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We aim to bring about social, environmental, economic and health benefits not only to Wales but to the wider world.

We are independently audited and certified to the ISO 14001 international standard, based on an effective environmental management system, characterised by continual improvement.

In 2019, we declared a climate emergency, recognising our need to play our part in the global response. We are committed to becoming carbon net zero for scopes 1 and 2 by 2030 and are currently developing our target for scope 3.

A more sustainable university

Our commitment to sustainable development is reflected in our strategic direction, which includes environmental and social sustainability as one of our enabling strategies:

Environmental Sustainability Strategy recast 2021

‘A More Sustainable University’ - Environmental Sustainability Enabling Strategy 2018-2023 (Recast 2020)

Environmental Sustainability Action Plan recast 2021

Action plan for 2018-2023.

Climate emergency paper summary report

Cardiff University’s vision is to build towards an inclusive, sustainable and resilient future for our community and to bring about environmental benefits not only to Cardiff and Wales but to the wider world.

Sustainable Development Goals

We are signatories of the Sustainable Development Goal Accord. The Accord represents the university and college sector's collective response to 17 sustainable development goals. We achieved an overall rank of 101st-200th out of 1,115 ranked institutions globally, for our inaugral submission in 2021.

Amongst institutions in the UK, we are ranked:

  • 4th for climate action
  • 11th for responsible consumption and production
  • 5th for good health and wellbeing

Our rankings are generated from scores measured against evidence submitted for six of the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals. Our results in the individual SDGs were:

  • Good health and wellbeing – ranked 45th (top 5.2% globally) and 5th in the UK
  • Responsible consumption and production – ranked 18th (top 3.6% globally) and 11th in the UK
  • Climate action – ranked 34th (top 6% globally) and 4th in the UK
  • Life below water – ranked 47th (top 12.4% globally) and 9th in the UK
  • Life on land – ranked 58th (top 14.4% globally) and 16th in the UK
  • Partnerships for the goals – ranked 401st–600th globally

See the full results from The Times Higher Education Impact Rankings assessing universities against the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Our Environmental Sustainability team take the lead in submitting evidence to show how we meet each of the SDGs, they are:

Professor Mike Bruford

Professor Mike Bruford

Dean for Environmental Sustainability, Co-director Sustainable Places Research Institute

+44 (0)29 2087 4312
Dr Julie Gwilliam

Dr Julie Gwilliam

Dean of Postgraduate Studies College of Physical Sciences & Engineering

+44 (0)29 2087 5977

Dr Katrina Henderson

Environmental Safety Adviser


United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

Find out more about the six categories we submitted evidence for:

Working together for sustainability

The sustainable development of the University is one of the responsibilities of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor. We work closely with our nominated trade union green representatives and student representatives in all our university committees. Student and trade union representatives are involved in development and consultation of all our sustainability-related policies.

Contact us

If you have questions or would like further information about sustainability in the University, please get in touch:

Energy enquiries

Environmental enquiries

Committed to sustainability

We are working to be sustainable across all our work, including, teaching, research and campus maintenance and performance.



Sustainable development research is a key strength across a wide range of our subject areas.



We play a key role in educating future generations of people within Wales, the UK, and globally.



We pursue sustainable development in our engagement with external stakeholders and in our internal operations.



We are working to increase our efficiencies of water and energy usage, recycling, green procurement, campus maintenance, and biodiversity.