At Harwell, we know tangible action is the only way to make a genuine difference and achieve the Sustainable Development goals. Tackling the climate crisis is a key part of the research and innovation we conduct on campus.

Our commitments

Net Zero Carbon by 2050

with the ambition to meet this goal sooner.

Avoid the loss of biodiversity

and secure a net gain.

Reduce use of resources

by applying the principles of Circular Economy.

Sustainable travel

by providing low emission transport options to Campus' staff and visitors

Read the Harwell Campus Sustainability Impact Report 2022

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.

Alongside this world-leading innovation, Harwell Campus has developed a long-term Strategic Sustainability Framework, with ambitious Objectives & Targets, to enable a Net Zero Future.

Increasing biodiversity

Harwell Campus is located on the edge of the North Wessex Downs Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), and we’re committed to respecting this unique landscape setting.

Our goal is to increase the abundance and diversity of plant and animal species on the campus. We’re doing this by creating nature corridors and by eliminating pollution and contamination of the local area.

Parkland and garden character enhanced with re-wilding projects to create biodiverse areas, rich in flora and fauna. Recovered timber from felled trees is being repurposed as benches, and ecology measures are helping to protect bats, toads and bees.

Circular economy

We aim to reduce our use of resources by avoiding waste, maximising reuse & recycling, increasing the proportion of recycled content into construction products and by sourcing new materials responsibly.

Harwell has successfully utilised recycled materials, such as crushed concrete, in its construction. Elements of our buildings have also benefited from offsite prefabrication in order to reduce waste during the construction process.

Towards Net Zero Carbon

On previous developments, we have avoided the carbon emissions associated with the construction of new buildings by refurbishing existing assets such as HQ, B150 Airmen’s Mess, B151 and B152 Airspeed. And we continue to prioritise the retrofitting and re-purposing of existing buildings where possible in order to make the most significant carbon savings.

With existing buildings, we’re assessing options to reduce their energy demand through fabric upgrade (e.g., insulation) and/or retrofit of energy-efficient technologies, such as air source heat pumps. Solar PV is also being considered.

On future developments, operational energy efficiency, solar PV integration and embodied carbon reduction will be at the heart of design considerations.

We are also considering off-site solar electricity generation for the direct supply of renewable energy to the Campus.

Sustainable Connectivity & Transport

We’re aiming to reduce single passenger car travel by providing amenities and facilities to support greener, more efficient modes of transport, to, from and around the campus.

Two new offsite cycle routes for Harwell staff and visitors have been completed and a further wider network of connected routes is being developed in partnership with Oxfordshire County Council. A series of Travel Hubs will complement the excellent existing cycle facilities, including ‘hire bike’, and bus facilities, with incentives to encourage greater uptake. A programme of installation of EV charging points is also underway