Annual Sustainability Reports and Progress

Highlights of LSE's sustainability progress since 2006 as well as our Annual Sustainability Reports


un race to zeroTeam photo from litter pick event at the LSE Sportsground in 2021

2020/21 Sustainability Report

Minouche Shafik, LSE Director:

"This has been a challenging year for all of us impacted one way or another by the pandemic. But it has also been a year where we learned how to do many things differently. Among the things we learned at LSE is that our commitment to sustainability is stronger than ever as illustrated by LSE joining the United Nations Race to Zero, a global campaign to rally support for the rapid transition to a “net zero” carbon world.

This year LSE launched its Sustainability Strategic Plan, created in close collaboration with the LSE community to maximise our impact in shaping a sustainable world. The plan sets a comprehensive package of measures to embed environmental sustainability across our operations with six key areas of focus: Education, Research, Engagement and Leadership, Investment, Collaboration, and Our School for campus operations.

Our Sustainability Strategic Plan has been a catalyst for action and accelerated our already wide-ranging efforts. During the pandemic, sustainability emerged as a key theme which supported our strong sense of community at LSE, with our Sustainability Awards recognising a record 38 individuals and teams. This report provides an overview of sustainability initiatives across the School for the academic year 2020/21, and the progress made across the six themes of the plan.

Critical to our success is everyone across the LSE community playing their part, be it students, academics and professional staff, and alumni. If you have not done so already, join us on this important journey to create a sustainable LSE and ensure the School makes its contribution in shaping a more sustainable world."

  • Read the 2020/21 Sustainability Report here


  • The School becomes the first UK-based university to be verified carbon neutral for its measured emissions (for the 2019/20 academic year).

  • We joined the UN Race to Zero campaign.

  • The School's Education for Sustainability leads network launches.

  • Digital Smart campaign launched to support the transition to Future Ways of Working by maintaining low printing and travel carbon footprints.

  • The School ranked 11th in People & Planet's University League, retaining our First Class status.



747x420 201920 report tile

2019/20 Sustainability Report

Minouche Shafik, LSE Director:

"This report details the #SustainableLSE Consultation and the development of our Sustainability Strategic Plan, as well as providing an overview of our sustainability efforts across the School for the 2019/20 academic year."

  • Read the 2019/20 Sustainability Report here



2018-19 Report Cover

2018/19 Sustainability Report

Our seventh annual report is also our first digital only. We showcase sustainability at the School as well as our targeted performance.


  • Green Impact celebrates it's 10th year at LSE with 25 teams implementing single-use plastic reducing actions and projects.

  • LSE installs new drinking fountain provided by Mayor of London and #OneLess campaign to reduce usage of disposable water bottles in the city.

  • Centre Buildings Redevelopment project completed.



2017/18 Sustainability Report

A Finalist in the Green Gown Awards 2019, our sixth annual report shows our targeted performance and how we've responded to stakeholder feedback.


  • Carbon emissions cut by 33 percent since 2005.

  • Zinc launches - a business accelerator for start-ups with a social mission.

  • Marshall building achieves BREEAM Excellent (Design).

  • Plastic Free LSE campaign launched to minimise single-use plastic use at LSE and engage LSE community in the issue.

  • LSE Air Quality Position Statement published highlighting LSE's commitment to minimise emissions whilst protecting the community.


2016-17 annual report

2016/17 Sustainability Report

A Finalist in the Green Gown Awards 2018, our fifth annual report maps to the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.


  • Centre Building Redevelopment project achieves BREEAM Excellent (Design).

  • 8th 'First Class' award in the People and Planet University League maintaining 14th place overall and rising to first position in the Russell Group universities.

  • The Soil Association's, Silver Food for Life award achieved in LSE catered halls of residence: Bankside House, Carr-Saunders, Passfield Hall and Rosebery Hall.

  • 300 contracted staff are insourced to ensure better working contracts.


2015-16 Report

2015/16 Sustainability Report

Our fourth annual report achieved Finalist in the Green Gown 2017 Awards and details our environmental performance over the past year, and sets out our plans for future progress.


  • 7th 'First Class' award in the People and Planet University League. LSE rises to 14th place, positioning it as second in London and second of the Russell Group universities.

  • Camden Climate Change Alliance award for reducing carbon emissions year on year.

  • Shortlisted for two Green Gown Awards in the 'Learning and Skills' category for our Estates Division staff sustainability training, and the 'Sustainability Reporting' category for our Annual Sustainability Reports.

  • ISO 14001 and ISO 5001 re-certification gained.

  • LSE Catering achieved 'Two Star - Excellent' rating from the Sustainable Restaurant Association.

  • LSE LIFE achieved RICS Ska rating 'Gold' for sustainable refurbishment. LSE was also the first university to be awarded 'Silver' in the new Ska rating for high education fit-outs.


2014-15 Report

2014/15 Sustainability Report 

This annual report highlights our sustainability developments and achievements, including research, carbon emissions cuts and changes to our Socially Responsible Investment Policy. A Finalist in the Green Gown Awards 2016.


  • ISO 5001 certification gained - LSE is one of only a handful of universities to achieve the standard.

  • 6th ‘First Class’ award in the People and Planet University League.


2013-14 Report

2013/14 Sustainability Report 

This annual report marks our successes and challenges in creating a more sustainable university and provides updates on the year's projects. 



2012-13 Report

2012/13 Sustainability Report 

Read LSE's first annual report highlighting our range of sustainability work, from energy consumption to community involvement.  


  • LSE elected onto EAUC MAC committee for sustainability in UK education

  • Relove Fair: 3-4 October 2013

  • ISO 14001 re-certification

  • 5th 'First class' award in the People & Planet Green League

  • Mayor’s Green Procurement Code: Silver Award

  • CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme league: top among Russell Group universities


  • Green Gown Awards: ‘Highly Commended’

  • Refurbished 32 LiF building achieves BREEAM 'Very Good'

  • Camden ‘EECO’ Award for renewable energy generation

  • LSE's Environmental Management System achieves 'Platinum' EcoCampusstatus and ISO 14001 Certification

  • 4th 'First class' award in the People & Planet Green League


  • International Green Awards: ‘Bronze’ for Zero-Waste Strategy

  • Carbon Trust Standard re-accreditation

  • LSE's Environmental Management System achieves EcoCampus 'Gold' Certification

  • 3rd 'First class' award in the People & Planet Green League 

  • Green Gown Awards: shortlisted for 'Rethink' waste strategy

  • New Students' Centre certified BREEAM 'Outstanding' (Design)



  • LSE win Green 500 Award

  • LSE 100’ module to cover climate change

  • LSE wins National Recycling Award 2009

  • LSE achieves a 'First class' award in the People & Planet Green League and are named UK's 2nd greenest university


  • LSE wins National Recycling Award

  • LSE achieves a '2:1' award in the People & Planet Green League

  • LSE pioneers re-use in halls of residence project

  • LSE Sustainability in Practice lecture series begins

  • LSE joins Green 500

  • New Academic Building: BREEAM 'Excellent'

  • LSE's Environmental Management System achieves EcoCampus 'Bronze' status

  • LSE Director signs national green universities pledge


  • LSE achieves a '2:1' award in the People & Planet Green League

  • LSE feature as case study in Mayor’s Climate Action Plan

  • LSE wins National Recycling Award for ‘best partnership project’


  • LSE adopts Environmental Sustainability Policy

  • LSE appoints part-time Environmental Coordinator