?to a sustainable future for the University and the planet.  

“Sheffield Hallam has a number of programmes already in place which are supporting our transition to a cleaner, greener university.  

However, there is much more to be done to deliver our net zero commitment. That is why we have established a Climate Action Steering Group and plan to launch a Climate Action Strategy next year to ensure we achieve our ambitious targets.” 

The?Race to Zero for Universities and Colleges is an initiative led by EAUC – The Alliance for Sustainability Leadership in Education and Second Nature with support from the UN Environment Programme (UNEP). 

The initiative recognises the substantial role of the education sector in the global Race to Zero and the influence that universities and colleges have to shift mindsets, influence lifestyle choices, and instil sustainability values and green skills into the leaders of tomorrow. 

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