Sustainability at Lincoln

Our Commitment to a Sustainable Future

The University of Lincoln recognises that we have a responsibility to reduce our environmental impact and to provide a sustainable future for generations to come. With the world facing an unprecedented rise in global temperatures, we have been developing a range of approaches to environmental sustainability that aim to reduce any negative effect that our operations may have, and to offer solutions to these challenges through our teaching and research. 

We have committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2040, with a 60 per cent reduction in carbon emissions by 2030, and are dedicated to contributing towards all 17 of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. We aim to be recognised for our local and global impact in the transition to net zero, and are proud to be ranked as a Gold Tier University in the 2023 Uswitch Green Universities Report – an annual study that assesses which universities are leading the way in green initiatives and renewable energy.

Committed to achieving net zero emissions by 2040, with a 60 per cent reduction in carbon emissions by 2030

Contributing towards all 17 of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals

Ranked as a Gold Tier University in the 2023 Uswitch Green Universities Report

Founding member of the Nature Positive Universities Alliance

UN Sustainability Goals incons

United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

Supporting the Sustainable Development Goals

The UN Sustainable Development Goals are an urgent call for action to tackle some of the world's most pressing problems. As a University created by its community for its community to reduce inequalities, we understand the role we can play in ensuring that in our rapidly-changing world, no one is left behind.

Our Focus on Net Zero

Our institution is forward-thinking and committed to tackling the global challenge of climate change by pursuing a net-zero agenda. We recognise our responsibility to make meaningful contributions towards reducing carbon emissions, preserving the environment, and creating a sustainable future for generations to come.

We are proud to integrate the net-zero agenda into every aspect of our operations, including teaching and learning, impactful research, industry partnerships, and our day-to-day estates operations. We believe that our students, staff, and wider community have a crucial role to play in promoting a sustainable way of life, with our commitment to net zero underpinning all of our actions and decisions.

A Nature Positive University

The University of Lincoln is proud to be one of the founding universities of the Nature Positive Universities alliance and has committed to the maintenance and development of its natural spaces, including looking after biodiversity. The Nature Positive Universities Alliance is a global network of universities that have made the pledge to work towards a nature-positive goal to halt, prevent, and reverse nature loss.

Our Action Plan
Wildflower meadows on the Brayford Pool Campus

Informing Policy Through Research

Our research is firmly focused on the net zero agenda, and we strive for impactful insight that informs policy, shapes industry practice, and helps to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon future. 

To fulfil the ambitions of our Strategic Plan 2022-27, we need to continue on this positive trajectory, establishing greater scale and quality and ensuring that our research continues to address local and global priorities, focusing on our key strengths and framing our research and collaborations in a way that helps to support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

The University has been awarded the prestigious Queen’s Anniversary Prize in recognition of its work supporting the success and sustainability of the UK’s food and farming industries through innovations in research, education, and technology.

The Queens Anniversary Prize logo


The Queen's Anniversary Prize

In November 2023, the University was one of just 22 institutions to be awarded the Queen's Anniversary Prize. This award recognises the excellent work of the University's Lincoln Institute for Agri-food Technology in supporting the success and sustainability of the UK's food and farming industries.

Teaching and Learning

Sustainability is embedded in our teaching and learning at Lincoln. Many of our programmes now include modules focusing on sustainability issues, giving students the knowledge to become innovative problem-solvers capable of designing sustainable solutions for real-world challenges.

The University of Lincoln is also proud to take part in SDG Teach In, an annual campaign to put the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and sustainability, at the heart of all stages of education, and across all disciplines. This annual campaign calls upon universities to include the SDGs within their teaching, learning, and assessment during the campaign.

Get Involved

Outside of their studies, our students can engage in a variety of volunteering projects through the Sustainability Team, Students’ Union, and local environment groups. There’s also the opportunity to participate in sustainability-themed events, such as our Climate Action Festival.

The Students’ Union’s Environment, Conservation and Opportunities (E.C.O) Society aims to make constructive changes to the campus and local environment by creating green spaces, improving habitats, and raising the profile of environmental issues. In addition to making a positive environmental impact, the society offers a great chance to meet like-minded students with a passion for environmental issues.

Find out More

Visit our sustainability website to find out more about what University of Lincoln is doing to become a more sustainable organisation, from recycling and waste management, to environmental initiatives and sustainable transport plans.

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A view of Lincoln from south common