How we’re different
Cambridge Zero is not just about developing greener technologies. It will harness the full range of the University’s research and policy expertise, developing solutions that work for our lives, our society and our economy.
Dr Emily Shuckburgh OBE
A world-leading climate scientist and gifted science communicator, Dr Emily Shuckburgh is the Director of Cambridge Zero. She is also Reader in Environmental Data Science in the Department of Computer Science and Technology. In her previous role at the British Antarctic Survey she led a national research programme on polar climate change.
Cambridge Zero Climate Change Festival 2020
Join us for the inaugural Cambridge Zero Climate Change Festival, happening 6-13 November 2020, in conjunction with Cambridge University Press. All events will be held virtually, and are free and open to join. Learn more about the festival and find out how to register for sessions here.
22 October 2020
COVID-19 Lockdown Impacts on Climate: Do short-term emissions reductions make a difference to climate change?
The COVID-19 lockdown meant a significant reduction in emissions from transport, industry, and aviation. This improved air quality in many regions, but did it impact climate? Read more about a recent study to investigate.
22 October 2020
Cambridge University plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2038
In his annual address, Vice-Chancellor Professor Stephen J Toope today announced that the University of Cambridge aims to divest from all direct and indirect investments in fossil fuels by 2030 as part of its plan to cut its greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2038.
1 October 2020
Climate-positive businesses have the solutions we need in the post-pandemic world
Cambridge Cleantech are supporting climate-positive businesses in this difficult period through online support programmes on topics such as access to finance, new grant funding schemes and contract opportunities with corporates.
9 September 2020
Finding a place for the pandemic's plastic: The Cambridge Creative Circular Plastics Centre
COVID-19 has led to a resurgence in plastic use across society, from PPE to the likes of Starbucks no longer accepting reusable cups. At CirPlas, there is hope that this plastic renaissance will inspire more holistic thinking about plastics and their lifecycle.
7 September 2020
Green Recovery from COVID-19: A COP26 Universities Network Briefing
Can we shape a national and global recovery from the coronavirus pandemic in a way that supports the response to climate change and other environmental threats? Dr Emily Shuckburgh presents a green COVID-19 recovery government briefing from the COP26 Universities Network.
5 May 2020
The latest research highlights and discoveries from Cambridge Zero and our partners featured in the news.
Creating fuel from thin air with artificial leaves
Erwin Reisner, energy and sustainability professor at Cambridge University, heads a team of researchers trying to capture more of the free energy that the sun provides - which could be more than enough for all human activities.
26 October 2020
Electric roads will help cut UK road freight emissions, report says
A team from the Centre for Sustainable Road Freight (SRF) has proposed that building an 'electric road system' could decarbonise 65% of UK lorry kilometres travelled by 2040. See how in their new whitepaper.
18 August 2020
Likelihood of 40C temperatures in UK is ‘rapidly accelerating’
The likelihood of the UK experiencing deadly 40C temperatures is “rapidly accelerating” due to the climate crisis, scientists have found. The Guardian outlines a new analysis following 2019 research with emissions scenarios.
2 July 2020
"Cambridge Zero will help us imagine – and deliver – a better, healthier zero‑carbon future."
Cambridge Zero is bringing together a portfolio of cutting-edge research.
Cambridge Zero connects research groups and institutes across the University, joining up their research and policy expertise. This includes* researchers and projects within:
* not all of the research conducted by these groups is relevant to Cambridge Zero.
We are growing our existing external engagement and collaboration networks, actively seeking new partners to create a powerful platform for change.
Sustainability in business
The Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL) works directly with senior leaders, CEOs and boards of leading companies to align their strategy and commercial decisions with the Paris Agreement and drive the transition to net zero across their operations.
The Hughes Hall Centre for Climate Change Engagement aims to increase awareness on company boards of the need for urgent action on climate change. It supports Chapter Zero, which provides a toolkit to help non-executive directors understand and respond to the impacts of climate change on their businesses.
It provides collaborative working space for stakeholders and hosts the Cambridge components of the Henry Royce Institute for advanced materials research and the Faraday Institution, the UK’s independent institute for battery science and technology.
The Centre for Science and Policy's mission is to improve public policy through the more effective use of evidence and expertise, by creating opportunities for public policy professionals and academics to learn from each other.
The Cambridge Conservation Initiative is a collaboration between nine leading conservation organisations and the University, catalysing strategic partnerships across research, education, policy and practice to transform global understanding and conservation of biodiversity and secure a sustainable future.
Cambridge Enterprise supports the University in achieving knowledge transfer and research impact, by helping innovators, experts and entrepreneurs use commercial avenues to develop their ideas and expertise for the benefit of society.
Cambridge Cleantech unites the creators of new cleantech technologies with the financiers, partners and customers who can bring their products and services to fruition.
CISL’s Accelerator & Sustainability Hub helps local and regional entrepreneurs, SMEs and startups tackle the challenges of a transition to a sustainable economy.
The Centre for Sustainable Finance helps financial institutions mitigate the physical risks of climate change on their portfolios and prepare for the risks and opportunities of transitioning to a low-carbon economy.
The Centre for Risk Studies engages with organisations to recognise, analyse and manage the impacts of systemic risks. The annual Cambridge Global Risk Index assesses the potential of multiple threats, including extreme weather events, to disrupt global economic activity.
Cambridge University Press is a leading publisher in the field of climate and sustainability. It is working directly with researchers and educators to develop a new open platform for early research and collaboration, Cambridge Open Engage.
We are training a new generation of creative and innovative leaders to respond to this urgent global challenge.
The Living Lab for Sustainability brings together students, academics and staff to test new ideas, apply research to practice, and develop new solutions for enhancing sustainability within the University.
Students bring enthusiasm and ideas, academics bring world-renowned expertise and research, and staff bring practical advice and assistance, leading to more innovative interventions and effective results.
Our doctoral training programmes provide the next generation of researchers with the skills they need to become interdisciplinary leaders and produce cutting-edge research.
Sustainability in the curriculum
The University aims for all students to have access to formal or informal opportunities to develop their knowledge, skills and understanding relating to sustainability matters and solutions, and is consulting on how sustainability can be further embedded in the curriculum.
University primary school
The University of Cambridge Primary School is an inclusive, ambitious and innovative place of learning. By connecting primary educators with University researchers to create research-informed teaching resources and creative activities, it aims to support children to become agents of hope, able to contribute positively to their world.
Policy challenges collaboration
How can Cambridgeshire reach net zero emissions by 2050? Through the CUSPE Policy Challenges, a team of early-career researchers worked with the County Council to identify the required policy actions to achieve this goal.
Executive education and short courses
CISL’s sustainability leadership education programmes offer senior leaders insight into innovative, commercially compelling ways to address global trends.
Reducing direct emissions
We are assessing options to significantly reduce the amount of gas the University uses for space and water heating, and will develop plans to meet our future heat demand through low or zero carbon technologies.
We are one of a group of 20 UK universities that have joined forces to enter into a power purchase agreement, to secure 20% of our current electricity demand from a UK wind farm. We are assessing the feasibility of developing our own renewables.
Building for success
We are taking steps to ensure that lifecycle costs and carbon are key considerations in decisions relating to our development and refurbishment programme, utilising our own academic expertise in this area wherever possible.
Addressing indirect emissions
We are taking steps to better understand and reduce our indirect emissions, including those from flights, food and our wider supply chain. We will begin setting targets for these emissions this academic year.
Involving staff and students
Hospital for zero-carbon future
Cambridge Children’s, a new children’s hospital and research institute with Cambridge University Hospitals and the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Foundation Trust, aims to be an exemplar in carbon reduction as part of its role in providing a safer and more sustainable future for all.