Skip to Content

Our Sustainability Strategy

Our Sustainability Strategy

A Net Zero future is Queen's University Belfast's main sustainability goal, with our new Net Zero Strategy in development.

Lanyon Building

The University Carbon Management Plan, which commenced in 2010, sets out the University strategic commitment to reduce carbon emissions across the institution, setting a carbon target of 21% by 2021. This target was achieved in 2017-2018 with a 22.71% reduction in emissions, an important achievement as part of the University's journey to become a net zero carbon organisation.

Over £10 million has been invested to date in over 80 energy efficiency projects and more than half of the electricity consumed by the University is now generated on site using low carbon technology. This has resulted in reducing our environmental impact, a substantial operational cost saving and provided opportunities and support for research and teaching.

Energy and Carbon Management


Queen's University are currently developing the next stage of our carbon strategy - to achieve net zero emissions - which will be a key pillar in the University’s forthcoming Corporate Plan. Our Net Zero strategy will develop and evolve in the coming months with input from our Queen’s community and local stakeholders.

  • Over £10 million has been invested to date in over 80 energy efficiency projects
  • Increasing sustainable travel- 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
Strategy 2030

Strategy 2030 sets out Queen's University's ambition for the next 10 years to shape a better world through life-changing education and research across our disciplines, investing in our people, both students and staff, to ensure excellence and impact.

Since 1845, Queen’s University staff, students and alumni have made a difference to societies locally, nationally and internationally. Today, we are one of the UK and Ireland’s leading universities and continue to shape and serve the world around us through our research and teaching.

Strategy 2030 includes four strategic priorities: Education and Skills, Research and Innovation, Global Reputation and Partnerships, Social and Civic Responsibility, and Economic Prosperity.

Finance and Diversity & Inclusion

The university has a Responsible Investment Policy which sets out the university's aims to divest from fossil fuels, as committed to within our 2030 Strategy. The university is dedicated to transparency across all operations, and report annually on their financial investments via the release of annual reports and statements.

Queen's University Belfast is committed to the promotion of equal opportunities, creating an environment that celebrates staff, student and community diversity. This is aided by Queen's Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Policy.

The university are dedicated to playing an active role in ensuring all individuals, no matter their background, have access to education and Queen's University Belfast. The Widening Participation Team within Queen's are committed to ensuring that those most able but least likely to participate in Higher Education should have an equal opportunity to do so. A number of initiatives are undertaken, including the provision of numerous scholarships, including an Asylum Seeker Scholarship


Sustainability engagement with staff, students and the local community is a priority at Queen’s. We offer multiple programmes and training courses which encourage staff, students and the wider Queen’s community to engage in sustainability conversations and activities.

Our sustainability programmes aim to create positive behaviour change within the Queen's community. Examples of engagement programmes include Carbon Literacy Training and the Environmental Leadership Programme.

Our Staff and Student Sustainability Engagement Strategy can be found on our Environmental Policies page. Our engagement strategy is currently under review and will be developed alongside our Net Zero Strategy to ensure maximum participation from staff and students in sustainability events. This will be reviewed annually and updated as required.