UK (University of Nottingham) University of Nottingham becomes a founding member of new United Nations’ environmental programme

Thursday, 08 December 2022

The University of Nottingham has become a founding member of a new alliance, announced today at COP15, with the aim of improving its ecological footprint.

The university is one of 117 universities globally to take a pledge regarding its environmental impact. The Nature Positive Universities alliance, set up by the University of Oxford and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), will help to reverse biodiversity decline and drive the world’s higher education sector towards a nature-positive future. A further 408 Universities worldwide have joined the Nature Positive University network to work towards making an official pledge, supported by a global student ambassador programme.

As part of its pledge, the University of Nottingham will assess the impact that its activities have on nature. It will carry out baseline analysis to discover the impact that its campuses have on local wildlife, before setting targets to boost biodiversity.

Alison Clayton, Environment Officer at the University of Nottingham says: “Our unique campuses are enjoyed not just by our staff and students, but by our visitors and local communities. Becoming a nature positive university is an exciting opportunity for all who enjoy our spaces to also help make them better for nature. There will be plenty of chances for everyone to get involved over the coming years.”

We want to enhance the areas we already have and create new spaces for nature to thrive. Through this work, we will better understand the nature that we have on our doorstep and how we can improve our spaces for their benefit and ours.

Alison Clayton, Environment Officer at the University of Nottingham

The University of Nottingham has worked hard to create sustainable campuses and it aims to achieve net zero carbon status by 2040. Over the last ten years, it has reduced emissions by more than 36%, invested in renewable energy installations and divested from all fossil fuel investments. Its University Park and Jubilee campuses have consistently achieved Green Flag status and, this year, the university was shortlisted in three categories in the EAUC Green Gown Awards, which recognise exceptional sustainability initiatives being undertaken by universities and colleges across the UK.

We are delighted to see Universities will be joining hands to reset our relationship with nature so that, through this Alliance, new possibilities are created. The virtue of higher education has come from a reappraisal of the present to then steer the world to a new future. We look forward to seeing how the Nature Positive Universities Alliance does just that.

Sam Barratt, Chief of Youth, Education and Advocacy at the UN Environment Programme

The Nature Positive Universities Alliance brings higher education institutions together to use their unique power and influence as drivers of positive change. Universities already carry out environmental and conservation research to help inform government and company action, but by publicly tackling their own supply chains and operational impacts on nature, universities can help guide the wider community on a path to address the twin climate and ecological crises.


Hannah Severyn – Media Relations Manager
Phone: 0115 748 5635
Location: University Park

Notes to editors:

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The University of Nottingham is a research-intensive university with a proud heritage. Studying at the University of Nottingham is a life-changing experience, and we pride ourselves on unlocking the potential of our students. We have a pioneering spirit, expressed in the vision of our founder Sir Jesse Boot, which has seen us lead the way in establishing campuses in China and Malaysia – part of a globally connected network of education, research and industrial engagement. Ranked 18th in the UK by the QS World University Rankings 2023, the University’s state-of-the-art facilities and inclusive and disability sport provision is reflected in its crowning as The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide Sports University of the Year twice in three years, most recently in 2021. We are ranked seventh for research power in the UK according to REF 2021. We have six beacons of research excellence helping to transform lives and change the world; we are also a major employer and industry partner – locally and globally. Alongside Nottingham Trent University, we lead the Universities for Nottingham initiative, a pioneering collaboration which brings together the combined strength and civic missions of Nottingham’s two world-class universities and is working with local communities and partners to aid recovery and renewal following the COVID-19 pandemic.