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.

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. 

Food Policy

 The Sustainable Food Policy is to ensure that the purchasing and production of food at the University of Oxford fits closely with the points previously outlined in the Environmental Sustainability Policy and Sustainable Purchasing Strategy.


The University has an Environmental Management System which works to the ISO 14001. The scope of the system is being reviewed and re-written to be more encompassing. Covering all of the University’s operations. 

Roles, responsibilities and governance

Environmental Sustainability team

Environmental Sustainability team are responsible for the delivery of the Environmental Policy. Information regarding the team and roles are available on the Estates Services website here: Meet the team

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

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


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.


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.

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.


Annual Environmental and ISCN reports

These reports provide an annual insight into Environmental Sustainability at 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 are held on the Environmental Management System SharePoint pages. If you require access to the information please contact sustainability@admin.ox.ac.uk.

Once downloaded all documents are uncontrolled and will not be updated.


The University carriers out internal audits on the EMS. The University also undertakes process audits conducted by a third party to provide a level of validation.

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 Environmental Sustainability team runs a number of events and training sessions throughout the year. To find out more email sustainability@admin.ox.ac.uk.