Westminster Higher Education Forum

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Environmental sustainability in the Higher Education sector - sector and institutional strategies and commitments, progress, best practice, university culture and practices, and financial impact

TO BE PUBLISHED July 2022


Price: £95 PLUS VAT
Format: DOWNLOADABLE PDF


This conference focuses on the way forward for reducing the environmental impact of the UK higher education sector.


The agenda will bring out latest thinking, and the approaches that HEIs are taking to reduce their carbon footprint, including in the areas of:


  • university estates
  • investment and financial portfolios
  • research practices
  • travel and mobility

As providers consider opportunities and issues across their value chain, delegates will discuss best practice for the creation of institutional targets, strategies and action plans - and consider next steps for HE operations and practices.


It will also be an opportunity to assess the strategic direction of the HE sector as a whole in the area of sustainability.


Delegates will examine the implications of commitments published by UUK in Confronting the climate emergency - with pledges from UK universities to set targets in line with Government carbon reduction targets for emissions under their own control, and those that come indirectly from commissioned goods and services.


Overall, areas for discussion include options and next steps for:


  • the estate and operations - reducing campus emissions - identification and measurement - procurement - working with suppliers - support - financial impacts of sustainable practices
  • investment, finances and sustainability - sustainable and responsible investment - divestment - protecting financial stability - impact of the pandemic and proposed changes to HE funding
  • research and academic culture - working arrangements - networking - knowledge exchange
  • travel and mobility - remote learning - digital assessment - placements - carbon budgeting, measurement practicalities and best practice - impact on staff and students
  • strategic direction - planning and implementation for environmental sustainability - best practice - knowledge exchange and sector coordination - alignment with wider policy

We are pleased to be able to include keynote sessions with Professor James Longhurst, Assistant Vice Chancellor: Environment and Sustainability, UWE Bristol, and Chair, EUAC; Professor Judith Petts, Vice-Chancellor, University of Plymouth; and Chair, Universities UK Climate Task and Finish Group; and Alison Robinson, Deputy Executive Chair and Director of Corporate Affairs, Natural Environment Research Council.


The discussion is bringing together stakeholders with key policy officials who are due to attend from DAERA, NI; the Department of Finance, NI; and the Welsh Government.



This pack includes

  • Dropbox video recording of the conference
  • PDF transcript of the discussion, including all speaker remarks and Q&A
  • PDFs of speakers' slide material (subject to permission)
  • PDFs of the delegate pack, including speaker biographies and attendee list
  • PDFs of delegate articles