The University of Sheffield has joined the UN’s Race to Zero campaign, an alliance committed to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050 at the latest.
The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change’s (UNFCCC) initiative, backed by the UK Government, aims to rally leadership and support from businesses, cities, regions and investors for a resilient zero carbon recovery.
The university’s latest commitment follows its previous target to become carbon neutral on campus by 2030 and across all its activities by 2038.
It achieved a 47% reduction in gross carbon emissions during the 2019/20 academic year, exceeding its targeted 43% reduction since 2005/06, driven by a number of factors including efforts to improve energy efficiency on campus and scaling back of campus activities due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In its new sustainability strategy, the university has also pledged to embed ‘Education for Sustainable Development’ into all taught courses, use research to tackle modern sustainability challenges and tackle high carbon university travel.
Professor Sue Hartley, Vice President for Research at the University of Sheffield said: “The Race to Zero is an opportunity for the university to publicly commit to climate action. We are guided by climate science which tells us that we must act swiftly to become carbon neutral. The entire university community is working together to drive down our emissions as quickly as possible.”