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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 organisation.

We are planning the next stage in our sustainability journey and the development of a new University Climate Strategy. This Strategy will see the University set a more ambitious target of net-zero emissions by a defined date. We are working closely with ARUP Consultants to create this strategy, with the hope of setting a defined date to reach Net Zero by early 2023.

To inform and develop our Strategy we will be commencing a ‘Net Zero Conversation’ across the University, we would encourage staff, students and members of the general public to join that conversation and share their thoughts, views and ideas on how we shape our journey to Net Zero.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

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, education and operations.

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

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.