Our ambitions

Addressing the UN Sustainable Development Goals is our central mission. This is supported by eight overarching targets that cover our priorities for sustainability, driven by our seven sustainability working groups. The eighth target, under research, is driven by the University’s Climate Futures research theme.

All of this work is driven by an ethos that is based on accountability and collaborative working to make an international impact through local action. Beneath this, our day to day work will make sure we are living up to our ethos, achieving our targets, and ultimately meeting our central mission.

Today, as you will see in section three, we are an institution that has a lot to be proud of. We have new frameworks in place to achieve stretching ambitions and processes which are making a tangible difference on campus. This plan puts action to these frameworks and pivots our processes toward not only being good on campus but being leaders in the sector.


Working in partnerships both locally and globally, we will address the UN Sustainable Development Goals, harnessing our strengths in research and education to drive forward the solutions and cultural change needed to move to a sustainable future.

Our approach

  • We will use our strengths in teaching and research to drive forward solutions to climate change and environmental sustainability
  • We will recognise the tremendous amount of work that is already happening across the campus in all areas of activity and working with stakeholders to maximise our positive impact
  • We will be a responsible civic partner that work across Liverpool, and supports the ambitions of the City Region
  • We will support the seven working groups to address areas of activity that require focussed attention with a particular focus in the early stages on our operational environmental performance.

Our action

  • Use good governance to coordinate cross-organization working groups to identify institutional sustainability projects
  • Publish plans, progress, and performance targets, to measure our progress and adapt to feedback where necessary
  • Develop a high-quality and sustainable campus using our environmental management system to manage environmental performance
  • Actively share knowledge, insights, and best practice.

Eight key ambitions

Our overall strategy is driven by a key ambition from each working group. You can find more detail on how each workgroup is achieving these ambitions on their webpages.

Biodiversity Action group

To be a species and habitat rich campus, supporting biodiversity to thrive by enhancing the quality, extent and management of green spaces across our University estate.

Built environment working group

To be a thought leader in practical and theoretical issues surrounding the sustainability of the built environment, using live projects on our estate to develop, test and design sustainability and assessment tools that can be adopted by industry.

Climate action group

To be a climate-resilient campus that has minimal negative and maximum positive environmental impact, achieving net zero carbon by 2035.

Culture and community

To be a sustainably conscious University community, with an engrained culture of sustainability activism to support the delivery of our Sustainability strategy.

Education for Sustainable Development

To develop and implement a programme that educates, activates and enables students, graduates, and staff to make their contribution to a sustainable future.

Travel and transport working group

To be the most active travel-friendly campus in the UK by improving cycle and walking infrastructure, reducing single-occupancy car journeys, and making a cultural shift to wider use of digital technologies.

Responsible consumption and production

To be a supporter of the local circular economy through managing our waste as a valuable resource, adopting a whole life cycle approach to ensure the efficient use of natural resources, and influencing environmental excellence across our supply chain.


To be originators of multidisciplinary expertise, generating responsible research and innovative solutions to safeguard the future of global citizens and the sustainability of our planet.

How we will know we’re achieving our ambitions

We’ll know we’re achieving our ambitions where they coalesce into three major targets around our estate, education, and combined research and sustainability work:

  • We will achieve net zero carbon by 2035
  • We will reduce our waste by 50% by 2025
  • Every student will undertake a sustainability-related module, extra-curricular activity, or learning as part of their programme.

Until then...

This work takes time but to get there we are continually making improvements that take us to our goals. This includes:

  • We will continue removing single-use plastics unless needed for medical or research purposes as part of our ambition to reduce waste by 50% by 2025
  • We will expand the availability of bike storage and the length of our bike network to make active travel the travel mode of choice
  • We will cultivate and develop species-rich habitats across the whole of our estate and work with our partners to help to enhance biodiversity throughout the LCR
  • We will embed the ambitions of the UN SDGs in work plans through debate, discussion, and awareness-raising of this activity
  • We will continue to push the boundaries of environmental sustainability in all our building work using our expertise, assets, and relationships, to lead the way in the sector.

Back to: Sustainability