Four members of a new Climate Action Team have been recruited by the University as part of its commitment to meeting the organisation’s Climate Action Framework Principles.

The overarching goal of the Climate Action Team is to develop and put into action targeted plans to deliver the 11 CAF Principles. In December, the University announced the creation of a new Climate Action team, including four new posts, to push forward these ambitious objectives.

We are pleased to announce these have now been appointed as follows:

  • Pete Phelps, Climate Action Project Lead, will drive forward the vision and plans to transition to a low carbon University, and leading the implementation of the whole institution response to the Climate Emergency. Pete brings 15 years’ experience and expertise delivering climate action within the University and in the private sector, and has been instrumental in bringing the Climate Action project to this point, working with colleagues across our community.

  • Dr. Steve Cayzer, Climate Action Learning & Teaching Liaison, will drive forward the climate change related learning and teaching activities, including developing a plan to roll out a climate literacy course for all students.

  • Mark Whiteley, Scope 3 Data Officer, will develop an accurate picture of our Scope 3 emissions (the carbon embodied in what we buy and how we travel) and a prioritised plan to reduce them.

  • Scott Davidson, Climate Action Behaviour Change Specialist, will develop and deliver a University-wide programme to reduce energy use and support transition to a low carbon community, including a staff carbon literacy programme.

In addition to the new posts Professor Pete Walker will continue to provide strategic guidance to the University’s response as Climate Action Chair, and Shannon Carr-Shand will continue in her role as Climate Action Project Manager.

In May 2020 the University adopted 11 CAF principles and declared a Climate Emergency. Among these principles is a target to being Net Zero Carbon in Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 2030, a 50% reduction in its Scope 3 emissions by 2030 and being Net Zero Carbon all emissions by 2040.

Since their announcement the Climate Action Team has been working on steps to begin to meet these commitments, with input from stakeholders from across the University community, including the CAF Working Group and workstream sub-groups. The Climate Action Team will work with teams throughout the University to address how it transitions to a zero-carbon campus, tackles scope 3 emissions, and supports staff and students to make low carbon decisions easier. In parallel, the team will help the University embed net zero thinking into all policies and aspects of the organisation, whilst building on internal, local and regional partnerships to develop a collaborative approach.

Pete Phelps said: “This is clearly a really difficult time for the University community, but it is also an exciting time. Within the Climate Action process we have set ourselves some really challenging targets, but also embraced the concept of a ‘whole institution’ approach to addressing Climate Change - looking not just at how we do things (our operations) but what we do (research, teaching, partnerships etc).

“We look forward to working with many members of the University community to take this vital work forward. I’d also like to thank all colleagues involved in the process so far, especially Professor Jonathan Knight and Professor Pete Walker, without whose support we wouldn’t be at this stage.”

Dr Steve Cayzer added: “I am delighted to be joining the Climate Action Team as the Learning and Teaching Liaison. Our stated ambition is to ‘build a world class reputation for high quality education on climate related issues with global reach and scale’. I have been encouraged by the level of enthusiasm across the whole University community for this goal. I am looking forward to working with academic staff, students, professional services and the wider community to make this vision a reality.”

In parallel, the team will help the University embed net zero thinking into all policies and aspects of the organisation, whilst building on internal, local and regional partnerships to develop a collaborative approach.

The University will amplify the impact of the team’s work by seeking opportunities to integrate research, learning and teaching opportunities into our approach across policies, procedures and partnerships. Similarly the University will look at the carbon impacts of how we conduct our research, supporting development of cross-disciplinary research work on the Climate Emergency, and driving forward the climate-related learning and teaching activities identified in the CAF.

Over the coming months, the team will be reaching out to all of our community to share their plans and explore where you can influence and shape this agenda.

As it starts this process of embedding, the team would be interested to know where policies or processes get in the way of taking action to reduce the University’s carbon impact, so it can help to address these. Suggestions can be sent to