Introduction to Sustainability at Newcastle University

Newcastle University aims to be net zero by 2030. Wondering how? Meet the team behind the plan…  

Ten years ago, Newcastle University’s Sustainability Team was created with just two employees looking after the University’s entire energy system. Today, we are a team of nine, responsible for environmental and energy management and driving improvement. 

Net zero by 2030 

The focus of most of our activity, at the moment, is net-zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2030. This target, among others, is in the University’s Climate Action Plan

The Climate Action Plan was created to address the climate crisis and our impact on it. The plan summarises the work carried out before publication, in 2021, and the targets we set out in a 10-point plan. We have been working on the 10-point plan (see below image) and are coming to the end of Phase 1. 

Importance of sustainability at Newcastle University 

 “The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.” – Robert Swan OBE

Sustainability is the ability to ‘meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’.1 In other words, it is the prominent need to cut resource exploitation to ensure there are sufficient supplies for generations to come. 

Sustainability must be a holistic approach, taking into account environmental, social and economic aspects.

Adopting a more sustainable way of life is not only essential to the protection of our ecosystems but also to economic growth and social wellbeing. Environmental issues such as climate change, plastic pollution and biodiversity loss have global effects, and most often affect people who are the most vulnerable, the most seriously. 

We know that we have to play our part in reducing our greenhouse gas emissions. Our Climate Action Plan outlines the action we want to take to reduce our negative impacts and increase our positive impacts locally and internationally. 

Upcoming event 

Interested in learning more about the Climate Action Plan? Why not attend our upcoming event? 

As we work on creating Phase 2 of the plan, we aim to look back on the previous phase and share our progress with the wider university community. Furthermore, we want to use the University community’s input to shape upcoming targets and goals. It is not something to be missed! 

Register now. 

And watch this space for next week’s blog post! 


  1. United Nations Brundtland Commission (1987). Available at: Sustainability – United Nations. (Accessed: 26th October 2022).

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