Cambridge Zero

A bold response to the world’s greatest challenge

The University of Cambridge is building on its existing research and launching an ambitious new climate change initiative. We are calling on the world’s brightest and best external partners to join us in creating a zero-carbon future.

How we’re different

Cambridge Zero is not just about developing greener technologies. It will harness the full power of the University’s research and policy expertise, developing solutions that work for our lives, our society and our economy.

Dr Emily Shuckburgh

Dr Emily Shuckburgh OBE

A world-leading climate scientist and gifted science communicator, Dr Emily Shuckburgh recently joined the University as Director of Cambridge Zero. In her previous role at the British Antarctic Survey she led a national research programme on polar climate change.

“Part of our responsibility as a globally influential academic institution is to take a leading role in helping our society move towards a sustainable future.”

Pioneering research

Cambridge Zero is bringing together a portfolio of cutting-edge research.

Zero-carbon energy transitions

Enabling a zero-carbon energy future by developing next-generation power and heating systems, photovoltaics, batteries, bioenergy, turbine design, hydrogen economy, and supporting policies.

Centre for Environment, Energy and Natural Resource Governance | Energy@Cambridge | Energy Policy Research Group | Nuclear Energy Centre | Whittle Laboratory | Winton Programme for the Physics of Sustainability

Policies and decision-making

Providing evidence incorporating climate science, behavioural science, health and wellbeing, artificial intelligence tools, and legal, governance and management dimensions.

Bennett Institute | Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership | Centre for Climate Science | Centre for Diet and Activity Research | Centre for Environment, Energy and Natural Resource Governance | Politics and International Studies | Social Decision-Making Lab

Resources and production

Creating a zero-carbon circular economy through sustainable industry and agriculture, resource efficiency, re-use of products, and recycling of embedded materials into durable new products.

Centre for Carbon Reduction in Chemical Technology | Centre for Crop Science | Centre for Industrial Sustainability | Circular Economy Centre | Creative Circular Plastics Centre | Resource Efficiency Collective | The Use Less Group

Resilient economic futures

Building sustainability and climate risk assessment into all financial and business decisions, and thinking beyond GDP to redefine prosperity in terms of social and natural capital.

Bennett Institute | Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership | Cambridge Judge Business School | Centre for the Study of Existential Risk | Conservation Research Institute

Transport, cities and infrastructure

Revisioning mobility and urban planning and developing solutions with autonomous vehicles, electric aircraft, district power systems, architectural design, and natural construction materials.

Centre for Digital Built Britain | Centre for Natural Material Innovation | Centre for Sustainable Development | Centre for Sustainable Road Freight | Computer Science & Technology | Energy Efficient Cities Initiative | Real Estate Research Centre | Whittle Laboratory

Carbon drawdown and climate repair

Advancing carbon capture, geological storage, industrial utilisation and carbon nanotube production, greenhouse gas removal, natural climate solutions, and exploration of the legal, ethical and technological dimensions of climate repair.

Advanced Carbon Applications and Manufacturing Initiative | BP Institute | Centre for Climate Science | Combustion Research Group | Earth Sciences | Mechanics, Materials and Design

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Connecting partners

We are enhancing our existing networks of external engagement and collaboration, and actively seeking new partners, to create a platform for change.

Inspiring leadership

We are training a new generation of creative and innovative leaders to respond to this urgent global challenge.

Leading by example

Cambridge is the first university in the world to adopt a 1.5ºC science-based target for carbon reduction

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Renewable energy

Assessing the feasibility of developing a solar farm on University land, and sourcing all of the University’s electricity from renewable energy.

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Environmental building

All new University building projects must consider full carbon and financial lifecycle costs.

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Sustainable food policy

The Sustainable Food Policy has achieved a 33% reduction in carbon emissions per kilogram of food by changing product options at University catering outlets.

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Indirect carbon emissions

Looking at options to significantly reduce the amount of gas the University uses for space and water heating, through the use of heat pumps and other technologies.

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