Sustainability statement

Our sustainable vision
Our purpose at UEA is to continue to build and develop our reputation as a leading UK university, delivering excellent research and teaching, and making a positive impact on the wider world. Our energy and carbon reduction programme speaks to our ongoing commitment to reduce the environmental impacts associated with our processes, activities and operations. Through infrastructure improvements and with help from our community of staff, researchers and students, we can look forward to the University of East Anglia continuing to inspire future generations of staff and students to step up to the carbon challenge.
– Professor David Richardson, Vice-Chancellor

We long been a leader in the field of environmental research and training and we are committed to replicating this success in how we care for our campus and its surrounding environment. Through effectively managing our estate, we strive to reduce the environmental impact of our operational activities and make a positive contribution to the local environment.

The Sustainability Board is a critically important part of the life of UEA, helping us shape the ways that our campus can respond to the challenges of the global climate and biodiversity emergencies. It is the forum through which our university community demonstrates how it is addressing the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
– Professor Dylan Edwards, Chair of the Sustainability Board and Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences

Sustainability is included within the portfolio of responsibilities of three members of our Executive Team (the University’s Senior Management Team). Professor Dylan Edwards, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, chairs the Sustainability Board. Dylan Edwards is retiring at the end of July 2021 and the new Chair will be Professor Christine Bovis-Cnossen who joins UEA in September 2021 in a new role of Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor. Professor Mark Searcey, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the Faculty of Science, and Ian Callaghan, Chief Resource Officer, are also Board members.

The Sustainability Board, which meets quarterly, supports and influences initiatives to improve performance at Executive Team level. The Sustainability Board reports to UEA Council, the executive governing body of the University. A representative of Council (currently the Deputy Chair, Dr Kathryn Skoyles), is a member of the Sustainability Board to enhance the active role that Council is taking in the sustainability agenda.  We will shortly appoint an individual to work as Sustainability Lead within the Chief Operating Officer’s team, who will help coordinate, promote and communicate what we are doing to become an exemplar sustainable campus.

In addition, we have recently invested around £4.5 million on replacing central boiler plant, upgrading CHPs, and installing thermal storage tanks on our district heating network. These have reduced carbon dioxide emissions to below our 1990 baseline.

We have invested around £2 million in energy efficiency measures since July 2018. Phase 1 of these measures has reduced our energy use by 7% and Phase 2 has offset the energy use of the New Science Building.

The Campus Development Programme is a key part of our NetZero strategy by improving energy efficiency of the original 1960s-built Lasdun Wall and reducing the footprint of the campus.

Environmental management
Our Environmental Management System (EMS) was first successfully audited to international standard ISO 14001 in May 2015. It has also been awarded the top level of the EcoCampus programme for EMS development within the HE sector, the EcoCampus Platinum Award.

We were successfully certified to the ISO 14001:2015 standard in May 2018.

Our EMS covers all UEA activities, products, and services at all sites. Sites are the buildings and land at NR4 7TJ, shown in the campus map, with the addition of the Edith Cavell Building (NR4 7UL), the Bob Champion Research Building (NR4 7UQ), Wood Hall (NR9 3DE), and Weybourne (NR25, research building). INTO UEA LLP is excluded from our EMS scope.

Our Sustainability Team coordinate the delivery of EMS targets, alongside colleagues from across the University. A multi-stakeholder Implementation Team is responsible for the delivery and reporting of objectives and targets under each environmental impact area.

Implementation Teams are: Energy and Carbon Reduction, Biodiversity, Purchasing, Waste and Water, Sustainable Food; Transport, Engagement and Communications, and Sustainable Labs. We also hope to set up a Built Environment Implementation Team in the near future. These Implementation Teams include staff and Student Union representatives and report to the Sustainability Board, and from there to UEA Council.

Read our Environmental Sustainability Policy

Core elements of our management system

  • Our Environmental Policy establishes our sustainable environmental management goals and principles of our approach to environmental management.
  • Our sustainability management structure sets responsibilities to ensure we have the resources to achieve our goals.
  • Our Environmental Programme, as determined by each impact area’s Implementation Team, helps to deliver commitments in our Environmental Policy.
  • Our Annual Environmental Reports show progress towards KPIs and targets in each environmental impact area.
  • General environmental awareness training is delivered to all staff through induction programmes. A programme of job-specific training is on-going, for example biodiversity training for all project managers and relevant staff. Several student induction programmes also include sustainability lectures.


Fully funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS)

Delivered and managed by:

  • Anglia Ruskin University Peterborough
  • Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Combined Authority
  • Innovate UK
  • New Anglia - Local Enterprise PArtnership for Norfolk and Suffolk
  • Norfolk County Council
  • Suffolk County Council
  • University of East Anglia Innovation Funding
  • University of Suffolk