Sustainability Week 2018

The University is launching a sustainability strategy to set out the principles for sustainable development at our University. To mark the launch of the first ever strategy of this kind, we are holding a week of events for Sustainability Week 15 - 19 October, to raise awareness of the sustainability issues we face here on campus and in wider society, and the research we're carrying out to combat some of these challenges.

Book your place at the Sustainability Strategy launch event

Watch the video on our Sustainability Strategy:

Sustainability Week events

There are a whole range of events taking place this week to explore how we’re using our power as a research-led university to tackle interlinked social, environmental and economic challenges through ambitious, interdisciplinary thinking. Events include a Q&A with our sustainability leads Professor Duncan Cameron, Tracy Wray and Mel Kee, talks from leading academics on plastic and waste and the University's place in the city, and information sessions on the challenges we face in making our campus more sustainable.

You can also join us in local pubs to hear how we're establishing an urban farm at an old school in Tinsley, and the sensors we're deploying around the city to understand our energy and resource use.

Explore the events

During Sustainability Week we want to hear what you think about sustainability at Sheffield, use #UoSsustainabilityweek to join the conversation on Twitter.

Our Sustainability Strategy

Our Sustainability Strategy - Year 1 has been shaped by research carried out by our Grantham Scholars - PhD students from our Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures. Based on five of the UN's Sustainable Development Goals, it sets out our principles and direction for the next year, and how we want to use our power as a research-led university to tackle the interlinked social, environmental and economic challenges each of these areas present.

Sustainable development is not a destination; it is an ongoing process that requires us to continually review our practices and reassess our assumptions. As such, this document is not intended to be set in stone, but is a snapshot of where we are as a University in 2018 and what work needs to be done in the next year to prepare us to publish a full sustainability strategy at the start of the 2019/20 academic year.

See the full strategy

Over the next year we want the whole University community to get involved in helping to shape our strategy. We will be giving you opportunities for this throughout the year, including through consultations, workshops and expert evidence sessions.

Please let us know what you think of our new strategy by emailing

Our sustainable campus

You may have seen some of the work we've done this year on sustainability through our new Sustainability Delivery Group. We launched a new recycling campaign, which is being rolled out out across campus, and Donate, Don't Waste, our end-of-term student donation scheme, has seen its best results ever, with over 58 tonnes of items donated to the British Heart Foundation - 21.9% up on 2017. We've also brought all sustainability-related content together under a new set of webpages.


Over the past few years our recycling rates have declined from 396 tonnes in 2014–15 to 267 tonnes this year. We want to reverse this downward trend and make it really easy for everyone to recycle quickly and correctly.

Watch the video 'Recycling at Sheffield in 60 seconds':

Find out more about recycling at Sheffield

Coffee cups

To mark the launch of our strategy and challenge and alter behaviour on campus, we'll be introducing a 20p trial charge on single-use cups.

Almost a million hot drinks are sold by University cafes every year - the majority in non-recyclable, single-use cups. Of the 2.5 billion single-use cups used in the UK every year, only 1% are recycled.

Currently the University offers a discount of 20p per drink to anyone that brings their own reusable mug, and has introduced the Campus Cup scheme to help make it easy to avoid single-use cups.

The trial 20p levy will run throughout Sustainability Week, in the University and the Students’ Union cafes. We’ll still be giving a 20p discount for using your own cup, so there will now be a 40p difference between using a disposable cup and a reusable one. We’ll use this week to trial the charge before deciding what to do next.

All of the money we raise will be going to support Surfers Against Sewage to help their efforts to clean up our oceans and beaches. None of the extra 20p will be kept by the University or Students’ Union.

Find out out more

Campus Cups

To help you join the reusable revolution, we’re reopening the Campus Cup to new members. To join the scheme, simply pay a £5 deposit and receive your Campus Cup band. This acts as you membership card, allowing you to get a drink in a Campus Cup at at University or SU outlet. When you’ve finished your drink, simply drop off your cup at any outlet and keep your band.

Join the scheme online now

Zero Waste Shop

We’ve also teamed up with the Zero Waste Shop in the Students' Union to offer reusable cups for only £5 during Sustainability Week. You can also purchase a huge range of plastic-free alternatives for food and household goods.

We hope you support this measure and recognise the need for action in this area. You can hear more about our work to make the UK's most sustainable cup of coffee, including action on beans, milk and cups, at an event during Sustainability Week.

Find out more

Hedgehog Friendly Campus

Our campaign to protect hedgehogs around Sheffield is the first of its kind on any university campus. We're raising awareness of the decline in UK hedgehog populations and sharing the work that is happening to safeguard hedgehogs living right here on campus, including educating our staff, students and local community on ways to protect hedgehogs at home.

Find out more

If sustainability matters to you, then there's lots of ways you can get involved. Join your department's Green Impact team, or set one up if you don't have one, contact a member of the Sustainability Delivery Group, or email us directly at