Aerial photo of Portsmouth

The University has pledged its commitment to environmental sustainability by signing The Portsmouth Green Partnership Charter

18 November 2022

5 minutes

The University of Portsmouth has joined Portsmouth City Council and city-wide partners and organisations in pledging their commitment to environmental sustainability by signing The Portsmouth Green Partnership Charter.

The council also launched their Climate Change Strategy at the event on Friday 18 November.  

At the event, city leaders spoke of the work they've been doing within their organisations and the importance of everyone working together.

The Climate Change Strategy details the council's goal to become a "net zero carbon" council by 2030 and support the city on the same journey. The Portsmouth Green Partnership Charter is a key part to achieving this goal to support and promote environmental sustainability in Portsmouth.

The charter signatories will work together to contribute to securing an environmentally sustainable future for Portsmouth by reducing carbon emissions and operational waste, supporting local biodiversity, and empowering and supporting those living and working in Portsmouth to make greener decisions.

Representatives from the University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth International Port, The Hive, Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust, Royal Navy, Portsmouth Football Club, Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board, Pompey in the Community, Airbus and NetZero Group attended the event to sign the charter.

Bernadette Topham, Chief Operating Officer at University of Portsmouth, said: “Sustainability is core to our future vision for the University. We have reduced our carbon footprint by 60 per cent during the past decade at the University of Portsmouth but know that we can gain so much more by working together so we are delighted to join our partners across the city and sign the Portsmouth Green Partnership Charter.

Our ambition of becoming a climate positive university by 2030 impacts every aspect of our activities and operations – from development of our campus, including our new highly sustainable Ravelin Sports Centre, energy use and sustainable transportation, to our research which provides practical solutions to the causes of climate change both locally and globally, and our teaching programmes. 

“This charter strengthens our commitment to our current and future students, staff, and city partners to work together to achieve long-term environmental sustainability and to raise the quality of life in our community.”

Bernadette Topham, Chief Operating Officer,  signing the Portsmouth Green Partnership Charter.

Cllr Kimberly Barrett, Cabinet Member for Climate Change and Environment at Portsmouth City Council, said: “Climate change is one of the most important and complex challenges our society has ever faced. The organisations and businesses in the city have a huge influence and therefore, a responsibility to promote sustainable ways of working.

“The Portsmouth Green Partnership Charter will connect major employers with a shared goal to create a greener future for everyone. By working together, we can identify areas we can improve and develop greener services and processes. I am looking forward to working with charter signatories for a green and thriving city for many years to come.”

Mark Orchard, Chief Financial Officer at Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust, said: “We are very proud to be part of the of the Portsmouth Green Partnership Charter. The NHS accounts for 5 per cent of the national carbon footprint and health services across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight emit over 1 million tonnes of cardon dioxide each year alone. We have recently published our first Green Plan setting out our ambitious agenda that includes transformation in our clinical pathways, prescription advice and buying differently. The charter is our commitment to working in partnership across Portsmouth to deliver on this important agenda.”

Mike Sellers, port director at Portsmouth International Port, said: “The port is owned by the people of Portsmouth, so we have an obligation to reduce the impact of our operations on the environment, whilst reaching the ambitions set out in our 20-year Masterplan.

“By signing the Portsmouth Green Partnership Charter we are reinforcing our commitment of reaching net-zero carbon by 2030, and becoming one of the UK’s first zero emission ports by 2050 by turning the port into a living laboratory of green technology.

“We’re looking forward to working with partners from across the city so we can all maximise our impact and create a cleaner, greener Portsmouth.”

Achieving net zero means reducing carbon emissions as much as possible, then balancing to zero by removing carbon out of the atmosphere.

Reducing emissions, and reducing them rapidly, is a vital part of limiting global temperatures from rising. Drastic actions are needed to stop temperatures from rising to critical levels; the aim of the Paris Agreement was to limit the temperature warming to well below 2°C. 

Portsmouth City Council is investing in their climate change response to make the city a cleaner, greener, and safer place to live. By continuing to provide knowledge, attract funding, and collaborate with the community on projects that tackle climate change whilst addressing our local challenges.

Anyone interested in receiving news on the council's plans to tackle climate change, funding opportunities, and how you can get involved can sign up to receive email updates by going to portsmouth.gov.uk/climateaction