Sustainability Policy

In 2015 the United Nations established 17 Sustainable Development Goals to transform our world.  The University of Suffolk, with over 3430 students and 433 staff based across its campuses, is committed to working closely with key local and national partners to play its role in the realisation of these goals.

The University of Suffolk takes a strategic approach to sustainable development across all of its operations and activities.  Meeting our sustainable development objectives is crucial to both students, staff, and the wider local community. Within this community, we share a vital academic and economic position across the region; coupled with an accountability to ensure the protection of the condition of our immediate and global environment through the pursuit of excellence in social and corporate responsibility.

We have a committed vision to educate current and future decision-makers and apply academic study to help solve many of the sustainability issues society faces; whilst improving the health and well being of the community we serve.

We are committed to sustainability throughout all of our activities, from the operation and management of our campuses, through to teaching and learning, research and knowledge exchange. Further realised through the external leadership work we conduct through the University’s, Suffolk Sustainability Institute, in collaboration with our partnership organisations. 

Implementing sustainability management programmes within our facilities and estate allows us to operate our campuses efficiently and innovatively; whilst minimising negative impacts on the wider environment and working towards environmental net benefit gains. In recent years the University of Suffolk has made significant progress in improving its own sustainability performance and is gaining national recognition, for it’s leadership in developing and facilitating agenda setting conferences and events on emerging transformative practice.

The University of Suffolk is committed to the continual improvement of its sustainable responsibilities and it will manage this commitment through engagement of its senior leadership teams and annual planning rounds.

As such the University requires its activities to meet or exceed the conformance requirements of applicable environmental standards, regulations, and guidelines and implement operational programmes that address the Climate Emergency, biodiversity loss and waste elimination. Rising to this challenge it will:

  • Commit to achieving carbon neutrality for scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2030, with a net zero target for remaining Scope 3 emissions by 2050.
  • Work toward a zero waste policy, defined as 5% or less going to landfill by 2030.
  • Enhance the quality of habitat biodiversity on the Estates under which the University has management and operational function;
  • Ensure compliance with all relevant legislation and regulations.
  • Ensure sustainability is fully understood by staff, students and stakeholders and is embedded within all aspects of University strategy, planning and activities.
  • Create partnerships at all levels within the University’s sphere of influence that further the practice of sustainability, including prioritising working with partners and organisations that can help us achieve more sustainable outcomes
  • Provide educational and research opportunities and carry out operational activities that seek to minimise negative impacts and promote sound sustainability practice.
  • Ensure that sustainability and biodiversity opportunities are identified and implemented when considering land use, development, and construction practices.
  • Regularly review our activities and operations and their impact, and where relevant put in place actions to address issues identified.

The University of Suffolk will seek to stimulate the transition towards sustainable organisational growth by positioning social wellbeing and environmental impact reduction at the heart of its strategic direction.

The University of Suffolk and all members of the University community will move towards supporting actions, decisions, and leadership that will:

  • Transit towards ensuring that social and environmental concerns are incorporated as a significant priority in decision-making
  • Identify the essential areas in which we should seek to strengthen our corporate and social responsibility and develop clear and focused plans of action.

This Policy Statement is fully supported by the Vice Chancellor’s Executive Team, and all staff, students, and external stakeholders as well as visitors and contractors share this responsibility. The policy will be reviewed regularly by the Vice Chancellor and the Executive in order to continue our progress toward significant and lasting organisational change.

Professor Helen Langton                                           
Vice-Chancellor and CEO

University of Suffolk 2024