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We all have a part to play in supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goals., We are committed to raising awareness of sustainability matters amongst all of our staff and students, as well as using our education and research to support the UN SDGs beyond our campus.

Details of our targets and actions can be found in our Environmental Sustainability Policy and our Sustainability Objectives & Actions Tracker. These are supported by a maintained annual budget. For more information about any of the below, please contact the Sustainability Adviser.

Education & Research for Sustainable Development

Our University Strategy commits to supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goals through all of our activity, including the education that we provide.  This commitment in the University is championed by Professor George Marston, Pro-Vice Chancellor.

Our Business School is a United Nations Principles of responsible Management Education Champion School – one of 38 globally chosen from over 700 higher education institutions committed to installing ethics, responsibility and sustainability skills and values in our graduates.

We include consideration of sustainability within our courses – through teaching, case studies and projects – including business, fashion, engineering and healthcare. 

Students who wish to help monitor and develop how the UN Sustainable Development Goals are embedded within their course can do so as part of our collaborative project with the Students’ Union.  Contact the Sustainability Adviser to find out more.

Research & Living Labs

Northumbria University hosts a comprehensive research portfolio around the subjects of sustainability and responsibility, seeking innovative solutions to some of the world’s greatest challenges.  To find out more, visit our Changing Challenging World pages and our Responsible Business pages.

We use our campus and operations as a ‘Living Lab’ – using it to trial research and ideas which could have a global impact (as well as supporting sustainability at Northumbria). 

Every year we work with a number of students on projects linked to sustainability here at the University. Projects undertaken in 2017-18 included:

  • Law & Compliance in the Faculty of Engineering & Environment
  • Coach Lane Biodiversity Report (MSc Safety, Health Environmental Management)
  • Waste Management in student Halls – how can we encourage good recycling behaviours? (BSc Hons Environmental Sciences)
  • Waste Duty of Care – Audit checklists and training materials for Northumbria University (BSc Hons Environmental Sciences)
  • Recycling behaviour – How do bin design & signage influence waste behaviours? (BSc Hons Environmental Sciences)


We use the research of our staff and students to inform our sustainability efforts on campus, but we also use our campus to inform sustainability research – from exploring pollinators on campus to trialling a variety of PV arrays on our Pandon Building to inform teaching and international research.   

If you would like to undertake research applicable to sustainability at the University, please get in touch.

Student & Staff Engagement

There are dozens of opportunities for staff and students to get involved with sustainability at Northumbria University.  Students and staff can get green-fingered at the University allotment, audit environmental initiatives at the University and beyond, support our food bank donation collections, undertake surveys and building walkabouts or even enjoy a sustainability cookery class or workshop.  Our Go Green week takes place in October each year, packed with events and activities for all tastes – not forgetting our Go Green week Fair…  

Our Sustainable Futures student group meets throughout the year to influence sustainability projects at the University and the Students Union.  All students are welcome to these meetings to hear about what is going on, to input into our Environmental Sustainability Policy and Carbon Management Plan, and to make any suggestions for projects that they wish to see developed with resource and support available from the University and Students’ Union.  For more information, contact the Sustainability Adviser. 

We have participated in the NUS Green Impact Scheme for over five years.  This scheme sees staff work together to complete a workbook of activities to achieve the Bronze, Silver or Gold level.  They are then audited by our students following IEMA accredited training. Results of Green Impact can be found in our Annual Report.

Students can engage with the University’s Environmental Sustainability Policy and supporting Plans (including the Carbon Management Plan) through the Sustainable Futures student group and/or via their student representative who attends the relevant groups.  For 2018-19, this is Simon Noble.   


It is important that all staff and students are aware of sustainability and how it affects them at Northumbria, which is why sustainability is included in all inductions. For an introduction to sustainability at the University, you can view our short sustainability video. 

Contact Us

If you have any suggestions for events, activities or improving sustainability at Northumbria University, or have any questions, please get in touch with the Sustainability Adviser.

Trade Union Environment Representatives wishing to engage with the University on environmental and sustainability matters should contact the Sustainability Adviser or the University Sustainability Management Group representative within their Faculty/ Service.


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