Set out within the eleven Climate Action Framework principles are a commitment to carbon neutrality in company vehicle emissions, heating, and electricity by 2030 as well as halving emissions from purchased goods and services, waste and employee commuting by the same date.

Developed with input from staff across the University, campus trade unions and the SU (students’ union), the principles will now guide how the University conducts business and will inform the development of our next steps to meet the challenging objectives the University has set itself. In declaring a climate emergency on the same day, the University and the SU are together demonstrating their commitment to responding to climate change.

The University’s Climate Action Framework principles and climate emergency declaration were agreed by University Council at a meeting on Thursday May 14.

Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Ian White said: “We recognise the clear scientific evidence and the need for urgent action across society to tackle dangerous, anthropogenic climate change and its impact on both humanity and biodiversity.

“By adopting eleven Climate Action Framework Principles we are backing up the declaration with commitments to action. I want to thank all those members of our community who have contributed to developing them so far, in particular Professor Pete Walker and the members of the Climate Action Framework working groups.”

“Although we all face enormous challenges from the Covid-19 pandemic, climate change is a long-term systemic risk which the University has been engaged in addressing for many years. Now, however, in particular as we increase levels of activity on campus in the coming months, we will also be looking for opportunities to operate in a more sustainable way.”

“Universities can have an important role to play in addressing the climate emergency, not just through restricting their own emissions and in conducting research, but also in educating students to become future leaders and innovators with the skills and experience to respond to the climate crisis. They also can have a key role in contributing to local, national and international responses.”

The University of Bath was the first UK university to have a Carbon Management Plan. Despite significant growth in its estate, investing in new teaching, research and residential facilities, it has reduced its carbon emissions by 35% (against 2005 levels) and cut energy and water use by £1m. The University now sources 100% of its purchased electricity from renewable energy suppliers as well as generating 10% itself on campus. Building on these achievements the Climate Action Framework will provide strategies for further improvements.


The University of Bath commits to:


    • Being Net Zero Carbon in its Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2030.
    • A 50% reduction in its Scope 3 emissions by 2030.
    • Being Net Zero Carbon in its Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions by 2040.
  2. RESEARCH AND INNOVATION Supporting world-class research activities at the University of Bath, and in wider collaborations, to deliver impactful research and innovation supporting the transition to the net zero carbon economy.

  3. LEARNING AND TEACHING Developing educational initiatives to build a world class reputation for high quality education on climate-related issues with global reach and scale, for example by: providing opportunities for every student to study and work on climate related issues; delivering programmes with a sustainability agenda; delivering pedagogically innovative teaching practices to reduce carbon emissions.

  4. UNIVERSITY STRATEGY Supporting the transition to the net zero carbon economy through the University’s strategy, sub-strategies and its core decision making, and throughout its core values and its commitments.

  5. UNIVERSITY GOVERNANCE Ensuring there is clear leadership and governance for implementation of the Climate Action Framework, with public accountability through transparent disclosure of progress against our principles.

  6. UNIVERSITY CAMPUS EMISSIONS REDUCTION AND CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION Reducing all University campus carbon emissions, in a manner that is consistent with the broader principles of sustainability and in a Just Transition. Understanding and responding to the consequences of climate change adaptation on the campus and the University’s supply chain.

  7. INTERNATIONALISATION STRATEGY Supporting and encouraging carbon responsible international engagement to ensure sustainable collaborations that meet our strategic internationalisation goals.

  8. CARBON MANAGEMENT Improving the data quality relating to the University’s carbon emissions, recognising that this is a strategic tool to understand and systematically reduce its carbon footprint.

  9. UNIVERSITY FINANCES Taking the principles of the Climate Action Framework into account in all key funding and investment decisions.

  10. UNIVERSITY COMMUNITY AWARENESS AND ACTION Supporting behavioural and cultural changes to enable carbon reduction targets through engagement across the University community.

  11. UNIVERSITY OF BATH: LOCAL LEADER AND PARTNER Working with key partners from the local community, industry, public sector bodies and third sector organisations, to support the transition to the net zero carbon economy