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Sustainability

Lanyon with cool sky
Our University Commitment to Sustainability

As a global institution, we have a major role to play in making a positive impact in our environment.

Our Strategy 2030 sets out how we will embed the UN Sustainable Development Goals across all our activities, from research and education to adopting a leadership role in the promotion of the SDGs, and leading by example in areas such as equality, diversity and inclusion, sustainable procurement and a commitment to disinvestment from fossil fuels.

We are a signatory to the UN Accord, which recognises the key role that global universities have in nurturing a culture of sustainability and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030 through research and education.

We are committed to embedding them in every aspect of our activity.

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IMPACT RANKINGS

In the Times Higher Education 2021 Impact Rankings, Queen’s was ranked in the top 10% (43rd out of 1115 universities worldwide) in 6 SDG areas.

Decent work and Economic Growth

#53 out of 685 Institutions Ranked

Reduced Inequalities

#63 out of 669 Institutions Ranked

Sustainable Cities and Comunities

#41 out of 656 Institutions Ranked

Life Below Water

#6 out of 379 Institutions Ranked

Life on Land

#11 out of 402 Institutions Ranked

Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

#79 out of 653 Institutions Ranked

  • SDG Goal 1
  • SDG Goal 2
  • SDG Goal 3
  • SDG Goal 4
  • SDG Goal 5
  • SDG Goal 6
  • SDG Goal 7
  • SDG Goal 8
  • SDG Goal 9
  • SDG Goal 10
  • SDG Goal 11
  • SDG Goal 12
  • SDG Goal 13
  • SDG Goal 14
  • SDG Goal 15
  • SDG Goal 16
  • SDG Goal 17
  • Sustainable Development Goals Logo
Lanyon Building as seen from the sky
A Sustainable University: Journey to net-zero

We are committed to reducing our environmental impact and we are currently developing the next stage of our carbon strategy.

  • Over £10 million has been invested to date in over 80 energy efficiency projects
  • Increasing sustainable travel including substantial provision of cycle parking, lockers and changing facilities, public transport incentives, bike sales and cycle to work scheme
  • Enabling and empowering our University community to take action 
  • Enhancing biodiversity across campus and creating a home for wildlife
  • A range of initiatives across the University to minimise waste and increase recycling
  • Sustainable design principles and practices are embedded within our construction projects
  • All aiming to reach net-zero carbon emissions as soon as possible

Our green and sustainable campus activities

Research student working in a laboratory
Leading Sustainability Research

Queen’s has a proud history of conducting innovative, impactful and world-leading research that has positively changed people’s lives.

Our researchers work across disciplines and sectors to address local and global challenges, incorporating the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and driving real-world impact in climate change.

Our strategic research themes focus on:

• A transformative and sustainable economy
• Secure connected intelligence – AI and the data revolution
• Healthy living for all
• Human environment relations
• Inclusive and cohesive communities

View our Sustainability Research

Lecturer in Graduate School
Teaching the next generation of Sustainability leaders

We prepare our students for leadership and citizenship in a global society, committed to sustainability and social responsibility.

Our educational programmes are increasingly focused on embracing the ethos of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals at a local, national and global level.

By supporting meaningful engagement between students, research leaders and innovators, we equip students with the skills to improve lives for future generations.

View Teaching and Learning Case Studies

Pride march 2019
Wellbeing and Diversity

The University is committed to supporting SDGs through wellbeing policies and programmes for staff and students, to assist them with their physical, emotional and mental wellbeing.

A range of programmes have been delivered throughout the year including WOW events (Wellbeing on Weekday) for students and Lunch and Learn sessions for staff.

See more about our Wellbeing and Diversity initiatives

Homework club volunteer with and student
Outreach and Engagement

Locally our staff and students have been working on a wide range of programmes within our community to embed the SDGs.

Taking direction from our Social Charter we work with a range of community organisations through our Science Shop, bring our students and the community together through our volunteer programmes and provide funding to bring the green ideeas of staff and students to life.

More on our Outreach and Engagement programmes

Placard demanding climate action now
Queen’s Voices On Sustainability

In a special Staff Blog series, staff across the University share a range of expertise and perspectives related to themes at COP26.

From our natural environment, creating safe and secure agri-food systems, to assessing the way in which our built environment interacts with the natural world, or in the manner in which we build and maintain truly livable communities and societies, Queen’s researchers are at the forefront of innovative, future focused solutions that aim to make our footprint lighter, both on earth and beyond.

Articles and Insights Talks and Conversations