THE University of Sussex has announced plans to become one of the world’s most sustainable universities, with a target of reaching net zero emissions within 15 years.

The “Sustainable Sussex” strategy outlines proposals to overhaul its transport, heating and supply chains in the coming decade to cut emissions and to be more eco-friendly.

Among the plans include aims to reduce waste produced per student by ten per cent by 2025, creating the UK’s most biodiverse campus by setting aside up to half of the site for nature, and getting more staff and students to volunteer in the community.

Outgoing vice-chancellor Professor Adam Tickell said: “Universities exist to answer the big questions - and there is no bigger question than how we build a sustainable planet.

“This is the greatest single challenge facing humankind and this strategy puts sustainability at the heart of everything we do.”

The university was named among the world’s top 50 for delivering on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals in research, teaching, stewardship and outreach in the Times Higher Education World Impact Rankings earlier this year.

The strategy also includes goals to build an additional on-campus solar farm, ensure more food is sourced from local producers and consider the opportunity of ending or reducing the sale of beef and lamb-based meals by 2023 - if supported by students and staff.

“We need to build back greener from the Covid pandemic and so now is the time for the university to really renew our already strong sustainability ethos,” Professor Tickell added.