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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)

Recast Environmental Sustainability Action Plan - October 2022

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.

Carbon Emissions Audit (Scope 1 2 and 3) Summary Report February 2022

Cardiff University Carbon Audit 2021

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 1,406 universities worldwide for our 2022 submission. This was our second year taking part and our overall score of 88.5% was a substantial increase from 77.9% in 2021.

Amongst institutions in the UK, we are ranked:

  • 4th for peace, justice and strong institutions
  • 8th for life on land
  • 10th for life below water
  • 11th for good health and wellbeing

Our rankings are generated from scores measured against evidence submitted for the mandatory SDG17 (partnerships for the goals), as well as 10 others. Our results in the individual SDGs were:

  • Climate action – ranked 83rd globally
  • Reduced inequalities – ranked 87th globally
  • Responsible consumption and production – ranked 90th globally
  • Gender equality – ranked 201st – 300th globally
  • Decent work and economic growth - ranked 201st – 300th globally

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

Read our summary report to find out more about our work towards the SDGs:

UN Sustainable Development Goals Summary Report 2021

A report on our work towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

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

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.