Plans & policies

University of Birmingham is committed to sustainability and has a number of staff across various departments who work together to make it a reality. 

The University has signed the Universitas 21 Declaration on Sustainability, and the UK university leaders' statement of intent on sustainable development.

The University and Guild of Students have been shortlisted and won many prizes demonstrating this commitment.


Key Sustainability Achievements

 1990 First combined heat and power plant replaced
coal fired boilers
 2001 Shortlisted for the Environment Agency Water Efficiency Awards for halving water consumption
 2003 The 2nd UK University  to achieve Fairtrade Status
 2005 High voltage network upgraded allowing capacity for more connections to the district heating scheme
 2005 £625K Revolving Green Fund available for energy improvements
 2007 The 1st UK University to buy electric vehicles
 2007 17 electric vehicles of a fleet of 102 (15% of all vehicles)
 2007 Zero waste to landfill (all residual waste goes to energy from incineration)
 2008 The Guild achieve Green Impact for the first year
 2008 Paper recycling – moved to mixed recycling (piloted in the library and then rolled out)
 2010 Bicycle maintenance classes provided via Centro
 2010 First Hydrogen Microcab van – used for the postal service
 2010 650 virtualised computers (corporate machines)
 2011 Good Egg award achieved
 2011 Lift share scheme launched
 2011 Student-facing GREG mascot launched in 2011 – 85% of students report recognising GREG
 2011 Partnership with 'Junkbusters' uses a waste milk float. Bags distributed across residences – £100k raised for the British Heart Foundation. Awarded Chartered Institute of Waste Management (CIWM) "Best Recycling Project" (Nov 2015). 
 2012 Biodiversity Working Group established (chaired by Professor Jon Sadler)
 2012 Contract with ‘Key Travel’ monitors Scope 3 emissions from business travel £4M
 2012 Steam bridge opened and shortlisted for Green Gown Award
 2012 Phase 1 habitat surveys of Selly Oak campus completed
 2013 Green Impact scoping report to Prof Jeff Bale on sustainability in curricula at Birmingham
 2013 Bottle amnesty implemented to collect bottles from residences - 4,000 bottles collected from just one residence
 2013 College and significant corporate services departments produce carbon plans
 2013 Expansion of CHP to the South Campus
 2013 Good practice guide produced on using PCs to encourage shut down
 2013 'Sustainable Fleet' (Green Fleet Awards)
 2013 'Highly Commended' (Fleet Management Awards)
 2013  'Fleet Hero Award'  (Innovation in Fleet Management)
 2014 £3million loans from Salix for replacement CHP
 2014 Reached Flexible Framework Level 1
 2014 Food waste taken from catering waste to anaerobic digestion – 3.5 tonnes p.a.
 2015 First audit of content of the clinical waste
 2015 All IT vehicles are now electric

You can see our commitments given in the policies and plans set out below:

College Plans