Environmental Management

On this page you can find a number of documents and guidance which relate to Environmental Management at the University of Oxford.


Environmental Sustainability Policy

This is the University’s central sustainability policy.  It is reviewed annually by the Sustainability Steering Group and is internally and externally audited each year. Environmental Sustainability Policy 2016 (644kb)

Sustainable Purchasing Policy

The Sustainable Purchasing Policy aims to ensure that staff involved in the procurement of goods and services throughout the University consider environmental responsibility as a factor in their purchasing decisions. Sustainable Purchasing Policy (82kb)

Food Policy

 This document is currently in development but will form the basis of the University’s approach to sustainable and ethical food. The final document will be available here.


The University has an Environmental Management System certified to ISO 14001, the scope of the system and certificate is available here: Certificate of Approval 26-07-16 (376kb).  

Please note that only sites within scope listed on the above certificate are eligible to use the logo.

The EMS is gradually being rolled out across the estate. If you would like your department or building to be incorporated or to discuss the role out plan for your building, please contact sustainability@admin.ox.ac.uk.

Aspects and Impacts, and Legal Registers

The Aspects and Impacts register records the ways in which the University interacts with the environment.  A scoring system is applied to identify those that are significant. Significant aspects require careful management and strategies are produced to support the University to identify opportunities to increase positive impacts and decrease negative impacts. 

The University’s legal register records all the relevant legislation relating to the identified aspects and impacts and how the University complies.

These documents are available to staff falling with the scope of the EMS. To request access to these documents email sustainability@admin.ox.ac.uk.

Strategies, Programmes and Plans

Carbon Reduction Strategy

This defines the steps that the University has taken and will take in the future to achieve a reduction in its CO2 emissions.

Carbon Management Strategy (1,526kb)

Carbon Reduction Plan

This sets out the action plan for reducing carbon emissions from the University’s functional estate (buildings used for teaching, research, learning and administration).

Carbon Management Plan (486kb)

Waste Management Strategy

This identifies the steps the University can take to reduce waste and improve waste disposal options relating to the Waste Hierarchy. The Waste Management Strategy will be reviewed during 2016/17. 

Waste Management Strategy (1,777kb)



Transport Strategy

This seeks to reduce the number of single-occupancy car journeys in Oxford, promote and improve sustainable transport options and journey experience, and reduce the University’s transport related emissions. 

Sustainable Transport Strategy 2013-18 (1,341kb)

Environmental Sustainability Engagement and Communication Strategy

This document is currently in development and is due for first review in December 2016. To find out more or to feed into the strategy please email sustainability@admin.ox.ac.uk.

Water Strategy

This document explores how the University uses water, outlines its approach to managing water use, and sets targets for water use reduction.

Water Management Strategy January 2011 (544kb)

Sustainable Procurement

This strategy has been developed to ensure that all staff involved in the procurement of goods and services within the University routinely consider how we can enhance and protect our shared environment, contribute to the health and well-being of society, and build a sustainable economy through our procurement decisions. 

Sustainable Procurement Strategy 2013 - 2017 (137kb)

Biodiversity Strategy

This document is currently in first draft form.

Objectives and Targets

Summary of key objectives and targets (408kb) Summary of the University’s key environmental sustainability objectives and targets. 

Roles, responsibilities and governance

Day to day


Environmental Sustainability team

You can meet the team by viewing our most current annual report Environmental Sustainability Report 2015 (635kb).

The team is accredited to Customer Service Excellence, an externally assessed, government-led, national accreditation scheme. You can find out more about our approach to customer service here.



Sustainability Steering Group

Information on the Sustainability Steering Group including membership can be found here.

Environmental Management Senior Leadership

Leadership of the Environmental Management System includes the Sustainability Steering Group and the Registrar, the University’s senior administrator.

Student Representation


Oxford University Student’s Union (OUSU) sits on the Sustainability Steering Group (SSG) and provides input to all strategies and policies. In addition the OUSU representative provides a termly update to SSG on their work.

The Environmental Sustainability team also has regular informal meetings and attends OUSU’s Environment & Ethics Representatives meetings, which are open to all students. To find out more contact OUSU’s Environment and Ethic’s Chair



The Environmental Sustainability team runs a number of events and training sessions throughout the year. See the events and training page for current opportunities. Online training will be listed here in due course. To request training or to find out more email sustainability@admin.ox.ac.uk.  


Non Hazardous Waste A-Z

Provides information for disposal based on waste type. For more information email wastemanagement@admin.ox.ac.uk

Non Hazardous Waste FAQ

Provides further information to some common waste questions. For more information email wastemanagement@admin.ox.ac.uk

Non Hazardous Waste handbook

An easy access guide which can be communicated to all staff, students and others working for or on behalf of the University.

Waste Recycling Guide A5 (2,178kb)

Hazardous Waste

See the Safety Office’s website and resources. 

Trade Effluent Guidance notes

This is currently in draft format. Please email sustainability@admin.ox.ac.uk for more information.


A range of tools are available for work around Environmental Sustainability. These are being developed and improved all the time.


Procedures, templates and documents

Waste Transfer Note

Waste Transfer Note Template (47kb)


University of Oxford Waste Brokerage Registration

Waste Brokerage Registration (229kb)

Brokerage Waste Transfer Note

To use the brokerage WTN templates please contact wastemanagement@admin.ox.ac.uk.

Trade Effluent Registration

Please register with sustainability@admin.ox.ac.uk that you are applying or updating a trade effluent consent.


The University carriers out internal audits on the EMS as well as regular audits conducted by a UKAS accredited auditing body in order to retain certification to ISO 14001.

In addition, the strategies and plans ensure continual improvement. For example, the Carbon Management Programme has an agreed sampling strategy and audit approach to assess and confirm project savings.

The University’s Environmental Management System is externally audited annually. 


Annual Environmental and ISCN reports

These reports provide an annual insight into Environmental Sustainability at the University of Oxford. 

Environmental Sustainability Reports 2016 (6,690kb)

Monthly University waste reports

Summary monthly waste report for collections through Select Environmental across the University of Oxford. 

Estates Management Record

The University annually returns data to the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), including sustainability metrics available here


Further information and documentation is held on the Environmental Management System SharePoint pages. If you require further information or access to the information on SharePoint please contact sustainability@admin.ox.ac.uk.

Once downloaded all documents are uncontrolled and will not be updated. If you have any questions, queries, concerns or complaints about environmental management at the University of Oxford, please contact sustainability@admin.ox.ac.uk.