Sustainability at SOAS

Our commitment to sustainability

SOAS has committed to becoming a net zero organisation by 2040 – and to achieve this, we are now working towards embedding sustainability in every aspect of our work.  

Since becoming the first London university to divest in fossil fuels in 2015, we have been taking steps to create a greener, fairer and just society through our research, learning and teaching as well as our everyday operations.

Responsible processes

Our Net Zero Strategy - developed in collaboration with the Carbon Trust - sets out the major steps we will take to achieve our net zero ambition by 2040.

Everyday operations at SOAS matter in how we achieve our sustainability goals. How we heat and power our buildings, how we travel and where we procure our goods and services will help to ensure SOAS plays its part in our greener transition.

SOAS Net Zero Strategy

This strategy sets out our ambition to become a net zero organisation and the highlevel steps we will need to take to achieve this.

Research with impact

Our research examines the impact of climate change, particularly in relation to our regions, and seeks to find solutions. Some of our work includes developing better policies and support around migration and displacement caused by environmental degradation, we offer possible routes towards a greener global economy and show the growth potential in the Global South for a greener energy transition.  

Socially responsible graduates

Inclusive and sustainable transformation is fundamental in our approach to learning and teaching, across all our disciplines. Our decolonial outlook to education means that many of our graduates in roles across government, business or development uphold the important principles to bring about positive change but in a sustainable way.

Engaging our communities

As a globally networked university, SOAS sustainability efforts extend beyond the borders of our campus. We engage with a diverse range of partners and networks, collaborating with local communities, civil society groups, industry leaders, NGOs, and governmental organizations. Doing so helps us to co-produce knowledge and solutions, to amplify our impact and to tackle complex sustainability challenges.  

The SOAS Centre for Sustainable Finance (CSF) hosts the Secretariat of The University Network for Strengthening Macrofinancial Resilience to Climate and Environmental Change. The Network promotes multi-disciplinary academic teaching and research in areas important for strengthening macro-financial resilience to climate change. The CSF is part of the Global Research Alliance for Sustainable Finance and Investment, a network of leading research universities, as well as the International Network for Sustainable Financial Policy Insights, Research, and Exchange, a global research network that feeds into the work of the Network of Central Banks and Financial Supervisors for Greening the Financial System. 

The SOAS Centre for Development, Environment and Policy (CeDEP) coordinates SOAS participation at the annual UN Climate Change COP meetings, to which is has accredited observer status, convening delegations that include both staff and graduate students. CeDEP also coordinates our participation in the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, UK Universities Climate Network and Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).  

The SOAS Law, Environment and Development Centre (LEDC) provides a focal point to expand interest in the dynamic relationships between the fields of law, environment and development. LEDC hosts the SOAS Environmental Law & Policy Clinic, providing students with opportunities to do clinical work with environmental law NGO partners. It also coordinates participation in the IUCN WCEL Rights of Nature Task Force.  

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