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Environmental Management

As a large organisation DMU has a variety of environmental impacts which need to be managed. These impacts are managed through the university’s environmental management system (EMS) which covers all of the DMU campus.

An EMS is a structured framework for an organisation to manage its significant environmental impacts. This type of systematic approach can manage resource use, achieve associated financial savings through efficiency measures and to ensure that the organisation is not breaching current or developing environmental legislation. 

What are DMUs environmental impacts?

As with any large organisation DMU uses large amounts of energy and water, it purchases large amounts of equipment and paper and as a large employer there are transport related issues as well. These activities have their own environmental impacts including contributing to climate change, using natural resources and emissions to air. 

How are these managed?

DMU has been managing these impacts for a number of years through its energy management team, Travel Plan and sustainable procurement activities. Details of these activities and our current performance can be found on our sustainability strategy page 

These management activities are now co-ordinated through an EMS which ensures that the university addresses its significant environmental impacts whilst at the same time meeting the requirements of environmental legislation. The process of implementing the EMS has involved identifying the activities, products and services which have a significant impact upon the environmental and putting measures in place to manage those impacts. The implementation process also identified the relevant environmental legislation affecting the university and ensured that we meet these requirements.

Our EMS has also been externally certified as meeting the Phases 1 - 4 of Acorn (BS8555) a nationally recognised British standard for environmental management systems. 

The EMS provides a structure by which objectives and targets can be set for our key environmental areas. Details of these targets can be found below and by visiting our other webpages on waste and recycling, carbon management, travel and biodiversity. 

Environmental Targets

The university has set a series of environmental targets as part of its environmental management system. These targets are shown below:


Individual actions are contained within the university biodiversity action plan which is reviewed on a regular basis.


  • Scope 3 emissions from commuting to be a three-year average of <7500tCO2e by 2018/19
    - ACHIEVED - three year average emissions were 5732 tCO2e in 2018/2019
  • Number of cycle spaces on campus to be greater than 700 by 2017
    - ACHIEVED - 760 cycle spaces by end of 2017
  • Three-year average for staff commuting by single occupancy vehicle to be below 41% from 2017-2019
    -ACHIEVED - single occupancy staff commute was 39.6% from 2017-2019

Community Involvement

  • Deliver at least one environmental behaviour change project per year in halls of residence for students (Student Switch Off, or similar) by 2020
  • Deliver at least one environmental behaviour change project per year for staff (Green Impact, or similar) by 2020
    - projects in progress - see annual Sustainability Report for details

Construction and Refurbishment

  • Aspire for BREEAM Outstanding on new build and refurbishments - Ongoing

Emissions and Discharges

  • Leisure Centre discharge to be below 20m3 per 24hrs - Annually

Sustainable Procurement

  • Achieve Sustainable Procurement Flexible Framework Level 3 by September 2019
    - Target missed
  • Achieve Sustainable Procurement Flexible Framework Level 4 by March 2021
    - Work in progress

Waste and Recycling

  • Recycling 85% of non-residential waste - 2017/18
    - ACHIEVED - recycling rate of 92%
  • Recycling 90% of non residential waste - 2018/19
    - ACHIEVED - recycling rate of 91%
  • Recycling 91% of non-residential waste - 2020/21
  • Recycling 93% of non-residential waste - 2021/22
  • Recycling 94% of non-residential waste - 2022/23


  • 3% reduction in water consumption against three-year average from 2012-2014 - Annually
    - Target missed - water consumption increased in 2018/2019

Scope 1 and 2 Carbon Emissions (gas, electricity, DMU owned vehicles)

  • 29% reduction based on 2005 baseline - 2017/18
    - ACHIEVED - emissions were 47% below baseline year in 2017/2018
  • 43% reduction based on 2005 baseline - 2020/21
    - ACHIEVED - emissions 51% below baseline year in 2018/2019

Scope 3 Carbon Emissions (travel, waste, water, supply chain)

  • 14% reduction based on 2005 baseline - 2020/21
    - In progress emissions currently 9% above baseline year 2018/2019

Environmental Legislative Compliance Audits

  • Air emissions - Annually
  • Waste production, storage and disposal - Annually
  • Liquid discharges - Annually

Progress against these targets will be reported on a regular basis to De Montfort University's Operational Leadership Group and annually through the Sustainability Report.


 UKAS E Phase 4De Montfort University's Environmental Management System has been externally certified as meeting Phases 1-4 of the British Standard BS8555 Seren Scheme.