We've ranked top-five in the People and Planet Green League Awards since the league began.

The University of Gloucestershire has a long-standing commitment to sustainability across all our courses, plans and activities. We aim to challenge unsustainable practices and to transform the ways we think and learn, to create more promising futures for all. The university is widely acknowledged as a pioneer and sector leader for tackling sustainability as an educational and professional development priority. We’ve been ranked ‘1st Class’ in the People and Planet Green League since the league began and received a special recognition award in 2013 for our consistent high performance. We are also regularly acknowledged through UK Awards (such as the Green Gowns) and international recognition schemes (such as the UNU Flagship Award).

For a snapshot of Sustainability activity across the university, please see this Prezi.

For news and updates on sustainability please see Twitter: @UniGlosSustain or Facebook: UniGlos Sustainability

In this section:

Sustainability strategy and targets
Progress and performance
Education for sustainability
Community engagement and partnerships
Sustainable transport

Strategy and targets

The Promising Futures: A Sustainability Strategy 2009-2015 
outlines the university’s commitment to sustainability across the institution and to progressive improvement of our performance. Its ultimate goal is to contribute through our education, research, outreach and operational activities to improving  quality of life of the communities we serve.

Read more about our academic targets and corporate targets.

Sustainability is a prominent and recurring theme throughout the University’s Strategic Plan 2012-17 and embedded in other strategic frameworks of the university.

Progress and performance

Our progress in sustainability is continually assessed across three main themes:

  • Performance: a university that continuously improves our sustainability performance and meets our carbon commitments.
  • Profile: a university that is recognised as a sector leader in sustainability and known for our distinctive profile in education for sustainability.
  • Participation: a university that actively engages staff, students and stakeholders in its sustainability activities.
  • Partnerships: a university that builds and supports partnerships for sustainability locally, nationally and internationally.


The university is recognised internationally for our work in Education for Sustainability (EfS) bringing future-facing, transformative approaches to learning into both the formal curriculum and the wider student experience. EfS work forms an important part of our strategic commitment to sustainability, building on our tradition of education innovation and excellent support for student learning, employability and social enterprise.

The university invests in EfS through curriculum development, staff development, outreach and partnerships. EfS is integrated across the institution through academic policies and systems, professional support and student experiences initiatives.

Priority areas of work include:

Learning for Sustainable Futures (LSF)
LSF is the university’s award-winning professional support programme, which funds staff to lead new projects and provides bespoke mentoring and professional development opportunities. More about current projects and funding opportunities is in the LSF brochure, the LSF scheme outline, or you can contact Dr Alex Ryan: aryan@glos.ac.uk

Learning for sustainable futures awards 2015-16 expression of interest form (Word document)

Staff development 
Staff in both academic and professional departments are supported with targeted activities, guidance, resources and professional recognition, to develop their thinking and practice in EfS.

Student experience 
Students can benefit from sustainability internships, volunteering, action projects and other professional opportunities, in partnership with the UNU RCE Severn and Degreeplus.

Partnerships and projects
The university generates income and engages in research and development in EfS, collaborating with HE sector and government agencies, professional bodies and institutions across the globe. Our expertise in EfS has been recognised through a range of external indicators, including sector rankings, awards and recognition from expert peers. The university is regularly invited to inform national and international initiatives in EfS, reflecting our specialisms in institutional change, curriculum innovation and professional development.

Our approach to EfS is explained in the following briefings:

Education for sustainability: a guide for educators on teaching and learning approaches 
Education for sustainability: a guide for university managers on needs and opportunities 



We’re working towards an ambitious stretch target of 40% reduction by 2020 against a baseline year of 2005. Read more:

Carbon commitments 
Carbon management plan 
Carbon strategy 2010-2020 


Our catering provision is currently operated by BaxterStorey, who integrate sustainability throughout their business model and are currently the only company in the sector to have invested in a dedicated specialist responsible for developing environmental management schemes both for themselves and their clients.


The university recognises that the ways we choose to travel impact on our health, finances, communities and the global environment.

Our Sustainable Travel Action Plan encourages smarter travel choices for staff, students and visitors, with actions to increase cycling and walking, address parking issues and reduce the overall need to travel. These actions help us to be a good neighbour – reducing congestion, parking pressures, air pollution and noise – so we help to model good sustainability practice in the region. 

Visitors can find details of how to reach our campuses by public transport - including directions from train stations, Park and Ride facilities and via the inter-campus bus services.

Staff and students can find details of our free bike loan scheme, online car share forums, discounted car share parking permits and bus tickets, tax free bikes for staff, cycling facilities and routes. 


The university has been highly commended by the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust in its category ‘Outstanding Contribution to Nature by a Gloucestershire Business’ for our on-going work to enrich the county’s biodiversity both in and out of the classroom.


Our commitment to responsible procurement processes deliver value for money while actively pursuing environmental and socially responsible products, services and buildings.

Sustainable procurement flexible framework
Sustainable procurement strategy
Sustainable procurement guidelines  
Sustainability catering policy


Our total waste generation was reduced by 54% by 2014, ahead of our target of 25% reduction by 2020. Waste management strategy.


We take our fund management activities seriously and are committed to constant monitoring and renewal of our investments in line with our institutional values and ethos.

Ethical investment policy


We have held Fairtrade status since 2006, with both our university and our Student Union having Fairtrade policies and commitments to offer Fairtrade products in all campus outlets and catering for events and meetings.

UGSU Fairtrade policy

University of Gloucestershire Fairtrade policy

Community engagement and partnerships

The university hosts the RCE Severn which is a Regional Centre of Expertise (RCE) in sustainability education, endorsed by the United Nations University and one of 135 RCE’s worldwide. The RCE acts to connect and support the Severn region in moving towards sustainable development, through participatory engagement, learning activities and partnership building. RCE Severn provides a platform for partners across the West Midlands and South West to work together to develop and implement innovative projects and new initiatives in sustainability education.

RCE Severn brochure


The university seeks to increase opportunities and expertise in sustainability research across university departments and research institutes. This has been supported by the European Commission through a Marie Curie Research Fellowship (2009-2011) to explore and build capacity for interdisciplinary sustainability research activity with staff across all faculties and to support action research on the integration of Education for Sustainability in professional courses at the university.

Contact us

Dr Alex Ryan

Director of Sustainability

01242 715416

Barbara Rainbow

Sustainability Co-ordinator and Administrator
01242 715395