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One of the University's three core goals is social responsibility, and sustainability is a crucial aspect of this. We are therefore committed to minimising the impact of our activities on the environment and are putting this commitment into practice in a range of areas:


The University is increasing the travel options available to staff and students. The aim is to discourage single occupancy car journeys by providing a range of suitable and more sustainable alternatives, such as walking, cycling, public transport and car-sharing.

In addition, the University bus route is now serviced by four brand new, state-of-the-art hybrid buses which switch off when stationary and travel in electric mode at low speeds. Tests have shown a 35% saving in CO2, which equates to 82 tonnes per year.

Waste and recycling

The University is committed to the development of sustainable waste management practices and the principle of 'reduce, re-use and recycle'.

We re-use or recover resources wherever possible and thanks to the establishment of appropriate recycling schemes, staff and students can contribute towards making the University more sustainable.

Where disposal of waste is the only viable option, the University will actively seek to use more sustainable waste treatment technologies with the aim of reducing the landfilling of waste to a minimum.

Carbon management

We aim to reduce the University’s absolute carbon footprint by at least 40% by 2020 from a 2009 baseline of 85, 419 tonnes of CO2.


Sustainablity is a very important part of our construction projects and all new buildings on campus must be as energy efficient as possible.

For example, the new Alan Gilbert Learning Commons building, which will offer students a variety of flexible study facilities fit for contemporary learning practices, will also accommodate energy efficiency measures such as:

  • lighting that is sensitive to natural light levels and occupancy;
  • CO2 monitoring to minimise energy wastage;
  • passive design solutions and energy efficient appliances.


IT is responsible for about 12% of the University’s carbon emissions: computationally intensive research and staff and student PCs and servers require a huge amount of power. We are therefore committed to reducing the carbon emissions of IT by:

  • replacing our older, energy-hungry supercomputers and amalgamating separate machines into single machines – we aim to halve the energy footprint of our research by using these specialist computers;
  • consolidating servers into fewer computers – this is known as server virtualisation and it reduces the energy required to support the University’s business systems;
  • using power-saving software for PCs that automatically turns off or hibernates computers that are not being used.

Food and Fairtrade

The University of Manchester is proud to have been approved for Fairtrade university status by the Fairtrade Foundation. We are committed to promoting Fairtrade products across campus, and these now include:

  • hoodies, T-shirts and sweatshirts;
  • fruit juices, coffee, tea, hot chocolate and sugar sachets;
  • bananas;
  • cereal bars, chocolate bars and cakes.

You can read more about the University's commitment to sustainability on our sustainability website.