At Harwell, we have a vision to develop a sustainable Campus for world-class science &innovation, and to be recognised as a catalyst for sustainable growth.

Our Areas of Focus

To put its Vision into Action, Harwell has identified 7 Key Focus Areas, aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as the guiding principles for a successful, prosperous and sustainable Campus:

We know tangible action is the only way to make a genuine difference and meet our goals. 

As a result, we have committed to an ambitious Roadmap, focused on achieving a set of key milestones & targets in this decade, recognising that urgent action must be taken to tackle the Climate Emergency & Environmental Crisis and enable a Net Positive Future.

Our 2030 Headline Targets

Net Zero Carbon Buildings

Designing new developments for net zero operational carbon & reducing upfront embodied carbon by at least 50%

Carbon Intensity Reduction

Reducing operational carbon emissions in our control by at least 50% per square metre (GIA)

Biodiversity Gain

Delivering additional biodiversity enhancements, above and beyond statutory Net Gain

Zero Landfill

Exporting zero waste to landfill & diverting over 90% of construction waste towards recycling or recovery for purposes other than energy generation

Sustainable travel

Reducing Average Commuter Emissions Level (ACEL©) by at least 30%

Our Impact In Numbers

11,400 m²

BREEAM certified

22,750 m²

BREEAM registered


Tripling our BREEAM certified floor space by 2025

30,500 m²

rated EPC ‘B’ or better


Electricity backed by Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin (REGOs) to power our managed buildings


Waste sent to landfill from our managed buildings


Discount on buses to/from Harwell Campus


Bike loan

Read Harwell Campus Sustainability Impact Report 2023

We aim to protect the natural environment and manage our estate sustainably, enhancing its biodiversity whilst creating a network of green spaces for people & nature.

This is being achieved by:

  • Avoiding the loss of biodiversity and preserving trees, as far as possible.
  • Managing our landscape to maximise its biodiversity value.
  • Delivering new and improved ecological habitats on Campus.
  • Securing significant biodiversity net gain through off-site contribution & partnerships.
  • Preventing air, land, and water pollution.

Our Award-winning Woodland Habitat Improvement Project (WHIP), designed by Adam Frost and delivered by Nurture Landscapes, is an example of how we’re turning our commitment to Biodiversity into tangible action:

  • BIG Biodiversity Challenge Awards 2023 – Habitat Creation: Project of the Year Award (Small scale biodiversity enhancement of up to 0.5ha)
  • Gold Winner at The International Green Apple Awards for Environmental Best Practice 2023

We aim to encourage active travel choices and facilitate access to low emission options to commuters.

This is being achieved by:

  • Making sustainable travel options available to Campus staff and visitors (e.g., public transport, cycling routes)
  • Providing incentives for choosing greener travel choices (e.g., discounted bus season ticket, free bike loan)
  • Delivering the infrastructure for the future of mobility (e.g., EV charging, cycle hub)

We aim to shift the development of our Campus towards circular economy, maximising the value of materials and natural resources whilst avoiding waste.

This is being achieved by:

  • Avoiding waste & maximising Reuse & Recycling
  • Securing Zero Waste to Landfill
  • Applying Sustainable Procurement principles when selecting our Suppliers
  • Procuring responsibly sourced construction products & materials such as FSC/PEFC certified timber
  • Specifying construction materials with high recycled content
  • Designing buildings for disassembly to allow materials to be re-deployed at their end-of-life.

We aim to transition our built environment towards Net Zero Carbon, halving emissions from managed buildings by 2030.

This is being achieved by:

  • Developing and delivering low carbon buildings, with a focus on reducing upfront embodied carbon and operational energy demand
  • Quantifying & reducing the carbon emissions from managed buildings
  • Enabling the reduction of carbon emissions from leased assets, existing and future
  • Driving the reduction of carbon emissions from the supply chain (goods & services)
  • Facilitating the integration of on-site renewable energy generation (e.g., solar)
  • Procuring renewable electricity backed by Renewable Energy Guarantees of Origin (REGOs) and seek to procure energy from additional renewable sources through Power Purchase Agreement (PPA)
  • Phasing out fossil fuel as primary energy source (e.g., natural gas, diesel)

Our Living Lab for Climate Action

Tackling the climate crisis is a key part of the research and innovation we conduct on campus.

To enable it, Harwell Campus has established a Living Laboratory which will allow new technologies to be piloted in a real-world environment – embedded into the onsite infrastructure.

The Harwell Living Lab will accelerate the adoption and accessibility of pioneering technology solutions including connected and autonomous travel, green fuel solutions, and integrated energy systems.

Furthermore, by drawing on expertise from its thriving Energy Tech Cluster, which has grown to 80 organisations including the Faraday Institution, Harwell will remain committed to supporting the UK in reaching national carbon targets and reducing greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050.