Targets | University of Oxford


The University has set and is currently working towards the following environmental sustainability targets:

Environmental Sustainability Review 2017


To reduce scope 1 and 2 emissions to 50% from their peak by 2030. This is regardless of the growth of the University’s estate, making it particularly challenging.

Scope 1: These are emissions that arise directly from sources that are owned or controlled by the University, for example, fuels in our boilers or the vehicles owned by departments.

Scope 2: These are emissions from the generation of electricity, heat or steam which is purchased by the University.


The transport strategy outlines a number of targets and key performance indicators grouped as follows. The University will aim to:

  • reduce the numbers of car journeys on the network
  • improve users’ journey experiences
  • promote appropriate sustainable transport alternatives
  • improve local air quality
  • reduce the University’s carbon footprint


Four priorities have been set within the Strategy for 2016-20. The University aims to:

  • protect existing biodiversity
  • enhance biodiversity where possible
  • connect areas for wildlife
  • promote engagement with biodiversity


The University aims to develop buildings that support the Environmental Sustainability agenda and produce building stock which is efficient during its lifetime.

Since mid-2017 the design process has utilised the Passivhaus methodology and tools. Passivhaus is at the cutting edge of low energy design and has proven it can deliver comfortable buildings that perform as designed.

The University previously utilised the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) for major new construction and refurbishment projects. The University has sought an ‘Excellent’ rating for all projects over £1m since 2009. Due to the length of the construction project cycle, the University will continue to seek a BREEAM Excellent rating for buildings commencing the design phase prior to mid-2017.


The University operates an Environmental Management System (EMS) which works to the ISO 14001 international standard. This provides a structured framework to continually improve our environmental performance and minimise our negative impacts.


As part of the University’s continual improvement, we are revising our targets for water management and waste management within a current review of strategy in these areas.


The University is also looking to develop targets for Environmental Sustainability communication and engagement as part of the new strategy covering this area.

For more information about our targets see our strategies for carbon, water and waste management; sustainable transport; and sustainable procurement.

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