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We’re committed to becoming net zero carbon across our operations and developments by 2030.

Our net zero carbon pathway sets out how we will achieve this and play out part in the fight against climate change.

Unite Students pathway to Net Zero

A message from our CEO


“Taking bold and decisive action to reduce environmental impact makes good business sense, as well as being the right thing to do.

We believe that our 2030 net zero carbon ambition, built on science based targets validated by the SBTi, will help us to play our part in tackling climate change for the benefit of generations to come.”

Richard Smith
Chief Executive Officer


Our net zero carbon ambition covers both the operation of our existing buildings, and new development activity, so we’ve set separate targets for these two areas.

Our pathway to net zero carbon

At a glance

Net Zero Carbon


There are three main areas of focus:

• Reduce embodied carbon by optimising our designs, using low-carbon materials and good construction site practices
Target: 625 kgCO2/m2 by 2030 (Representing a 48% reduction from the RIBA 2020 benchmark)

• Reduce operational energy by designing for performance and maximising efficiency over full life of asset
Target: 35 kWh/m2 by 2030 (Representing a 75% reduction from RIBA 2020 benchmark)

• Mitigate residual carbon by using certified carbon offsetting
Target: 100% by 2030

Net Zero Carbon


There are three main areas of focus:

• Reducing energy use by changing behaviours to reduce demand and improve property energy efficiency
Target: 28% reduction in operational energy consumption by 2030

• Decarbonising our energy supply by maximising on-site renewable generation and buy certified renewable power
Target: 100% renewable electricity by 2030

• Mitigate residual carbon by using certified carbon offsetting
Target: 100% of residual scope 1 + 2 emissions offset from 2030

Net Zero Carbon


Our current projects in development are incorporating aspects which reduce both embodied carbon and operational energy.

You can view our vision for net zero carbon building (the 4 C's) in our video below.


We are committed to reporting our progress towards net zero carbon transparently