The University of Glasgow has announced plans to commit to a target of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.
Bosses have approved a strategy document – Glasgow Green: The University of Glasgow’s Response to the Climate Emergency – after surveying more than 1,300 staff and students.
Seminars and discussions were also held over the plan for the university to go “further and faster” in its response to address climate change.
University chief operating officer and secretary David Duncan, who is co-chairman of the Sustainability Working Group that co-ordinated the agreement of the strategy, said: “Universities have a unique role to play in the fight against climate change.
“We are educators, researchers and contributors to our local communities.
“It is vital that we rise to the challenge of shaping a liveable world for future generations.”
He added: “We believe that our new strategy is a very significant plan to ramp up our existing efforts to deal with the climate emergency, both locally and internationally.”
The document sets out five key actions for the university to continue reducing its carbon footprint, including investing in restoration programmes across Scotland and in low and middle-income countries around the world.
Emissions across the university campuses have already fallen by more than 13% from 2015-16 levels to 60,358 carbon dioxide equivalents (tCO2e) in 2018-19.
But the report suggests energy efficiency improvements, water source heat pump and solar panel installation and a reduction in business travel would further reduce the footprint to 32,000 tCO2e by 2035.
Professor Daniel Haydon, of the Institute of Biodiversity Animal Health and Comparative Medicine, and co-chairman of the working group, said: “There’s a clear demand from students and staff that we go further and faster, and we’ve responded with serious new commitments to cut our own carbon emissions and offset the remainder.
“As we head towards the Cop26 meeting in Glasgow next year, we now have a clearer roadmap on where we need to be in 2030 to help contribute to that international effort.
“We’re pleased to be setting out on this journey with students, staff and the local community.”
A complete version of the document is available online at gla.ac.uk/myglasgow/sustainability/glasgowgreen/.