Sustainability Policy and Strategy

The University of Birmingham has specific commitments and targets in sustainable development across our departments. Discover our progress and policies here.

Professor David Hannah

Director of Birmingham Institute for Sustainability & Climate Action

“Our ambitions, set out in the Sustainability pillar of our Strategic Framework 2030 demonstrated that sustainability isn’t an added extra: it is fundamental to everything that we do. I am excited to be leading this pillar, bringing together the strength of our research, educating the next generation of problem solvers, and striving to always be a more responsible business.”

The University of Birmingham has, from its inception, been committed to improving the lives of people locally and internationally, through high quality teaching and ground-breaking research. We also recognise that we have a key role to play in addressing the environmental and social challenges that impact the lives of our global community. 

Having a sustainable approach is enshrined in our Strategic Framework as one of our key priorities for the next 10 years (up to 2030). This means that every part of our institution, from the research we undertake and our on-campus practices to how we educate our students, will embed a holistic sustainability approach. 

Our full policies, strategies, and reports

Sustainability Strategic Framework Pillar

Responsible Procurement Policy: General 2020

Responsible Procurement Policy: Food 2019

Catering Charter 2020

Sustainable Food Procurement Policy 2019

Responsible Investment Policy 2022

Staff Expenses Policy 2020

Sustainable Procurement Policy 2020

Sustainability Policy 2018

Travel Plan 2019

Sustainable Travel Action Plan 2012-2021 

The full Carbon Accounting Report 2020/21 PDF and accessible Word Document.

Carbon Management Plan 2014

NB: The Sustainable Travel Action Plan will be update this year following the Travel Survey carried out October 2022. Results for this Survey will be available Spring 2023.


Sustainability Governance

The University of Birmingham has included sustainability as the sixth ‘Pillar’ of the 2030 Strategic Framework. The prioritisation and delivery of these projects is facilitated by our Head of Sustainability and the Institutional Lead on Sustainability. Both have the position and expertise that make them perfectly placed to lead on achieving our ambitions as a University.

The Head of Sustainability and Institutional Lead are supported in these ambitions by a Sustainability Steering Group (SSG). This group meets bimonthly, with senior representatives from across the University, including Campus Services, Estates (including a Decarbonisation Lead), The Guild of Students, Research, and Communications.

To drive our vision on sustainability, we not only have academics across the institution delivering pioneering research and teaching our next generation of changemakers, but also a well-connected network of sustainability professionals throughout the operational areas of the University. See our Sustainable Operations page for more information on the work we are doing on our campus and beyond.


Have you visited our Sustainable Operations page? This includes information on the work we are doing on campus and beyond. If you still have any questions or would like to get in touch, please email us at Alternatively, Staff and Students can use our internal communications guide.

There are opportunities to get involved in sustainability initiatives at the University of Birmingham whether you are a student, member of staff, or a member of the public. Visit our Get Involved page for information on joining these initiatives and networks.

Taking responsibility

We have set clear targets for what we need to do as a global civic institution to tackle the climate crisis. It is important, however, for external bodies to assess our targets and our effectiveness at achieving them to make sure we are committed to our promises. There is more information on this on our Sustainability and Social Responsibility Homepage.