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It has become clear in recent years that we face serious environmental challenges arising from the continuing worldwide use of fossil fuels and a decline in biodiversity, both of which have contributed to the climate emergency we are now facing. Universities, as public institutions, have an important part to play in responding to these challenges, particularly in reducing their carbon emissions and reducing waste.

Carbon emissions reduction targets have been set by the Government, and St George’s has committed to sector-wide actions on climate drafted by Universities UK, which provides oversight of more than a hundred UK universities. St George’s, University of London (SGUL) is committed to meeting its environmental responsibilities, including the Universities UK timeline for reaching Government emissions reduction targets. 

This page provides information on the relevant policies, procedures, guidance and forms in relation to the environment and sustainability.

Environmental Working Group (EWG)

St George's, University of London has established an Environmental Working Group (EWG), with membership including staff and students drawn from across the institution. The EWG, working with colleagues across the university, has helped to bring about the following changes and developments:-

  • SGUL joined with other universities training health care professionals in declaring a climate emergency in the run-up to the COP26 conference in 2021
  • SGUL has reviewed its investment policy, which now explicitly avoids appreciable investment in fossil fuels and is committed to a responsible investment framework consistent with the terms of the Paris climate agreement of 2015
  • SGUL has changed its sourcing of grid electricity for the student halls, using zero carbon electricity sources since 2020
  • SGUL has worked with an onsite food retailer, Peabody’s, to enhance the provision and reduce the price of specific vegetarian food options and improve the management of food waste
  • SGUL has introduced a widely used laboratory sustainability programme - the Laboratory Efficiency Assessment Framework (LEAF) - aiming to reduce energy use and waste in research laboratories across the university
  • SGUL has introduced teaching on sustainable clinical practice on its MBBS courses, which it now plans to extend more widely across its teaching portfolios. 
  • SGUL has created a part-time Associate Dean of Environmental Sustainability role to provide academic leadership of the sustainability agenda
  • SGUL has introduced a new strategy for 2023-2030, which prioritizes improvements in environmental sustainability over that period, committing the university to making substantial progress with decarbonization by 2030.

Next steps in this process are likely to include the development of a university-wide sustainability strategy, coupled with a new Carbon Management Plan, which will aim to bring about reductions in greenhouse gas emissions both through changes to the university estate (aiming for greener electricity and heating and steps to conserve energy and water and reduce waste) and through improvements in catering, procurement and travel.

What you can do at work to help make St George's more sustainable

  • Waste less: create as little rubbish as possible, put it in the right bin, recycling material where possible
  • Turn things off when you can:  turn off all unnecessary lights, air conditioning, computers and other equipment especially in unused offices and conference rooms and in your own office at the end of each day
  • Set your settings:  Set computers, monitors, printers, copiers, speakers and other business equipment to their energy saving mode where possible.
  • Think before you drink: use a reusable cup for tea/coffee. These are available from SGUL drinks outlets and the SU shop. If you drink water, try to use water from taps or fountains and avoid bottled water where you can.   These steps will make your drinks greener - and cheaper!
  • Travel sustainably: travel to work on foot, cycling or by public transport where you can. If you need to use a car, consider sharing where possible.  
  • Research sustainably: if you work in a research laboratory, consider signing up for the LEAF laboratory sustainability scheme.

Percentage of general waste that is recycled



Kingston University




Queen Mary




The Royal Veterinary College




St George's8.7%11.9%27.5%

The School of Pharmacy




The University of Surrey




Get involved in making St George’s more sustainable

This is a collaborative effort, and we welcome input from staff and students.   If you would like to get involved, or would like to make suggestions, please contact Peter Whincup (Leader of the Environmental Working Group) or Fu Liang Ng (Associate Dean for Environmental Sustainability). 


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