University of Plymouth

Highly Commended

Charting a course for Net Zero 2025

Its declaration of a climate emergency in 2019, and a pledge to be net zero for scope 1 & 2 emissions by 2025, marked the latest phase in the University’s long-held commitment to carbon reduction. Having already significantly reduced the impact of its activities, it was always an ambitious target – however, the goal was achieved two years ahead of schedule.

The awarding of PAS 2060 verification for carbon neutrality, externally verified by NQA, came as a result of a 78% reduction in scope 1 & 2 emissions since 2005, and an investment in carbon offsets for the remainder of the emissions. While it continues its own carbon reduction efforts, the University is working with partners across Plymouth to develop a city-wide collaborative approach to net zero for indirect emissions. It remains 100% committed to powering down on energy use, switching to alternative fuel sources and collaborating for innovative solutions.

Annual carbon savings achieved with the initiative:

What the Judges Thought

This impressive approach underpinned by suitable policies led to the achievement of demanding targets 2 years ahead of schedule, with data verified by NQA. The productive links with partners across the city demonstrate potential to develop a city-wide collaborative journey to net zero.   

Congratulations on achieving PAS2060 verification for carbon neutrality and moving the whole sector forward! Your 12 Popint Action Plan is excellent and everyone is encouraged to read it and do it in their own institution!

What it Means to Win

“This award reinforces the University of Plymouth’s position as a pioneer of net zero innovation and action. As the second carbon neutral university in the UK, I hope this accolade will inspire others across society to realise that change is possible in the quest to protect our planet.”

Professor Judith Petts CBE, Vice-Chancellor

Top 3 Learnings

  1. We have shown it is possible to achieve ambitious sustainability targets with whole-institution collaboration.
  2. We have shown what an innovative team can achieve with freedom to foster new solutions.
  3. We have shown one organisation’s achievements can be a benchmark for collective community action.
9 - Industry Innovation and Infrastructure 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production 13 - Climate Action

2030 Climate Action

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