Lancaster University is committed to sustainability. We declared a climate emergency in 2020 and aim to become carbon neutral by 2035.

A student sits reading, surrounded by greenery

At Lancaster, we recognise that sustainability, the climate emergency and our environment is the responsibility of our whole community. Our commitments are already leading the way; Lancaster University is one of the highest producers of renewable energy out of all UK Universities, and since 2005 we’ve reduced our electricity and heating emissions by 50%. We know there’s more we need to do, that’s why we’re committed to becoming carbon neutral by 2035.

Beyond that, our community is committed to tackling the climate emergency by embedding sustainability into all areas of university life; our research in the field is future-led, with many of our academics working on globally significant sustainability projects. Our curriculum continues to centre teaching around current events, and the ever-changing landscape we live in, sustainability is a huge part of that. Day to day, we’re committed to evolving our working practices and environment to address the climate emergency from within.

Annual Sustainability Report

The Annual Sustainability Report provides details of the University's successes in sustainability, progress against our objectives, the lessons learned and future plans. You can access our latest annual report below.

Annual Sustainability Report 2022

5th best in the UK for Sustainability

Sustainability is at the heart of Lancaster University. We were ranked 7th in the UK and joint 26th in the world in the first ever QS World University Rankings: Sustainability, which measured and compared sustainable impact from universities across the globe. These rankings were designed to measure an institution's ability to tackle the world’s greatest environmental, social and governance (ESG) challenges.

In the QS World University Rankings 2024 Lancaster rose to 24th for sustainability, 5th amongst UK universities.

Students working in the ECOHub
QS five Stars rating for Environmental Impact

QS Gold and five Star rated for Environmental Impact

We have been awarded a Gold rating for Environmental Impact as part of the QS World University Rankings 2022. Additionally, we have been rated five Stars for this category in the QS Stars rating system.

Assessing research related to six of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), the QS has awarded institutions around the world with medals based on their focus on ‘Environmental Impact’. The gold-rated SDGs are affordable and clean energy, sustainable cities and communities, responsible consumption and production, climate action, life below water and life on land.

How we are making a difference

Environmental Sustainability has been at the heart of Lancaster University since its foundation with a mission to tackle global environmental challenges both through our teaching and research and our own campus and operations.

A quote from Professor Simon Guy Pro-Vice-Chancellor Global
Looking across the fields towards Lancaster's wind turbine

Our commitment on emissions

Changing how our campus is powered is a key part of our commitment to achieve net zero. Lancaster University is the highest producer of renewable energy of all UK universities according to figures published by the Higher Education Statistics Agency. We have already reduced our electricity and heating emissions by 50% since 2005.

Reducing Emissions

Sustainability news