Sustainability at Falmouth

Sustainability icons on a dark background

We're acting now for the future of our planet and our people. 

Change for good

In June 2019 Falmouth University declared a climate and ecological emergency. As an educational institution, we're committed to operating in ways that are environmentally conscious, driving sustainable behaviours and empowering our people to take action. Together we can build sustainable solutions to the climate crisis.

Students in a dome at the Eden Project
Shoe print with text
Sustainability education, inspire, enrich

Our approach: the three themes

Our Sustainability Policy establishes three themes: Learning & Teaching, Environment & Operations and People & Behaviour. By setting our action plan against these themes we'll ensure that we're working towards a sustainable future across all our activities.

Learning & Teaching

Falmouth University educates future global innovators, business leaders, and entrepreneurs. We influence students through our actions, through our curriculum, and through the stewardship of our physical environment. Therefore, we are taking bold action and putting environmental issues at the forefront of our learning and teaching.

Environment & Operations

Falmouth University will strive to integrate and balance economic, social and environmental responsibilities within all our activities. We are committed to operating as a responsible institution, addressing the challenges of sustainable development.

People & Behaviour

We will seek to create a culture within the University that encourages staff and students to recognise that we all have an element of personal responsibility for the environment. We will actively engage with the wider community in order to inspire and catalyse efforts to reduce our adverse environmental impact.

Download our full Sustainability Policy

Sustainability Report

Sustainability Report 2021

Sustainability Report 2020

What we're doing

As an anchor institution in Cornwall and a major employer for the county, we have a responsibility for the environment and how our activities impact the wider community. As such, we also have the ability to influence a wide network of people.

Here are just some of the ways in which we are already driving transformational change to a more sustainable future.

Sustainability-focused courses

In addition to our Sustainable Product Design BA(Hons) course, in 2020 we launched two new courses delivered in collaboration with the Eden Project: Sustainable Festival Management BA(Hons) and Sustainable Tourism Management BA(Hons)

SDG Teach In

In February 2020, Falmouth University took part in the 'SDG Teach In'. Academics pledged to include the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) within their teaching for one week.

100% renewable energy

Our campuses are supplied by 100% renewable electricity. In addition, we have switched to an all-electric fleet of vehicles on campus, reducing carbon emissions and pollution from our carbon footprint.

Planting trees

Falmouth staff and students have come together to plant over 400 trees on campus in aid of the Woodland Trust's 'Big Climate Fightback'.

Sustainable switches

Plastic bottles are no longer offered in our vending machines and food prepared on site is packaged in biodegradable and compostable packaging.

Ambitious commitment

All universities are required by the OfS to have a Carbon Management Plan in place and to establish self-selected reduction targets against a baseline set in 2005/6 for Scope 1 & 2 emissions.

Falmouth has already achieved a 36.9% reduction against this baseline for Scope 1 & 2 emissions. Our ambitious targets to reduce our emissions are:

 By 2030

Net zero target

Scope 1 & 2 emissions





Scope 3 emissions





  • We aim to achieve a 50% reduction in scope 1 and 2 emissions (direct emissions from our on-campus activities, as well as indirect emissions created from energy purchased and used by the University) by 2025, 75% by 2030 and net zero by 2040.
  • We aim to achieve a 50% reduction in scope 3 emissions (indirect emissions that occur in the University's supply chain) by 2030, and net zero by 2050.
tree graphic with text
Sustainability planting seed

Achieving our goals

We're taking the steps to reduce on-campus carbon emissions, decrease plastic consumption and to encourage green behaviours. Here are some of the ways we plan to achieve our goals of being more sustainable across Learning & Teaching, Environment & Operations and People & Behaviour.

  • Embed sustainable learning outcomes across all of our courses through assignments, modules and challenges by the start of the 2022/23 academic year.
  • Reduce general waste by 1% per year and recycle 85% of waste by 2030, in support of the delivery of our agreed Scope 3 carbon net zero target of 2050.
  • Establish a sustainable and wellbeing travel program offering various modes of commute in support of the delivery of our agreed carbon reduction.
  • Establish a sustainable catering and hospitality service, reaching down through the supply chain, across all locations in support of the delivery of our agreed Scope 3 carbon reduction targets.
  • Invest the equivalent of 3,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions in local reforestation and carbon sequestering projects like Forests for Cornwall.
  • Maximise the biodiversity of campuses to boost regeneration and carbon sequestration.
  • Facilitate Open Innovation Groups to provide a forum for staff to discuss, innovate and put into action sustainable change.
  • Create a sustainable champions scheme to support embedding sustainable initiatives including processes and behaviour change.

Discover how you can play your part


From finding small ways to cut your carbon footprint to joining an eco-minded society, or sharing your ideas for a project or event, find out how you can get involved. We're all part of the solution. It is your influence that will catalyse change.

Get involved



If you’re a staff member, head to the Staff Portal to discover sustainability resources, recent highlights, and advice on how you can work with us towards embedding sustainability across the three themes.

More info for staff

Student life students on picnic bench Falmouth campus

Reporting Earth

Reporting Earth is a one-day, online Journalism summit held on 21 September 2021, to share best practice and generate actionable ideas for reporting the climate crisis for young people. Find out how you can get involved.

Explore Reporting Earth

Our Sustainability team

We have invested in a dedicated Sustainability team to help drive forward our ambitious commitment of a more sustainable campus.

Get in touch

Contact our Sustainability team for information and resources, details of Falmouth University's Sustainability Policy and Action Plan, or to discuss engagement opportunities.