Policies, strategies and reports

Two students sitting by a lake on campus

Our commitments

We take environmental and social responsibility seriously at Essex. Here you will find all of our policies, strategies and reports indicating the commitments we have made and our goals for the future. These documents are reviewed annually and will be updated accordingly.

Sustainability Policy and Strategy

Carbon Emissions

We will be developing a new Carbon Management Plan over the coming months as part of our Sustainability Sub-Strategy 2021-26. The principles of our current plan still remain while this work is undertaken.

The existing Carbon Management Plan sets out the steps necessary for the University to achieve its target of reducing CO2 emissions by 43 percent by 2020 from a 2005 baseline. 

Approximately 60 percent of all the University’s Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions are from student accommodation (including external student accommodation).

As we develop our work on Scope 3 emissions, we have undertaken an initial exercise to assess data we currently hold.


The energy policy outlines the university’s commitment to minimising energy consumption in order to avoid unnecessary expenditure, protect the environment and prolong the useful life of fossil fuels.


The Student and Staff Engagement Plan sets out the university’s stance on maximising sustainability engagement throughout each campus. This includes marketing strategies, education and events.


The sustainable food policy outlines Essex Food’s commitment to sustainability. The scope of this policy does not extend to the SU Bar and the SU Kitchen, for which the University does not have responsibility. When the University outsources catering contractors, they must adhere to the standards outlined within the sustainable food policy, as outlined in our tender specification documents.


The Statement of Investment principles outlines the university's policy on ethical investments. This document gets reported on annually to the Finance Sub-Committee.

The University of Essex Portfolio Overview lists all investments made over the recent financial year, as a percentage of the overall fund.

Social Responsibility

The gender pay policy outlines the University’s commitment to providing and promoting equal pay.

Our people supporting strategy describes the University’s action plan to establish, monitor and promote parity of pay, equality and diversity and health safety and wellbeing among other things surrounding our employees.

Sustainability Policy and Strategy

The Sustainability Sub-Strategy is our overarching document for all sustainability-related issues. The document itself is a combination of policy and strategy. It begins by outlining our commitments to sustainability and ends with a set of SMART targets to aid us in fulfilling these commitments.

The Sustainability Sub-Strategy is reported on annually to University Steering Group (USG) to update on progress made against our core objectives.


The Sustainable Travel Plan outlines a package of measures to promote the use of sustainable modes of transport and to encourage a reduced reliance on private cars.


This document sets out the procedures relevant to our environmental commitments to waste management.

Minutes taken from meeting with UoE and Waste contractor Veolia (6 September 2018), covering discussion of waste mass statistics and waste auditing at the University.

This table breaks down 2019 waste data for the University by category and proportion recycled.

Get in touch
Get in touch
Sustainability Team