Climate Change: QMU Net-Zero Strategy 2023-2028

A Shared Common Future

Foreword by Chair of University Court 

This strategy is supported and endorsed by the University Court of Queen Margaret University reflecting our moral and social imperative to effect change and mitigate the damaging impacts of climate change.  It reflects our commitment to provide leadership on the global climate emergency. 

Publication of the strategy and the associated delivery plan will ensure that we clearly demonstrate that commitment to our obligations in a transparent and accountable manner. 

Governance associated with climate change is an intrinsic part of our wider approach to existing governance. The Court will ensure the consideration of climate change systematically informs future strategic investment planning and decision-making processes and is embedded into the management of risks and opportunities across the organisation. 

Pamela Woodburn 

Introduction by Principal & Vice Chancellor 

The strategy set out in this document and the objectives which it captures give intent to  the commitments we made at the launch of our Strategic Plan in 2020. 

The Strategic Plan set out how we would, in our role as a civic University, respond positively to, and influence the needs of society and local communities, building on our key strengths, adapting to overcome obstacles and creating new areas of success through being creative, agile and resilient. 

We have a long history of working within, and contributing to, our local community as well as serving the wider global community and enhancing wellbeing. We value environmental sustainability and social justice and these are embodied in this strategy and supported by the wider values of the University. 

We recognise the severe threats to the environment posed by climate change and are committed to be a sector leader in response. We recognised the need to heal, nurture, care and communicate and to find solutions to real life issues and to support communities while fostering creativity and artistic expression while building social capital in the process. 

Our narrative was driven by our value in individual and collective contributions and this reflects that sustainability is a personal, collective and corporate and ultimately political commitment. That shared sense of responsibility and ambition is reflected in our desire for partnership and collaboration with others and to transform, influence and shape society for the better. 

This strategy sets challenging but deliverable targets for emissions reductions and ensures we build capacity, capability and maturity in our climate change knowledge. We will firmly embed action across our institution in our plans and processes and promote knowledge exchange, to share ideas, research evidence, experiences and skills and ensure that external perspectives and experiences are reflected into our approaches. 

Our commitments in this strategy will be developed into near-term plans which will be measured, monitored and reported annually with strategic action taken to adapt and reflect the dynamic and changing nature of the challenges ahead. 


Sir Paul Grice FRSE FAcSS 

1. Executive Summary

2. Context

3. Governance

4. Data Management

5. Engagement & Collaboration

6. Sustainable Development Goals

7. Adaptation 

8. Delivering Net-Zero

9. Pathways

10. Scope 3 Emissions 

11. Organisational Policies 

12. Off-Setting