Taking steps to tackle climate change at the University of Greenwich


The University of Greenwich is recognised as a green leader in the higher education sector, winning multiple awards as we work to achieve our ambitious target to be Net Zero by 2030

We are taking action in every area from energy usage, to recycling and waste management and as a result we have held a 1st Class People and Planet award for over ten years.Simon Goldsmiths

We are also embedding sustainability into learning and training, and ensuring research and partnerships further support our sustainability focus.

This February, a series of activities and events for our students, staff and the wider community are taking place as part of our ‘Green Greenwich’ campaign for a more sustainable future.

Net Zero target

We have committed to stopping the use of all fossil fuels in our buildings and vehicles by 2030. To achieve this, we have invested in zero carbon heating systems and fully electric vehicles and our first carbon-free air source heat pump will be switched on in February 2024.

This investment will reduce the carbon footprint of the Avery Hillcampus by 60%. There are over 150 solar panels providing clean, renewable electricity to halls of residence and we are working with a local community energy co-op to train students to be able to report where more solar panels can be added, further reducing energy impact.

Recycling and Waste

Recycling and waste management is another key area of action.

Previously-loved furniture is used around the university, which has saved over 67 tonnes of carbon since 2019. We have an ongoing partnership with the British Heart Foundation (BHF) and students and staff are asked to regularly donate clothes that are no longer wearable but can be useful to other people through the End of Term Reuse project, which has helped save 454 tonnes of carbon emission and raised £60k for BHF since 2010.

With 2.5 billion disposable cups used each year in the UK and less than 1% of them being recycled, the University of Greenwich halted use of plastic straws in 2018 and has two cafes which are disposable-cup free.

The introduction of a Buy It, Bring It, Swap It Campaign will help prevent approximately 60,000 disposable cups being wasted every year, which is equivalent to 90 wheelie bins of coffee cups. We are also testing out a CauliCup and CauliBox scheme, where students and staff can borrow cups and containers reducing single use non-recyclable materials even further.

Embedding sustainability into everything we do

Students and staff have the opportunity to learn about energy and carbon through a variety of programmes. Sustainability is embedded into courses so that our students are empowered to incorporate it into whichever career path they choose.

For staff there are Climate Literacy courses, a Green Champions Network to encourage them to reduce their carbon impact and a free app called GREen Rewards for everyone to download to win financial rewards for learning about how they can modify behaviours that can help the planet.

Green research and partnerships

As an academic institution, research and learning are at the core of what we do at Greenwich. Much of the university’s research is focused on helping communities around the world respond to the climate emergency, especially the work carried out by the world renowned Natural Resources Institute.

The university has developed partnerships with sustainability organisations - RSK Group, a global leader in the delivery of sustainable solutions, Planet Mark who are specialist in sustainability certification and Brand New specialist in sustainable marketing solutions.  All partnerships aim to support the university sustainability strategy and provide students with work experience and graduate jobs opportunities in the sustainability sector.

There’s so much going on at Greenwich. To find out more and to get involved visit