The University of Plymouth has been verified carbon neutral.

The awarding of PAS 2060 verification – an independent and internationally recognised standard for carbon neutrality – acknowledges the establishment’s ongoing work to reduce the carbon impact of its campuses and operations.

It becomes only the second UK university to achieve the status.

Professor Judith Petts, vice-chancellor of the University of Plymouth, said: “This achievement is an important step on our path to Net Zero. It is something of which everyone connected to the university can be proud as they have all played their part in helping push us towards our targets.

“It is further evidence that we are not just talking the talk when it comes to sustainability, but are committed to working with communities, industry, policy makers and individuals to bring about the seismic shifts and cultural changes our planet needs to survive.”

Since declaring a climate emergency in 2019, the university has held the ambition of delivering Net Zero emissions from scope 1 and 2 – which covers gas, electricity and a number of other fuels – by 2025.

Its latest Sustainability Report shows it has achieved that target three years ahead of schedule through reducing those emissions by 78 per cent since 2005.

It has also more than halved its carbon footprint since 1990 and significantly reduced selected scope 3 emissions including water, waste and business travel.

Dr Samantha Davies, head of sustainability at the university, added: “Carbon reduction remains our ultimate priority, but due to current technologies some offsetting is unavoidable at this time.

“Where we have offset, we have taken steps to ensure any investment is being directed into projects where it will make a difference to communities while having the least possible environmental impact.

“That echoes our own ethos, one we are committed to driving forward now and in the future.”