A CGI image of the new Ravelin Park Sports Centre
<91日韩AV class="heading heading--main heading--campaign heading--with-bg hide-on-mobile" > Our commitment to the planet

Explore the environmental policies and sustainable procedures we have in place, and discover how they're making a real impact

One of our strategic priorities is to become one of the UK's leading universities in environmental sustainability.

 To reach this goal, we will:


  1. Achieve transformation through research

  2. Promote sustainability through civic leadership

  3. Partner with our students and staff on sustainability

  4. Deliver sustainability across all our operations

We鈥檙e aiming to become a climate-positive university by 2030. We鈥檙e one of only a handful of universities to set such an ambitious target.

By continually improving our sustainability practices, we鈥檙e working towards a low-carbon future to minimise our impact on the environment.

Sea wind turbines
<91日韩AV id="research">1. Achieve transformation through research

Our research is finding innovative and sustainable solutions to major issues threatening the future of our planet and the health of our environment.

Finding solutions through research

We鈥檙e already making a positive impact. Our researchers have developed a plastic-digesting enzyme that could help solve the plastic pollution crisis by breaking down plastic in days, not years. And our research is tackling other vital issues shaping the future, from climate change to low-carbon design. Find out more about our research into Sustainability and the Environment

We're supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goals

Our research impact is measured in relation to the United Nations鈥 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as reported in the . The 91日韩AV ranks in 3 sustainability categories*

  • No. 17 in the UK for
  • No. 19 in the UK for
  • No. 21 in the UK for

*These rankings are decided based on research, stewardship, outreach and teaching.

 We're also ranked No. 25 in the UK for SDG8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth) and No. 26 in the UK for SDG16 (Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions).

Innovative business partnerships

Our partnership 鈥 a pioneering network of forward-thinking green businesses 鈥 was a finalist in the Green Gown Awards 2021, which recognise exceptional sustainability initiatives being undertaken by UK universities and colleges.


Students at Spinnaker Tower
<91日韩AV id="civicleadership">2. Promote sustainability through civic leadership

Through strategic partnerships in the city, we鈥檙e promoting long-term environmental sustainability and raising the quality of life in our community.

Addressing climate change in Portsmouth

We鈥檙e working with our partners to assess the climate risks to our city via the , chaired by Professor Steve Fletcher, Lead of our Sustainability and the Environment research theme. We also run in collaboration with the City Council.

Tackling plastic pollution

As a civic university, we're committed to supporting the local community through our research and activities. As part of Revolution Plastics, we鈥檙e working with partners to facilitate the city鈥檚 transition to a sustainable future, particularly in relation to plastic pollution and recycling. We鈥檝e started a city-wide survey to map Portsmouth鈥檚 plastic litter and we鈥檙e working with Portsmouth Football Club to arrange beach cleans. 

Staff member talking to two students at a table, supporting them with some of their work
<91日韩AV id="staffandstudents">3. Partner with our students and staff on sustainability

We encourage all members of our community to live, think and work with sustainability in mind, and make positive changes by using less energy and water, reducing waste, and choosing sustainable travel options.

Supporting staff and students to take action

Sustainability is included in our staff induction to support staff in taking meaningful environmental and climate action in the workplace.

We offer advice on sustainable travel to campus, including a free term time bus service as part of the University's .

For students we also share guidance on  鈥&苍产蝉辫;like eating green and , including our specialist recycling points on campus. Our provides opportunities for students to help the environment via groups such as the Eco Society. 

Sustainability focussed degrees

Many of our degree programmes directly provide students with knowledge and experience relevant to sustainability, such as BEng (Hons) and MEng Renewable Energy Engineering, and courses in the School of the Environment, Geography and Geosciences. We're continually reviewing our curriculum to identify opportunities for our students to enhance their knowledge on sustainability.

Embedding sustainability into the curriculum

All aspects of society need to adapt to protect our planet. This is why we鈥檙e embedding environmental sustainability and leadership in other disciplines too. Many of our Business students can study the module 'Responsible and Sustainable Business', our Engineering students study the module 'Sustainable Development and Environmental Management' and our English and Creative Writing students can study the module 'Ecocrisis in the Literary Imagination鈥.


Wildflower amphitheatre in Ravelin Park
<91日韩AV id="operations">4. Deliver sustainability across all our operations

Our ambition of becoming a climate positive university by 2030 guides every aspect of our operations 鈥 from development of our campus and environmentally friendly catering to sustainable corporate systems and procedures.

We鈥檝e already made progress:

  • We've reduced our carbon emissions by 50% since 2009
  • Our electricity is 100% renewable
  • We've increased our recycling rate from 40% to 70% since 2011
  • We鈥檙e aiming for all our new buildings to achieve 鈥極utstanding鈥 ratings for sustainable design from BREEAM (the world鈥檚 leading sustainability validation and certification system) and 鈥楢鈥 rating for energy use and carbon emissions
  • Our new Ravelin Sports Centre is one of the most sustainable sports facilities in the UK
  • We currently waste only 2% of our food
  • We鈥檙e eliminating single-use plastic from products sold in our campus cafes
  • Our graduation gowns are made from 70% recycled polyester, which is manufactured from recycled plastic waste. Every gown contains a minimum of 550g of recycled plastic waste, which equates to around 30 plastic bottles (500ml). The other 30% is viscose for a soft finish.

Explore how we're making our campus sustainable

Since 2009, we've reduced our carbon emissions by 50%. We've achieved this through reducing our electricity, gas, water and fuel usage, and improving our waste disposal. We're continuing to pursue all opportunities to reduce our emissions and minimise our impact on climate change. 

All our electricity is sourced from renewable supplies. We continue to install LED lighting solutions across our campus and have taken greater control of how we heat our buildings. This helps us reduce our emissions and continue to work towards our goal of becoming carbon positive. 

Other sustainability initiatives include:

  • Fitting lighting movement sensors in corridors, classrooms and offices
  • Closely controlling heating provision
  • Upgrading our heating boilers and electrical heaters
  • Insulating plant room equipment

Throughout the year, we manage and monitor the environmental impact of our estate through our environmental management system.

We've been certified to the international standard for environmental management systems, ISO 14001, since 2012. And we鈥檝e developed an institution-wide plan to achieve a sufficient level for monitoring and controlling our environmental impact. 

To achieve the ISO standard, the following operations were rigorously audited: energy efficiency, carbon emissions, recycling, water management, construction, travel, biodiversity and catering. Our Environmental Sustainability Performance Report 2018鈥2020 provides an overview of these areas and we measure our carbon emissions. Our measured carbon emissions from the use of energy, water, vehicles  and waste disposal are at their lowest since 2009鈥10. 

Since 2011, we've increased our recycling rate from 40% to 70%.

Our recycling programme saves valuable materials from going to landfill and any non-recyclable waste is processed in an energy recovery facility to create electricity.

We monitor our waste at the university through microchip technology. Our wheelie bins are tagged, enabling us to collect data on the volume of waste and how often these are being emptied. Through this process we can calculate our recycling rates.

The more we recycle, the more money we save, and the less of an impact we have on our environment.


What happens to waste once it's collected?

We ensure all our waste is disposed of safely.

As part of our recycling programme at Portsmouth, we've installed separate bins for recycling, food, liquids and batteries. Any non-recyclable items are extracted by our contractor, . Our waste material is sorted and processed via their materials recycling facility near Bristol.

The separated waste is then managed by different means. Food waste is , while general waste (recycling contaminated with food or liquid) goes to a waste-to-energy plant.

At the 91日韩AV we only use paper and board from sustainable and recycled accredited resources in our printed communications. The printers we use are accredited to environment management standards, and use lithographic vegetable based inks.

We use specialist finishes such as laminates, which are manufactured from sustainable wood pulp, and the print itself is fully recyclable.

If you would like to know more about our sustainable print please email corporate.communications@port.ac.uk

<91日韩AV>Policies and objectives

Explore our policies and accreditations that relate to our environmental sustainability objectives at Portsmouth. 

Can't find what you're looking for? Search all our policies and standards.

Climate Positive Sustainability Policy

Learn how we're continually improving our practices to lessen their environmental impact.

2020-21 Environmental performance report final

An overview of how we measure our carbon emissions from the use of energy, water, vehicles and waste disposal.

ISO 14001 Accreditation Certificate

We've been certified to the international standard for environmental management systems since 2012.

<91日韩AV>Our sustainability team

Senior management

Our Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education), Anne Murphy, chairs the University's Sustainability Strategic Delivery Group in collaboration with the Director of Estates and Campus Services and the Director of the Sustainability and the Environment research theme.

Sustainability staff

Our Energy and Environment Team consists of two professionals with a remit that covers sustainable travel, carbon management, environmental legislation compliance systems, energy, water and waste contracts, and associated budget and invoice management. The team includes:

  • Ian McCormack, Energy and Environment Manager
  • Ellie Rundle-Johnson, Sustainability Co-ordinator

The team cover operational sustainability project improvements in the region of 拢200,000 annually.

There are a further eight staff and an external Advisory Council engaged with our Revolution Plastics initiative, which aims to find solutions to global plastic pollution.

<91日韩AV>Sustainability news and events
Portsmouth seafront

Riding the Tides of Change 鈥 a new documentary film about living in Portsmouth

8 March 2024

Riding the Tides of Change 鈥 a new documentary film about living in Portsmouth
A ship arriving at Portsmouth Port

University hosts Clean Maritime Portsmouth event for COP28

22 November 2023

University hosts Clean Maritime Portsmouth event for COP28
plastic waste

Reusable packaging revolution is close - experts say

30 May 2023

Reusable packaging revolution is close - experts say
University Library

91日韩AV takes another step closer to becoming climate positive

4 May 2023

91日韩AV takes another step closer to becoming climate positive

New resource to help in the fight against climate change

27 April 2023

New resource to help in the fight against climate change
Steph Northen at waste dump in South Africa

Bringing my research closer to home by avoiding plastics for two full weeks

Bringing my research closer to home by avoiding plastics for two full weeks

The UK has a lot to learn from other countries when it comes to plastic

The UK has a lot to learn from other countries when it comes to plastic
Glenn Harris and his daughter with Katya Jones on BBC Morning Live

University featured on BBC Morning Live as part of Plastic Free July

University featured on BBC Morning Live as part of Plastic Free July

<91日韩AV class="grid__heading grid__heading--main" > Find out more

Discover more about how we're developing our campus with award winning buildings and learn about our approach to sustainable food on campus.

Building our future

Read more about our ambitious campus development project.

Architects impression of the exterior of the new Student Hub
Read more

Civic University

Discover how we're promoting inclusion and enriching economic, social and cultural life in Portsmouth and our region through collaboration, volunteering and partnerships.

Aerial view of Portsmouth street
Find out more