News and Events

Online tool measures community carbon footprint

Communities can measure their carbon footprint using a new online tool.

Exeter tops sustainability 'teach-in'

The University of Exeter has topped the 2021 list of universities pledging to include the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) within teaching, learning and assessment.

Exeter 'leading the way' on carbon targets

The University of Exeter's carbon reduction targets are among the most ambitious set by UK universities and colleges, according to rankings published by Students Organising for Sustainability UK (SOS-UK).

Sustainability at the heart of the new SWIoT centre

Sustainability is at the heart of one of the University’s newest buildings, currently under construction on the Streatham Campus.

University of Exeter responds to climate crisis

The University of Exeter has created a comprehensive plan to cut carbon emissions and improve the environment on its campuses and beyond.

University alliance urges G20 leaders to prioritise net zero

A coalition of leading climate research universities is calling on world leaders to prioritise net zero carbon emissions.

University of Exeter staff and students rewarded for sustainable actions

Staff and students at the University of Exeter will be rewarded for taking action on climate change through the launch of a new scheme.

New solar panels at University of Exeter

Three new solar installations will cut the University of Exeter’s carbon footprint by more than 100,000kg per year.

Falmouth and Exeter Students’ Union Sustainability Week wins National Award

Falmouth and Exeter Students’ Union have won Collaboration of the Year at the National Societies and Volunteering Awards for their Sustainability Week, it has been announced.

Exeter launches ‘net-zero by 2030’ plan

Today marks the release of Exeter City Futures’ Plan for a Net Zero Exeter, demonstrating that Exeter’s determination to become carbon neutral by 2030 remains of paramount importance.

Professor Juliet Osborne on how the University plans to combat the climate crisis

Professor Juliet Osborne, presented the Environment and Climate Emergency White Paper to a packed lecture theatre.

University of Exeter signs Global Climate Letter and halts investments in fossil fuel companies

The University of Exeter is one of nearly 250 higher and further education institutions who have signed a Global Climate Letter which will be presented at COP25 in Madrid on Friday 6th December and on Thursday 12th December during a UN event on Climate Change Education. 

Hundreds of trees planted at University of Exeter

Hundreds of trees will be planted at two University of Exeter campuses as part of the Woodland Trust’s Big Climate Fightback.

Nine climate tipping points now “active”, warn scientists

More than half of the climate tipping points identified a decade ago are now “active”, a group of leading scientists have warned.

University signs waste and recycling contract with city council and Binit

General waste and recycling from the University of Exeter will now be handled by Exeter City Council and Binit.

Penryn Campus responding to climate emergency

Renewable energy and re-usable cups are among the features of the ever-greener Penryn Campus.

University panel reveals climate emergency plan

The University of Exeter must take rapid action to tackle the environment and climate emergency, according to a panel of staff and students.

University of Exeter signs clean energy deal

Universities including Exeter have joined forces to sign a landmark green energy deal.

Exeter staff help the environment by reusing hundreds of unwanted items

A platform that has encouraged hundreds of University of Exeter staff members to reuse unwanted items in order to help the environment is celebrating its first anniversary.

University declares an environment and climate emergency

Exeter has declared an environment and climate emergency to support those calling for urgent action and show commitment to leading the change required.

New solar installation to cut energy-related carbon

New solar-powered installation at the Sports Hall sees Exeter go green

Tree-mendous benefits from campus ecosystem

Mature trees at the University of Exeter have an annual economic value of more than £46,000, a recent survey has shown.

LED lights reduce seabird death toll from fishing by 85 per cent, research shows

Illuminating fishing nets with low-cost lights could reduce the terrible impact they have on seabirds and marine-dwellers by more than 85 per cent, new research has shown.

Drought increases CO2 concentration in the air

The concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere rises faster during drier years because struggling ecosystems absorb less carbon, new research shows.

Forests crucial for limiting climate change to 1.5 degrees

Trying to tackle climate change by replacing forests with crops for bioenergy power stations could increase the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere.

Project develops next generation of offshore renewable energy technology

World-leading researchers from the University of Exeter will collaborate with counterparts in China on a pioneering new project to develop the next generation of offshore renewable energy (ORE) technologies.

Declining Arctic sea ice does influence European weather – but is not a cause of colder winters

The dramatic loss of Arctic sea ice through climate change is unlikely to lead to more severe winter weather across Northern Europe, new research has shown.

Critical role parrotfish play in coral reef island building shown in stunning new documentary

The pivotal role that parrotfish play in building and maintaining coral reef islands, unearthed by experts at the University of Exeter

Exeter helps protect Myanmar marine life

A new plan to protect Myanmar’s diverse marine life has been announced.

Cold region ‘tipping point’ now inevitable

The decline of cold regions called periglacial zones is now inevitable due to climate change, researchers say

Drowsy dormice doze into decline

Britain’s population of hazel dormice has declined by more than 70%, new research shows.

Commuters could help cut Exeter congestion

City commuters could play a pivotal role in helping curb traffic congestion in and around Exeter, thanks to a pioneering initiative.

Research looks into whether sea spray is losing its sparkle

Pioneering new research has given a fresh insight into the crucial role that sea spray plays in climate change.

Role aerosols play in climate change unlocked by spectacular Icelandic volcanic eruption

Cloud systems “well buffered” against aerosol changes in the atmosphere, research shows.

Research shows driving factors behind changes between local and global carbon cycles

Research has provided a fascinating insight in the quest to determine whether temperature or water availability is the most influential factor in determining the success of global, land-based carbon sinks.

Forests ‘held their breath’ during global warming hiatus, research shows

Global forest ecosystems, widely considered to act as the lungs of the planet, ‘held their breath’ during the most recent occurrence of a warming hiatus, new research has shown.

Early climate ‘payback’ with higher emission reductions

Climate scientists have shown that the early mitigation needed to limit eventual warming below potentially dangerous levels has a climate ‘payback’ much earlier than previously thought.

Huge permafrost thaw can be limited by ambitious climate targets

Global warming will thaw about 20% more permafrost than previously thought, scientists have warned – potentially releasing significant amounts of greenhouse gases into the Earth’s atmosphere.

El Nino reveals impact of global warming on marine production

The extent to which climate change impacts the vital marine food web - which feeds the already pressured global fisheries – is revealed through a new, innovative study.

Leading climate scientist wins prestigious award

A leading climate scientist has received a prestigious international award

Walk-in camera obscura and giant pop-up book part of family fun at the University of Exeter

Children can enjoy exploring a walk-in camera obscura and a giant pop-up book at a free family day at the University of Exeter.

No-fishing zones help endangered penguins

Small no-fishing zones around colonies of African penguins can help this struggling species, new research shows.

Exeter research helps protect loggerhead turtles

A long-running research and conservation project is helping save an at-risk species of turtle.

Ultra low water-use toilets to help meet ambitious sustainability goals

Exciting water and energy saving project starts this November

University sets ambitious carbon reduction target

The University of Exeter has announced a new carbon reduction target that commits to achieving a 50 per cent reduction in energy-related carbon emissions by 2026, and has approved investment in a range of energy-saving projects to help achieve this.

Exeter student to join team kayaking length of Wales collecting plastic

A second year marine biology student, is to join a team of women kayaking the length of Wales collecting plastic.

Acidic oceans cause fish to lose their sense of smell

Fish are losing their sense of smell because of increasingly acidic oceans caused by rising levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere, new research shows.

Beavers arrive in the Forest of Dean

A pair of Eurasian Beavers will return to the Forest of Dean today (24 July) for the first time for about 400 years.

Microclimates may provide wildlife with respite from climate change

Sheltered pockets of cooler and more variable conditions in the British countryside may help native species

Green Flag flies across University of Exeter campuses

The University of Exeter has retained the prestigious Green Flag Awards

University campuses up for People’s Choice Awards

Three University of Exeter campuses are among the nominees in a vote for the UK’s favourite green spaces.

New Exeter institute to tackle ‘global challenges’

How can our planet and its people flourish as the human population reaches an estimated 9-11 billion?

Water security crisis requires ‘urgent action’

Major forum to address ‘biggest danger facing the world over next decade’ 

The foundation of aquatic life can rapidly adapt to global warming, new research suggests

Important microscopic creatures which produce half of the oxygen in the atmosphere can rapidly adapt to global warming, new research suggests.

Warming ponds could accelerate climate change

Rising temperatures could accelerate climate change by reducing the amount of carbon dioxide stored in ponds and increasing the methane they release, new research shows.

Light pollution has serious impact on coastal wildlife, research shows

Scientists have recognised for some years that light pollution is a growing phenomenon that impacts on the behaviour and success of many animals.

Breeding oilseed rape varieties for pollinator-friendly traits

Amounts and sugar content of nectar vary between commercial varieties of oilseed rape (OSR) produced with different breeding systems, when tested in the glasshouse. 

‘Inefficient’ sailing fleet keeps oyster fishery alive

Oyster stocks in a Cornish fishery are sustained thanks to “inefficient” traditional fishing methods, new research suggests.

Exeter students help develop renewable energy strategies in Caribbean

Students from the University of Exeter have conducted detailed analyses of renewable energy technologies in Barbados as part of a nine day field trip.

Single-use plastics turned into giant turtle sculpture by students

A group of University of Exeter students have constructed a giant plastic turtle on campus to promote plastic use awareness.

Campus Services and Estate Services achieve environmental management certification

Campus Services and Estate Services has achieved recertification and transition to ISO14001:2015, the International Environmental Management System Standard

University of Exeter set to become ‘Plastic Free’ by 2020

The University of Exeter has announced the latest phase of a sustainability drive designed to help its campuses become ‘plastic free’.

Go Green Week 2018 is here

The Student Guild's Sustainability Council have teamed up with student societies, academics & the local community to launch the 2018 Go Green Week.

Birds flock to Exeter campuses

The number of birds coming to University of Exeter campuses has substantially risen compared to previous years according to a new independent breeding birds survey.

Students help Falmouth achieve Plastic Free Status

Falmouth Marine Conservation Group, which is led by two University of Exeter students, has helped the Cornish town achieve Plastic Free Community Status.

Renewable Energy Students Visit Parliament

Renewable Energy Engineering students from the University of Exeter met with three Government ministers as part of a special fact-finding trip to the House of Commons.

Future Energy Systems conference highlights female leaders in energy system change

A high-profile conference will showcase the work of inspirational women across the energy  sector, to mark international Women’s Day.

University experts and The Ellen MacArthur Foundation to work towards a circular economy

Experts at the University of Exeter are celebrating a new collaboration with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation as they join its network as a Pioneer University.

Students set to ‘Sail Against Plastic’

A team of students and staff from the University of Exeter are set to embark on a 12-day voyage to measure pollution in the Arctic.

University and leading British surf brand seek wetsuit recycler

A pioneering inventor is being sought to create recycled and recyclable wetsuits.

Free climate change courses starting soon

A series of free climate change courses run by the University of Exeter will begin next week.

€2 million project to explore links between oceans and human health

The European Union is investing €2 million (£1.78m) to coordinate research into the complex links between oceans and human health and wellbeing.

Exeter marine biologist is star of the Blue Planet

Blue Planet II, which has captured the nation’s imagination and highlighted the beauty and plight of marine life around the world, starred the University of Exeter’s Steve Simpson, Associate Professor of Marine Biology & Global Change.

Marine turtles dying after becoming entangled in plastic rubbish

Hundreds of marine turtles die every year after becoming entangled in rubbish in the oceans and on beaches,  including plastic ‘six pack’ holders and discarded fishing gear.  

Boost for green research at Exeter

Sustainable seafood and electric cars are among the eco-friendly industries that will be the focus of new research at the University of Exeter.

Artist and students transform cardboard into stunning artwork

A local artist has worked with students from the University of Exeter Medical School to create a striking sculpture made from a humble everyday material: cardboard.

New tool allows farmers to compare their environmental impacts

Farmers can now compare their business’s impact on the environment using a new tool designed to help them operate in a more sustainable and productive way.

Lighting revolution may increase light pollution

A study of pictures of Earth by night has revealed that artificial light is growing brighter and more extensive every year.

Building empathy between planners and migrants for sustainable cities

Researchers will engage new migrant populations and planners in Bangladesh’s second city to build human security into planning processes.

Cornish granites could solve riddle of pinpointing metals crucial for low carbon tech

The composition of granite found underneath much of the South West peninsula could offer a vital clue to where deposits of metals crucial for the production of many low carbon technologies can be found.

Research reveals West Antarctic Ice Sheet loss over the last 11,000 years

Wind-driven incursions of warm water have forced the retreat of glaciers in West Antarctica over the last millennia, new research has revealed.

Natural Sciences students showcase diverse research

Natural Sciences students at the University of Exeter have presented a wide range of research at a special event.

Amazonian farmers discovered the secret of domesticating wild rice 4,000 years ago

Amazonian farmers discovered how to manipulate wild rice so the plants could provide more food 4,000 years ago, archaeologists have discovered.

Can spending time in parks, woodlands and beaches improve our mental health?

A new study involving the University of Exeter  will investigate whether spending time in green and blue spaces, such as parks and beaches, can have a positive effect on our long-term wellbeing and mental health.

Quorn protein on par with animal sources

Protein found in Quorn meat-free foods may be just as good for muscles as animal proteins, new research suggests

University alliance awarded £2m to train a new generation of freshwater leaders

Exeter is part of the UK’s first freshwater doctoral training programme to address the complex challenges facing freshwater sustainability.

Conservationists should harness ‘Hollywood effect’ to help wildlife

Researchers say conservation scientists could work with filmmakers to harness the “Hollywood effect”.

Ancient tree reveals cause of spike in Arctic temperature

A tree preserved in a New Zealand peat swamp for 30,000 years has revealed new information about the last ice age.

University of Exeter trees remove pollution equivalent to emissions from 798 family cars

The thousands of trees at the University of Exeter remove pollution equivalent to emissions from 798 family cars from the atmosphere every year, research shows.

Community support for protection of the Great Barrier Reef

Who cares about the Great Barrier Reef? Many people, according to a paper published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Moth larvae testing firm wins grant

A spinout company, which provides moth larvae for use in scientific testing – reducing the need for tests on mice and rats – has won a £100,000 grant.

Sea temperature changes contributing to droughts

Fluctuations in sea surface temperature are a factor in causing persistent droughts, research suggests. 

Green Flag Awards for University of Exeter campuses

The University of Exeter has won Green Flag Awards for its picturesque and eco-friendly campuses.

A fifth of male fish in UK rivers now ‘trans-gender’ due to chemicals in human waste

Anti-depressants flushed down the loo reduce natural shyness in fish.

University backs the Exeter Cycling Charter

The University of Exeter is encouraging more students and staff to cycle to campus by signing a citywide charter aiming to tackle inactive lifestyles, congestion and pollution.

Hydrogen peroxide protects plants against sun damage

Plants use hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) to control how their cells react to varying levels of light, new research shows.

Monitoring changes in wetland extent can help predict the rate of climate change

Monitoring changes to the amount of wetlands in regions where permafrost is thawing should be at the forefront of efforts to predict future rates of climate change, new research shows.

Climate change risk for animals living in prime conditions

Animals living in areas where conditions are ideal for their species have less chance of evolving to cope with climate change, new research suggests.

Late-nesting birds and bees face habitat threat

Bird and bumblebee species that nest late in the year are suffering more from the destruction of habitats, new research suggests.

Motor-boat noise makes fish bad parents, leading to the death of their babies

Noise from motorboats is making fish become bad parents, and reducing the chance of their young surviving, research led by marine experts at the University of Exeter has shown.

Exeter students discuss ‘Business of Brexit’ Grand Challenges

Students and staff heard about what philosopher and economist Adam Smith would have said about Brexit during an event held as part of this year’s University of Exeter Grand Challenges programme.

Stand Up for Nature students win award

Two students at the University of Exeter have received an award for their conservation organisation, Stand Up for Nature.

New population of endangered cats found in Borneo

A new population of an endangered and elusive cat species has been found in Borneo.

Logging threatens breeding turtles

Debris from logging in tropical forests is threatening the survival of hatchling leatherback turtles and the success of mothers at one of the world’s most important nesting sites in Colombia.

Edible bananas grown for the first time at the University of Exeter

Edible bananas have been grown for the first time by the talented gardeners at the University of Exeter.

Students pedal for nature at free outdoor cinema event on Cornish beach

Award-winning conservation films will be shown at a new bicycle-powered cinema on a beach in Cornwall, thanks to two University of Exeter students.

Extensive ice cap once covered sub-antarctic island of South Georgia

A new study reveals the sub-antarctic island of South Georgia – famous for its wildlife – was covered by a massive ice cap during the last ice age.

Go Green Week 2017 is here

The Student Guild's Sustainability Council have teamed up with student societies, academics & the local community to launch the 2017 Go Green Week.

Student volunteers help Exeter’s homeless by distributing excess campus food

Students from the University of Exeter are joining forces with a local charity by distributing unsold food to the city’s homeless community.

Exploring the economic value of trees’ social and environmental benefits

The social and environmental outputs of woodlands play a much broader role in the economy than is often recognised, according to a new Research Report by the University of Exeter for the Forestry Commission.

Impacts of mass coral die-off on Indian Ocean reefs revealed

Warming seawaters threaten the stability of tropical coral reefs, with potentially devastating implications for many reef species and the human communities that reefs support.

Increasing water table in agricultural peatland could cut UK greenhouse gas emissions

Increasing the water table could help to slow down global warming, boost crop yields and preserve peat soils, according to a new study.

LED lighting could have major impact on wildlife

LED street lighting can be tailored to reduce its impacts on the environment, according to new research by the University of Exeter.

Rare footage of mother and baby beavers in the River Otter

Public invited to take part in a national survey on whether beavers should be reintroduced permanently into Britain

Climate change has mixed effects on migratory geese

Climate change improves the breeding chances of migratory geese in the Arctic – but puts mother geese at more risk of death, according to a new study.