Environmental management

An EMS is a framework for how places such as the University can manage its interactions with the environment.

Our reporting framework

An EMS promotes best practice, recognises great work already underway and helps to identify and fill any gaps. The aim throughout is to benefit the environment and the University.

The University operates an EMS which works to the ISO 14001 international standard. This provides a structured framework to help us continually improve our environmental performance and minimise our negative impacts.

The University supports this by carrying out internal audits on the EMS. It also undertakes audits conducted by third parties to provide a further level of validation.

How we manage our environmental reporting

Upon the approval of the University’s Environmental Sustainability Strategy in March 2021, the Environmental Sustainability subcommittee will oversee its implementation and develop relevant supporting policies to address the University’s commitments. These, in time, will replace our current policies and strategies.

The Environmental Sustainability team is responsible for collating and reporting the carbon and energy performance of the University estate. Data is required to comply with a number of different schemes.

If you have any queries relating to Carbon Compliance please contact the Environmental Sustainability team.

UK Emissions Trading Scheme (UK ETS)

A UK Emissions Trading Scheme (UK ETS) replaced the UK’s participation in the EU ETS on 1 January 2021. The 4 governments of the UK have established the scheme to increase the climate ambition of the UK’s carbon pricing policy, while protecting the competitiveness of UK businesses. The science area is the only area of the University estate that falls under the UK ETS scheme. To find out more visit the UK ETS website.

Energy Saving Opportunities Scheme (ESOS)

ESOS is a mandatory energy audit scheme requiring companies to review their energy consumption, to set strategies to reduce their consumption, and to report their progress to the Environment Agency every four years. To find out more visit ESOS Guidance.

Display Energy Certificates (DECs)

Display Energy Certificates are displayed in University buildings to raise awareness and to inform buildings users about the energy use of the building. The DECs provide energy ratings based on the actual amount of energy used over a 12-month period. For more information on DECs read Improving energy efficiency of our buildings.

Further information and documentation is held on the Environmental Management System internal SharePoint pages.

If you would like assistance with the EMS or have questions regarding environmental risk and compliance please contact +44 (0) 1865 6 14893 or email sustainability@admin.ox.ac.uk.


The Environmental Sustainability team also runs a number of events and training sessions throughout the year.

To find out more visit Link up and Learn or email sustainability@admin.ox.ac.uk.