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Ways to help the environment at NTU

NTU is one of the most sustainable universities in the world, and for good reason. We work hard to reduce our impact, to support local communities, and to teach sustainable practice. There are lots of ways our students can help us make a real difference — for NTU, and for the planet.

1st Class University for Sustainability in the UK

(People and Planet League, 2022)

2nd most sustainable university in the world

(UI GreenMetric World University Rankings 2022)

How you can help

Teams across the University, including Nottingham Trent Students’ Union (NTSU), work together to make everyday life at NTU more sustainable, and work towards our target of becoming Net Zero Carbon by 2040.

Our Sustainability team embed sustainability within life at NTU and the Green Academy integrates sustainability into the curriculum. We're proud of our progress and are committed to making NTU a cleaner, greener and healthier university, and you can join our efforts to protect the planet.

At NTU you can get involved in activities that benefit the environment, the University and your own employability. Our range of accredited, group and individual initiatives will help you to increase your knowledge and experience of sustainability, and make a sustainable difference along the way.

Below are some of the top ways to help the environment at NTU.

A student looking out over a river, holding a pair of binoculars.

1. Record your actions

The NTU Green Rewards app encourages you to embrace sustainability – you can calculate your carbon footprint, get back in touch with nature, find your local eco-friendly shops, and more. Over 26,000 sustainability actions have been logged by NTU students and staff, saving over 545,000kg of CO2e from the atmosphere.

This is a great interactive way of learning about making sustainable choices, with fun new actions each month. And if you're at the top of the monthly leaderboard, you might even win some prizes.

2. Make your voice heard

Join NTSU societies

The Sustainability Society, the Conservation Society, and the Fashion Revolution Society are student-led groups that champion sustainability and influence the socio-economic and environmental challenges that affect the local and international community.

Become an Eco-Ambassador

Our Eco-Ambassadors are student volunteers who work with the Sustainability team to promote and support wider sustainability events and initiatives for students and the University. Our Hedgehog-Friendly Campus Ambassadors help to increase hedgehog numbers across our campuses.

3. Travel sustainably

NTU promotes greener travel, and our aim is for 10% of journeys to the University to be made by bicycle by 2025 (up from 1% in 2019). Our sector-leading cycle service empowers staff and students to choose affordable, low-carbon travel through a cycle-hire scheme which includes secure storage facilities, on-campus maintenance support and training. You can hire a bike hire for only £49 a year.

Nottingham is also home to fantastic public transport networks, including biomass- and electric-powered bus fleets which can take you everywhere you need to go, in the city and beyond.

Find out more about travel in Nottingham

A student checking on his plants in the vegetable patch.

4. Learn more about sustainability issues

Gain knowledge and skills through our Sustainability in Practice (SiP) course. Take the free online course or a one-day challenge, exploring sustainability issues through the lens of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. You can choose between three themes — food, energy or clothing. Increase your employability and sustainability knowledge and receive a certificate of achievement.

5. Get your hands dirty

Allotment volunteering

Through weekly sessions at our Clifton allotment you'll learn how to grow pesticide-free fruit and veg, meet new people, and get some valuable fresh air and exercise. The produce that is grown is donated to local charities and community cafes.

Planting trees

Every year we coordinate tree planting days where you can participate in planting trees at priority locations around Nottingham. Not only does this help expand tree cover, but it also provides a meaningful opportunity to learn more about the green and natural places of Nottinghamshire.

6. Reduce plastic waste

Help us to reduce plastic waste with our Plastic Planet Campaign. We encourage positive behaviour changes and work with our students to reduce the amount of unnecessary plastic used around NTU. We’ve already eliminated 116,000 plastic cups, 169,000 items of plastic cutlery, and 18,000 plastic straws across NTU.

Interested in these opportunities? Email the Sustainability Team at sust.dev@ntu.ac.uk for more information.

Student collecting plastic for recycling

Key events

We hold events and activities throughout the year to raise awareness of current issues and encourage sustainable behaviour. These include an annual Green Week, Fairtrade Fortnight, Sustainability Action Week and NTU’s Sustainability Summit.

If studying at an environmentally responsible institution is important to you, discover why NTU is a great choice as one of the best UK universities for sustainability.

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