Bournemouth University is conscious of its impact on the environment and constantly working towards achieving its sustainability vision.

We've introduced a number of initiatives over the years to help make BU as environmentally friendly as possible – and we have won a number of awards as a result. 

Sustainable Development Goals Report 2022

In this report, we share case studies, data and real-life examples from students, members of staff and the wider BU community relating to achieving each of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

What we've achieved so far this academic year

Achieved BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating for our Studland House refurbishments
BU and SUBU achieved Fairtrade 3 star University status
Over 70 students, staff and community members trained to be Carbon Literacy certified
Upgraded our high voltage transformers on campus, which could save up to 10% of our campus electricity use
Completed our first cross-Faculty mapping of how our courses align to the SDGs and climate and ecological crisis (CEC). 88% of courses align to the SDGs and two-thirds include content on the CEC

What we've achieved in the past


  • Launched our Climate & Ecological Crisis Action Plan (CECAP) with the target of net zero emissions by 2030/31
  • Became an accredited Gold Level Cycle Friendly Employer
  • Achieved BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating for Bournemouth Gateway Building
  • Ranked in the top 7% of universities across the world (74th out of 1,115 universities) in the THE Impact Rankings 2021 for our contribution to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 
  • Ranked 8th in the world for SDG12 Responsible Consumption & Production (THE Impact Rankings 2021)
  • Ranked 2nd in the UK and 15th in the world for SDG13 Climate Action (THE Impact Rankings 2021)
  • Awarded £500 to the winning student team in our first ever BU-SUBU Sustainability Challenge
  • Hosted our first ever BU Climate Month, attended by over 250 people
  • Signed up to the UN’s Race to Zero, a pledge to take action to reach net zero emissions as soon as possible


  • Achieved BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating for Poole Gateway Building
  • Ranked in top 15% of universities across the world in the THE University Impact Rankings for the second time. Ranked fourth place in the UK for our positive action towards Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 13: Climate Action and tenth globally for SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production
  • Became one of only a handful of universities to achieve a double certification for its environmental and energy management system after receiving ISO50001 certification
  • Achieved 'Gold' rating in the Sustainability Leadership Scorecard
  • Replaced lighting through Chapel Gate site with LEDs.


  • Installed our largest solar PV panel system to date on Poole House
  • Ranked in top 15% of universities across the world in the first Times Higher Education (THE) University Impact Rankings. Ranked seventh place globally for our positive actionstowards SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production.
  • Shortlisted as a finalist in the edie Sustainability Leaders Awards in the ‘Employee Engagement & Behaviour Change’ category.
  • Received First Class award in People & Planet's University League.
  • Achieved BREEAM ‘Very Good’ rating for Studland House Phase 1 refurbishments, which included an upgraded and larger solar PV panel system on the roof.


  • Awarded the Earth Charter award winner for Engagement in Sustainability
  • Achieved BREEAM ‘Very Good’ rating for Weymouth House Phase 1 refurbishments
  • Achieved transition to ISO14001:15/ EcoCampus Platinum
  • Team Finance and Performance won Green Rewards programme at BU, donating £100 to the Bournemouth Foodbank
  • 11 Staff teams completed the NUS Green Impact achieving 4 Gold, 1 Silver, and 8 Bronze awards between them.
  • Replaced lighting across Sir Michael Cobham Library and Studland House with LEDs.


  • Renewal of Fairtrade Certification (12 years)
  • Two Green Gowns Finalists in Community category and Learning & Skills category
  • SUBU awarded us the Most Sustainable Event of the Year for annual Waste Audit
  • Sustainability Manager Dr Neil Smith became a fellow of the EAUC, acknowledging and rewarding his exceptional contribution to the EAUC community.
  • Ranked 11th place in the People and Planet University League (1st Class Degree)
  • Awarded Best Overall Team prize in the Bournemouth Commuter Challenge.
  • Replaced lighting in Executive Business Centre and external lighting across Talbot Campus with LEDs.


  • Achieved BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating for Fusion Building
  • Earth Charter award winner for waste management Momentum Cycle Challenge - winner in the 500+ employee size category
  • Retention of EcoCampus Platinum/ISO14001 certification
  • Awarded first class degree in the University League
  • Food for Life Silver Award
  • South West Fairtrade Gold Business Awards 2016
  • Travel and Transport Manager Richard Wintrip won the Vice Chancellors Individual Achievement for his work in influencing staff and students to travel more sustainably.


  • Achieved BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating for Student Centre 
  • 7th in the People & Planet University League
  • Food for Life Bronze Award (Chartwells)
  • Winner of Dorset Travel Network Gold Standard for travel planning and Business Travel Network Large Employer of the Year Award
  • Momentum Cycle Challenge - winner in the 500+ employee size category
  • Renewal of Fairtrade Certification (10 years)
  • Certification to EcoCampus Platinum and ISO14001.


  • Sustainable Fish City Pledge
  • Re-certification to EcoCampus Gold Award
  • Carbon Management Plan Highly Commended in the Green Gown Sustainable Procurement category as a member of the South Coast Affinity Group.


  • Aibeat Earth Charter Awards - Award for engagement in sustainability
  • Momentum cycle challenge - winner in the 500+ employee size category.


  • Achievement of EcoCampus Gold Award
  • Shortlisted for the Times Higher Education Outstanding Contribution to Sustainable Development Award
  • Finalist in the Green Gown Positive Behaviour category
  • Finalist in the Green Gown Sustainable Procurement category as a member of the South Coast Affinity Group.


  • Achievement of EcoCampus Bronze and Silver Awards.


  • Finalist in the Dorset Business Environmental Excellence Award.


  • Achieved Fairtrade status.


  • Winner of the Green Gown Transport category.


  • Highly Commended in the Green Gown Energy Efficiency category.