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SDGs submission

Sustainable Development Goals submission

Our commitment to the fight against climate change

We’ve always taken our environmental responsibilities seriously and are proud of our track record. We know that sustainability is as important to our students, people and stakeholders as it is to us. That’s why we are redoubling our efforts in the fight against climate change.

In February 2020, Buckinghamshire New University pledged to go carbon net zero by 2030 - 20 years ahead of the Government’s target – declared a climate emergency and joined the Climate Commission Council.

The University also signed up to the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Accord, a collective response by education institutions to help the environment. We have submitted our first report to the United Nations on our progress against the 17 SDGs, and are publicly sharing our submission to provide transparency around the progress we have made.  

Read about how our University community celebrated Love Our Planet day with a range of environmentally-friendly activities here, and how students are embracing sustainability in the amazing work they create.

The University’s environmental achievements include:

  • already exceeding the carbon footprint target 2020, with a 64% reduction since 2011;
  • a 140% increase in the amount of renewable energy generated on campus;
  • global research to give more people access to safe drinking water;
  • electric vehicles comprising 66% of our fleet;
  • removing more than 5,000 plastic straws from our bars;
  • achieving a 12% year-on-year reduction in the amount of waste produced; and
  • redistributing used and unwanted items such as kettles and toasters between students through our BNU New Usage scheme.

Environmental Annual Report and our sustainability

We monitor and report on our progress against our environmental and sustainability targets, and our Environmental Policy is available here.

You can also read more on what we are doing towards improving our Biodiversity, Fairtrade and Water, Waste Reduction and Travel.

Buckinghamshire New University has achieved the Carbon Trust Standard in recognition of measuring, managing and reducing carbon emissions.

Here are some of the projects we have undertaken to reduce our carbon footprint.

  • Lighting systems with presence and absence detection, and daylight dimming
  • Up to 80% heat/cooling recovery from ventilation systems
  • Variable speed pumps that reduce energy requirements under different loads
  • Highly efficient air source heat pumps
  • Sub-metering and monitoring of all systems with a building management computer system
  • Automatic shut-down of computers via software.
  • Use of electric vans for post delivery and maintenance staff.
  • Installation of solar panels capable of producing up to 138,000 kWh of energy per year.  This equates to an annual saving of 70 tonnes of carbon.

The University works with and supports the Student Union to promote sustainability to students.  Information is provided to the students on how to live more environmentally friendly through the Student Union's community guide.  The University also supports the Student Union to run an annual Go Green Week.  In 2018 Go Green Week focused on recycling and became Recycling Awareness Week.  The Student Union also promote sustainability to the students through their submission to the NUS for Green Impact.

Volunteering opportunities for students are available from the Student Union including working on sustainability projects.  This years Give it a Go Week saw students helping out at the One Can Trust local food bank, in the garden of Wycombe Museum, sorted out donations in our very own BNU New Usage store and went down to Brighton for the day to clean the beach

The University is currently developing an environmental management system based on ISO14001.

In June 2018 Buckinghamshire New University signed a declaration that it did not hold investments in extractor fossil fuel companies and that they will be excluded from future investments.

The University runs working groups for carbon reduction, waste management and travel. These groups bring university staff and the Student Union together to discuss and implement ideas to improve the sustainability of the University.

The Estates, Facilities and Services Directorate implement sustainability within the University estate. Steve Edge, Head of Sustainability, leads this team with specialist support from an Estates Manager and a Maintenance Supervisor who implement new sustainability initiatives into the University estate.

If you would like more information on Sustainability at the University's please contact Steve Edge at