Steve Varley announced as Ambassador for Loughborough University’s Strategic Theme for Climate Change and Net Zero

Loughborough University alumnus Steve Varley has been named the ambassador for one of the University’s three Strategic Themes, Climate Change and Net Zero.

Steve graduated from Loughborough University in 1990 with a BEng in Engineering. He also served as a lay member for almost a decade (2014-2023) for the University Council.  

His career at EY started in 2005 as a Managing Partner, before progressing to Chairman and Managing Partner for UK&I until 2020 when he began his role as Global Vice President for Sustainability. In this role, Steve led their sustainability and climate change strategy as well as launching their carbon ambition plan and since 2021, the company has succeeded in being carbon-negative by reducing more carbon than it emits. Furthermore, he was a founding Co-Chair of the S30, a group formed of 30 Chief Sustainability Officers from leading businesses from around the world. He now works as a Global Senior Advisor for EY.  

Professor Nick Jennings, Vice-Chancellor and President of the University commented: “I am delighted that Steve Varley has agreed to be our ambassador for Climate Change and Net Zero. His global insight and connections will help position the University to be a player on the biggest stages, including at COP meetings, and working with world leaders and global companies. He will help us to drive forward our research and education on the climate change agenda.” 

Steve Varley commented: “The reason I chose to accept this role as Ambassador is to represent this University on a global stage for one of the most important topics in the world – sustainability. Sustainability resonates with many people, however, what I try to bring to this given my background and experience, is the world of business.  

“To put it simply, we all know what’s going on in the world, but we lack the appropriate behavioural response. From my perspective, business – quite sadly – can cause a lot of these problems, and I really want business to have a disproportionately positive response to help others out of it and that’s my role.” 

Between now and 2030, the University aims to play a leading international role in responding to the climate emergency, whilst developing students to have a high degree of climate change awareness and carbon literacy so they can take responsibility for sustainable actions in themselves and others in the future. Additionally, Loughborough is focused on changing its own working practices to achieve net zero emissions from its operations. 

Steve will work closely with the Theme’s Associate Pro Vice-Chancellors, Professor John Downey and Professor Kathryn North, to act as an advocate for the University’s activities and achievements at events through his networks to enhance the University’s reputation and profile. 

Earlier this year, Politics students Ghanim and Ahmad Muhammad Al-Muftah were appointed the University’s first Strategic Theme Ambassadors for Vibrant and Inclusive Communities