As a research-intensive University founded on social responsibility, we have the expertise and partnerships to play a significant role in tackling global sustainability challenges.

In line with our aspiration to be a leading global University, we will embed sustainability in all of our activities, seeking to change society and the environment positively through our research and education. Our ambition is to deliver sustainability through pioneering research and innovative education, the behaviour and actions of our students and staff, and engagement with our local communities.

Our national and international collaborations will draw on our broad disciplinary and interdisciplinary strengths to address the major global challenges of our time, expressed by the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We will utilise our expertise and our extensive network of partners to take a scientific approach to building and adapting our campuses at Edgbaston and Dubai to be innovative and smart, efficient, and flexible.

Read our Birmingham 2030 goals

See our key priorities

Discover our case studies

Our Birmingham 2030 goals are to:

Use our research and education to make a major global contribution to the UN Sustainable Development Goals

Collaborate with Birmingham, Dubai, and their wider regions to tackle sustainability

Achieve net zero carbon for scope one and two by 2035, and overall by 2045

Underpinning these goals are our key priorities

Our key priorities will be:

Using major University initiatives to develop and share our research and impact on sustainability

Birmingham’s contribution to research in sustainability will impact globally, including through The Exchange, COP26, the Forum for Global Challenges, and the Commonwealth Games. Through initiatives such as the Institute for Global Innovation, the Birmingham Institute for Forest Research, and our new sustainability research institute, we will address the UN Sustainable Development Goals, from discovery research through to changing the world, in areas such as mitigating climate change, creating and marketing technological solutions, and developing more sustainable cities.

Using the UN Sustainable Development Goals to develop educational material for each discipline

We will equip our students to be knowledgeable practitioners of sustainability, ensuring our courses address sustainability in the context of each subject. We will enable our graduates to be global citizens, insightful leaders, and contributors to a more sustainable future in their chosen career and their lives. We will draw on our academic breadth to develop programmes on climate change and sustainable solutions, from natural to social capital.

Contributing to sustainability locally through collaboration with our city and region

We will expand our activities on the Tyseley Energy Innovation Park to create and test new technologies that will move energy in Birmingham and elsewhere to net zero carbon, including energy storage, the cold economy, the decarbonisation of heat, and recycling. Through The Exchange we will engage our local communities in key issues around sustainability.

Developing sustainable, smart campuses and ways of working

We will work with our industrial partners to use technology to support our net zero carbon goal, running our campuses more sustainably, reducing emissions and optimising our campus for our community and the planet. Our Dubai campus will embrace sustainable practices, providing an exemplar building that can adapt to changes in technology, learning and climate. Utilising technology and mobile applications, students and staff will be able to maximise their efficiency and work smarter. We will continue our commitment to maintaining high environmental, social and governance standards across our investment portfolios.

Supporting staff and students to be knowledgeable about issues of sustainability

We will support our community to consider the personal actions they can take to reduce their carbon footprint and contribute to socially responsible activities. We will support reduced car use through the redevelopment of the University Station, development of new pedestrian and cycle routes, and more flexible working. We will use campus Living Labs for staff and students to research into sustainability and evidence reductions in emissions, and develop plans to achieve net zero carbon.

Our case studies

Our case studies

Birmingham Institute of Forest Research

Birmingham Energy Capital