Environmental Sustainability is embedded in our operations, supported in our teaching and research; and integral to our overall commitment to Social Responsibility.

For a closer look at our policies and how we perform, please visit Oxford Brookes University Sustainability.

ECOsmart scheme

Oxford Brookes Venues has been graded as Platinum by the ECOsmart scheme in recognition of its exceptional sustainability standards. This award is reserved for the "Best of the Best" sustainable venues.

ECOsmart is the accreditation programme of Greengage Solutions who recognise and support eco-friendly hotels and conference venues that meet certified standards of sustainability.

Ecosmart logo


Oxford Brookes University is accredited to ISO 14001, the world's most recognised environmental management system (EMS).

All our new and refurbished venues use sustainable design guidelines that include natural lighting, "free" natural ventilation, low-flow water fixtures, and efficient heating systems.

We have cut carbon emissions by 24% since 2005 with reduction targets of 28% in 2020. Currently, 12% of our electricity is generated on-site by low-carbon Combined Heat and Power (CHP) units with rooftop solar PV panels providing another 1% of our electricity.

We recycle 71% of our waste including food waste - and are on track to meet our goal of 75% in 2020.

Water efficiency showers, taps, and toilets are installed in all buildings to help reduce water use. Rainwater harvesting at our Headington Campus and Clive Booth Accommodation capture rainwater for use in toilets and irrigation.

We are the first university in the world to install bee-centred Freedom Hives. Wildflowers are planted across sites to promote flora diversity and attract honey bees. Bird, bat, and owl boxes are installed across our campuses to provide homes for wildlife. Bug hotels have been built to welcome overwintering guests.


Our award-winning BROOKESbus links our campuses and stops at key places including Oxford City Centre, Oxford Rail Station, and outside Seacourt and Thornhill Park and Ride.

Since 2009, BROOKESbus has moved nearly 22 million passengers – saving an estimated 1.5 million car journeys each year from Oxford’s roads. Nearly 40% of all BROOKESbus journeys in 2019 were made by community members, thus providing sustainable transport options for the wider community.

In 2018, Oxford Brookes University purchased six new micro-hybrid buses that reduced fuel consumption by 18% and CO2 emissions by 34% (compared to a baseline low-emission bus).

Oxford is a recognised "cycling friendly city" and we promote the use of the Oxford Dockless Hire Bike scheme with a designated dockless bike drop off/collection point on campus.


Oxford Brookes University has invested in dual monitors in our offices, saving the need to print emails or event documents. We no longer print or distribute brochures. When we must print, it is on 100% recycled paper. We reuse marketing materials such as banners that are not event/date specific.

We advise event organisers to reuse whatever materials possible. Badge holders, lanyards, and pens are all items that can be collected and reused at future events.

Complimentary flip charts, pens, and stationery pads are no longer offered to encourage attendees to use alternative sustainable and digital products.

Event organisers can use our fast and professional on-site printing service Brookes Print to reduce carrier delivery emissions.


Oxford Brookes University celebrated its eighteenth anniversary as the world’s first Fairtrade University in 2021.

To promote more sustainable coffee consumption, we offer a discount when you bring your own cup and provide special bins to recycle paper cups. Last year we diverted 178,000 cups from the waste stream and composted over 6 tonnes of coffee grounds.

Free drinking water is provided at all of our catering outlets and water fountains are installed throughout our campuses. We encourage visitors to bring a reusable water bottle and help reduce the amount of plastic waste generated from single-use water bottles.

We provide ongoing support to promote healthy and sustainable food options. This includes actively sourcing locally grown produce and promoting seasonal foods, maintaining sustainable food and animal welfare accreditation such as Fairtrade, MSC seafood, Red Tractor meat, and Good Egg.

Vegetarian and vegan event catering packages are available. We work with event organisers to avoid over-ordering to combat food waste.

Green Event Practices

Events can cause considerable waste and impact on the environment. We are mindful of this and encourage sustainability efforts by kindly asking you to participate in our Green Event Practices.

Before you arrive ensure:

  • you are not bringing any single-use plastic to the venue
  • you have downloaded the conference app or programme
  • you have downloaded the agenda and meeting papers
  • you have planned your journey to the venue via public transport or you have arranged car-sharing.

What to bring to the event

  • pen/pencil
  • paper
  • carrier bag (avoid plastic)
  • USB stick
  • water bottle
  • coffee cup
  • straw (avoid plastic)
  • reusable food container
  • handkerchief
  • charger / power bank.

At the event

  • separate your waste into the bins provided
  • reuse your cup, plate, and cutlery where possible
  • consider if you need to take giveaways
  • avoid wasting food and only take the amount you need
  • avoid cars and taxis to commute between locations: instead, use buses, hire bikes or walk
  • turn off taps to save water
  • turn of electronic appliances to reduce energy use.