Plans and policy

Keele is committed towards achieving sustainability at different levels within the University. We are delighted to have Jonathon Porritt as our Chancellor. As a well-known supporter and advocate of environmentally friendly initiatives and with his passion for sustainability he is a fantastic advocate for our strategic aims and objectives.

Implementation of our sustainability plans, policies and initiatives are overseen by the Environment and Sustainability Steering Group (ESSG), chaired by the Deputy Vice Chancellor. The Sustainability Strategy can be found here Sustainability Strategy 2015-2020.

Keele has an Environmental and Social Sustainability Policy 2021 ‌that outlines the University's environmental, social and sustainability commitments.   

The delivery of the Environmental Sustainability Policy and Sustainability Strategy is supported by an annually reviewed operational plan, the Eco Campus Objectives and Targets.

Funding our sustainability strategy

The University holds a central sustainability budget to fund sustainability activities and initiatives. Some examples include:

  • Supporting the Sustainability Network, Innovation in Sustainability Projects Fund and Sustainability Awards scheme
  • Green Week and other sustainability-themed events
  • Hosting the World Student Environmental Network global summit
  • Enabling staff and students to attend sustainability conferences and events such as NUS conferences, the EAUC conference, and WSEN global summits.

The Estates and Development Directorate also holds a budget for various energy/carbon and environmental activities including:

  • Energy/carbon reduction fund
  • Student Switch Off
  • Recycling Audits
  • Walled Garden Allotments
  • Fairtrade award
  • Soil association catering standard
  • Ecocampus/ISO standard, and
  • ISO 50001 standard.

Keele University is also ensuring that financial investments are ethical and reflect the mission and values of the University. To support this commitment an Ethical Investments Code of Practice is followed and is reviewed annually. Keele has also committed to divestment and investing in companies with a positive environmental and social impact, including in clean energy. Staff, students and stakeholders can engage with the Ethical Investments code of practice:

"The code of practice allows for any group or individual member of the University community to make representations to the University regarding its investments. This should be done in writing to the Director of Finance & IT. The representations will then be considered by the Business Review Committee on behalf of Council."

Keele University have implemented the Soil association Food for Life Award which helps us acheive our sustainable food policy objectives.

At Keele every year we organise sustainability forum for students, staff and the Keele community to discuss about green issues on campus. Please see the key discussion and action points: Sustainability Forum 2013, Sustainability Forum 2014 and Sustainability Forum 2015.

To find out more about our progress please download the latest and past sustainability reports.

All new staff will be made aware of Keele University's Sustainability Vision, Policy and Strategy within their local staff inductions. New staff members are also required to attend a Welcome to Keele session delivered by the Sustainability Team which includes Keele's sustainability strategy, along with information on recycling, energy, engagement opportunities, education for sustainability and the Sustainability Network.

Education For Sustainable Development (ESD)

Environment and Sustainability Steering Group (ESSG)

Our Environment and Sustainability Steering Group (ESSG) is responsible for overseeing sustainability permformance and coordinating initiatives. The group is chaired by the Deputy Vice Chancellor and includes representatives from across the University who play a key role in different areas of sustainability.

Student representation at ESSG is provided through an elected full time Sabbatical Officer, and the elected part time Environment and Campus Officer sitting on the committee. There officers are re-elected on an annual basis but provide a student voice to the committee and input relating to studnet-led sustainability activities. 


  • Chair – Deputy Vice-Chancellor
  • Executive Support Officer, Vice-Chancellor’s Office (secretary)
  • Director of Estates and Development
  • Environmental Manager
  • Energy Manager
  • Head of Grounds
  • Director of Education for sustainability
  • Sustainability HUB Manager
  • Procurement Manager, Finance
  • Head of Catering and Retail
  • Deputy Director of Information Technology
  • Head of Partnership Development  (Natural Sciences), Engagement and Partnerships
  • Students’ Union Sabbatical Officer
  • Student Union Environment and Campus Officer

Terms of reference

1)      Provide co-ordination of the Sustainability agenda across the University.

2)      To develop and implement the sustainability strategy 2015-2020.

3)      Produce, monitor and review objectives and targets set out in the Carbon Management Plan and the Environmental & Energy Policy.

4)      Publicise the University's performance against the University’s Carbon Management Plan and Environmental Policy and other relevant benchmarks.

5)      Provide an annual report to the Executive Committee on progress made.

6)      To support and continually review policies and plans which will enable the Policy/strategy to be met within key development areas:

    • Learning, Teaching and Research
    • Leadership & Governance
    • Estates and Operations including; Procurement, Catering & Retail, Biodiversity, Waste & Recycling and Information Technology (IT)
    • Partnership & Engagement

7)      Establish, disestablish and oversee membership of any necessary sub-group e.g. a Biodiversity Sub-Group.

8)      To review progress in the ‘Green League’ and propose actions associated with it and other matrices.


The Group will report, via the Chair, to the University’s Executive Committee, and budget resources group as appropriate. The Minutes of the meetings will be circulated to the Senior Policy and Strategy Manager.

The Group will produce an Annual Report to be submitted to Executive Committee.


The Group will meet four times a year.

Standard Agenda items:

  • Chair’s report
  • Key projects 
  • Learning, teaching and research

Education for sustainable development report 

  • Leadership and governance 
  • Estates and operations

Environmental management report

Energy and carbon management 

  • Partnership and& engagement