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Sustainability Performance and Expertise – Northumbria University

Northumbria University is internationally recognised for its performance and expertise in delivering sustainability: we reduced our carbon emissions by 50% in the past five years and are targeting zero carbon by 2040; our Environmental Management System gained the ISO14001:2015 international standard; and as a university we were ranked 4th in the UK (People & Planet) and 27th in the world (THE Impact League) for sustainability.

Our support for sustainability, however, extends beyond our own operations. Our Researchers are at the cutting edge of sustainability research and education – ranging from clean technologies and sustainable businesses models, to urban biodiversity and responsible design.

Northumbria University is further addressing the challenge of achieving net zero emissions through the recent launch of our Energy Futures programme. Recognising that this challenge is multi-dimensional and transcends disciplines, Energy Futures brings together energy expertise from across the University to benefit multiple external partners. This expertise includes energy materials, batteries, electric vehicles, heat and low carbon buildings as well as business models and policy.

Energy Futures leverages our position as project lead for the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Renewable Energy Northeast Universities (ReNU) which is a £5.4 million programme to train the next generation of innovators in renewable energy. ReNU has a portfolio of 27 companies including 12 SMEs, many of which are local businesses.

In addition to ReNU, Northumbria University is a founding partner (together with Newcastle and Durham Universities) of the EPSRC North East Centre for Energy Materials – one of six UK centres with funding from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund to drive Clean Growth. Through these initiatives we also work closely with the North East LEP and have recently co-founded the Energy Catalyst Board to drive economic growth stemming from low carbon opportunities. We also offer a range of CPD courses to develop essential sustainability skills. These include our ‘Climate Change and Business Resilience’ course, as well as accredited short courses in Environmental Management.

We encourage our partners and supporters to share their examples of good practice in tackling the climate emergency, reversing ecological collapse and delivering a just transition. NEECCo does not undertake to quality assure these case studies, and inclusion of a case study on this website does not imply endorsement of the project by NEECCo or by its partners.

Some case studies will feature organisations who are involved in fossil fuel industries, or who are open to challenge on other aspects of their performance in relation to our objectives. NEECCo recognises that if we are to reach our ambitious objectives, all organisations and individuals within the north east will need to adapt their behaviour and actions. We want our case studies to encourage this process. Our commitment to achieving a just transition from a carbon-based economy to a green economy requires us to encourage positive steps wherever they are to be found. 

We are interested in your views on the case studies so please choose to like/ dislike each case study.