University of Sheffield publishes first Sustainability Strategy

The University of Sheffield today (Monday 15 October) publishes its first sustainability strategy.

Based on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals, the strategy commits the University to a number of actions over the 2018/19 academic year in preparation for the publication of a comprehensive strategy and action plan at the start of the 2019/20 academic year.


Earlier this year, the University commissioned a group of its PhD students from the Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures to research and report on its sustainability activity. The students’ report and recommendations form the basis of the new strategy.

This report recommended that the University focus on five of THE UN’s Sustainable Development goals, areas in which the University did not already have a strategy to direct its work and in which as a research-led university it could have the greatest impact:

  • Quality Education
  • Responsible Consumption and Production
  • Climate Action
  • Clean and Affordable Energy
  • Sustainable Cities and Communities

The University will take action on a number of themes under each of these goals, such as emissions, waste, education for sustainable development and environmental stewardship. The strategy will also introduce formal governance of the University’s relationship with city and regional bodies and open the way for using the University campus and Sheffield itself as a “living lab” to research sustainability issues.

Professor Duncan Cameron, Academic Lead for Sustainability, said: “With our new strategy, we want to use our power as a research-led university, with a significant corporate structure, to tackle the interlinked social, environmental and economic challenges highlighted by the UN’s Sustainable Development goals.

“We’re recognised as global leaders in sustainability research, contributed key evidence that shaped the Paris Climate Treaty. Our new strategy is now putting our money where our mouth is as a sustainability thought leader.”

Mel Kee, Sheffield Students’ Union Development Office and Student Lead for Sustainability said: “Working with the University to produce this strategy has been a great opportunity to ensure the student perspective is at the heart of the University’s approach to sustainability. We want to work with the rest of the University to make real change.”

Tracy Wray, Professional Services Lead for Sustainability said: “Over the next year we want the whole University community to get involved in helping to shape our strategy. We will be giving opportunities for this throughout the year, including through consultations, workshops and expert evidence sessions.”

Read our Sustainability Strategy