Oxford Brookes University joins leaders to support 2040 net zero carbon emissions pledge

Thursday, 04 February 2021

Oxford city view

Oxford Brookes University’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Alistair Fitt joined leaders from across Oxford today (4 February 2021) to support the aspiration to achieve net zero carbon emissions as a city by 2040.

Coordinated by Oxford City Council, the group of 21 leaders from the city’s universities, institutions and large businesses have signed the Zero Carbon Oxford Charter, marking their support for achieving net zero carbon emissions as a city by 2040.

Professor Alistair Fitt, Vice-Chancellor of Oxford Brookes University, said: “The climate crisis is a global emergency, but we have an important local role to play in achieving net zero carbon emissions here in Oxford. At Oxford Brookes, carbon emissions have reduced by 35% since 2005 and sustainability is at the heart of our University’s campuses and activities, from teaching to our world-leading research. We’re committed to sharing our expertise to help the city achieve its ambitious target, and I am proud to support the Zero Carbon Oxford Charter on behalf of Oxford Brookes.” 

Zero Carbon Oxford Partnership

The Zero Carbon Oxford partnership was established at the summit, which took place virtually and brought together major partners to discuss a plan for Oxford as a city moving towards net zero. The new partnership involves Oxford Brookes and will encourage a wider range of stakeholders to play their part in cutting Oxford’s carbon footprint to zero. A detailed roadmap to net zero emissions for Oxford will be published in summer 2021.

Councillor Tom Hayes, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Green Transport and Zero Carbon Oxford said: “It is more important than ever that citizens, organisations, and governments at all levels show leadership to tackle the climate emergency head on. The City Council has brought together 21 organisations, and while our summit will last for one day, the Zero Carbon Oxford Partnership that it launches will work every day to become a net zero city. Our joint ambition to become a net zero city by 2040—ten years earlier than the target set by the Government—is a strong sign of the pace and ambition required. It also marks another case of the Council honouring the recommendations of our Citizens’ Assembly on Climate Change. 

“With so many people facing unemployment as a result of the COVID-19 economic crisis, the race to 2040 is an opportunity we can’t refuse - to unlock significant sustainable investment in Oxford that benefits our communities with new jobs and skills.”

Oxford Brookes commitment to carbon emission reduction

Oxford Brookes has been reducing carbon emissions across its estates and operations for many years. In 2019/20, the University achieved a 35% reduction in absolute carbon emissions compared to its 2010 baseline - exceeding its target of a 34% reduction by 2025.


Oxford Brookes is currently finalising its new Energy and Carbon Reduction Strategy. Once agreed, it will contain ambitious targets contributing to Oxford City’s Zero Carbon 2040 target and will be delivered by:

  • improving the efficiency of buildings and their systems

  • future-proofing redevelopment works

  • moving towards new and renewable forms of heating 

  • driving further institutional change through improvements to the University’s policies and procedures.

Further detail on environmental sustainability at Oxford Brookes can be found on the University’s dedicated webpages.

Find out more about the Zero Carbon Oxford partnership