Net Zero Community Hub

Welcome to the Net Zero Community Hub

Where to start with tackling climate change? The magnitude of the challenge and volume of information makes it difficult to know how to help but at Heriot-Watt University, we want to equip everyone with the skills and knowledge to be drivers of real change and advocates for a more sustainable future – both for themselves and for generations to come.

Climate Change

Reaching Net Zero is key to protecting us and future generations from the irreversible impacts of climate change. The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recommends man-made carbon dioxide emissions fall 45% by 2030, reaching net-zero by mid-century to give the world its best chance of limiting warming to below 1.5C.

But what is net zero? In a nutshell, it means ensuring human-produced carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases that remain after all possible routes to reduction have been exhausted are removed from the atmosphere in some other way. This can be done naturally, like through reforestation, or by using technology that can capture and store atmospheric emissions.  We cannot only reduce or only offset our greenhouse gas emissions, we must do both, and we must do it quickly.

At Heriot-Watt University, we want to make sure that we’re playing our part in securing a sustainable and positive future for all. That’s why we’re launching a new initiative to educate people on the importance of actions we can all take to help reach net zero and the tremendous impact we can have in building a better and brighter way forward.

Why Heriot-Watt University?

Heriot-Watt University is uniquely placed to help tackle this challenge and we’re  involved in several sustainability initiatives, already in development:

  • Our new Global Research Institute will focus on the Net Zero challenge to bring our environmental sustainability research under one roof including carbon capture and storage, alternative low-carbon  fuels, pathways to just energy transition and sustainable transport and logistics. Learn more about our related research.   
  • The emerging Island Centre for Net Zero in Orkney aims to put the Orkney Islands at the forefront of the transition to net zero and support thriving sustainable communities through the development and implementation of Orkney as a living lab.

Planting a Seed for Change

A huge congratulations to our students graduating from Heriot-Watt University in summer 2022. We hope you, and our global community, will commit to planting wildflower seeds following graduation ceremony this year. We’ll explain…

The journey to net zero is one we must embark upon together. As new graduates, friends of the university, and members of our wider global community, we are the changemakers of tomorrow, and we invite you to join us in shaping a sustainable future by pledging to plant a seed for change, today.

Plant your seed

Once you commit to planting your seed and complete the online form below, we shall keep you up to date on the initiatives we are developing at Heriot-Watt to reach net zero. We will also supply complementary seeds if you are a graduating student this year.

We encourage you to watch them grow and flourish, reflecting on other ways you might rise to the climate challenge – take the first step and make your pledge to plant a seed for change by completing the form below:

What will the Net Zero Community Hub look like?

The Net Zero Community Hub will be the new face for sustainable activities within Heriot-Watt University. We’re looking forward to developing a highly flexible space that will support different activities around the academic year, including lectures, conferences, mentoring sessions, graduation events and more. The building will also act as demonstrator for sustainable construction technologies, made from locally sourced low carbon and renewable materials like the K-Briq.

Want to find out more about sustainability at Heriot-Watt University? Learn more on our sustainability website.