Our green credentials

Our green credentials

Green GCU

GCU is committed to becoming carbon neutral across all campuses by 2040.

  • We are the only university in Scotland to have our Environmental Management System (EMS) certified with an EcoCampus Platinum award. The EMS, which helps us to identify and manage risks and opportunities, is also International Standard ISO 14001 certified.
  • In 2019, GCU was rated first in Scotland in the People & Planet University League for its environmental and ethical performance.
  • We were Scotland’s first Cycle Friendly Campus and have invested in state-of-the-art recycling facilities.
  • We use a combined heat and power system to help reduce the University’s carbon footprint in Glasgow and we continue to send no waste to landfill.
  • We use the Greenhouse Gas Protocol Standards to accurately report our carbon footprint annually, including staff and student travel, procurement and energy use. In 2018-19, our emissions were 31.5% lower than in 2014-15 (the University’s baseline) and we have a clear Carbon Neutrality Plan to guide and shape our transition.
  • Our drive to reduce our carbon footprint has included substantial investment, including recladding our Hamish Wood building which sought to deliver a 66% reduction in gas use. More is needed.
  • In the months and years ahead, we are looking to have a car-free campus, zero-emissions transport fleet, promote more remote working and teaching, build carbon negative buildings, restrict flying and encourage more travel by train, and increase transnational education programmes.

Find out more about sustainability at GCU.

What can I do to help?

Check out some top tips on how you can do your bit to help the planet.

Infographic text - Taking care of our planet

Taking care of our planet 

Five simple ways that you can make a difference 

1. Eat sustainably

  • Make and stick to a shopping list or meal plan each week to reduce waste. 
  • Buy less plastic and bring along reusable shopping bag. 
  • Enjoy local, seasonal fruit and veg and eat less meat and dairy products to help reduce carbon emissions. 
  • Carry reusable coffee cups or water bottles with you.

2. Shop consciously  

  • Before buying something new, give yourself a couple of days to consider whether you really need it. 
  • Avoid buying single-use products and fast fashion. Try to buy second hand or good-quality, longer-lasting items instead. 
  • Think about whether there’s a way to repair something you already have, or to give it a new lease of life through upcycling.

3.Take the road less travelled  

  • Drive less and walk, bike, run or pogo hop more! 
  • Cut back on flying when you can – consider a scenic train journey if travelling in the same country or continent.

4. Speak up to change up 

  • Tell others about your choices. Share what you’re doing differently and why with family, friends, classmates, colleagues or your local council, MP or MSP. 

5. Use less energy (and make cost savings!) 

  • Make the most of natural light and turn off any electronics when not in use. 
  • Opt for showers over baths and challenge yourself to shave a minute or two off your shower time. 
  • Thinking of cranking up the heating? Try adding some layers or a warm jumper instead. 
  • Switch to energy-efficient light bulbs.