Climate change and net zero

Climate change is one of the most pressing policy areas in modern times. The UK Government’s strategy is to reach net zero by 2050. Innovation is moving at a fast pace as researchers and policymakers alike seek to find ground-breaking solutions to a warming planet.

One of Loughborough University’s three strategic themes for our Strategy 2030 is Climate Change and Net Zero.  As part of this, we are seeking to grow out research and innovation capabilities in this area so that we can continue to contribute to local, national and international policy. We will strive to influence and shape policy debates to accelerate the fall of global emissions. 

Loughborough University is host to world leading expertise for research and innovation in renewable energy and has a strong track record of partnership development leveraging sector-leading research to accelerate innovative technologies for a reduced carbon future. We are home to one of the world’s largest Green Hydrogen Group's and have been involved in cutting-edge hydrogen-related research, including being involved in supporting a Rolls-Royce hydrogen research project with a world industry first in the development of hydrogen combustion engine technology capable of powering a range of aircraft – a huge step towards net zero aviation.  

The circular economy is an important aspect of the sustainable agenda and an area in which Loughborough University researchers have been active. Researchers from Loughborough University’s Business School, School of Design and Creative Arts and Wolfson School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering have been working in collaboration with experts in colleagues from the University of Leeds in a project on the circular economy for small medical devices. Expertise from Loughborough University is also being utilised in the National Centre for Circular Chemical Economy, where we are working in partnership with a group of universities to make the UK chemical industry a responsible partner in the drive to net zero.  

Building practices are constantly changing and can have a transformative impact on sustainability. Researchers from Loughborough University’s School of Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering have been carrying out ground-breaking research on reinforced autoclaved aerated concrete (RAAC). Research led by Professor Chris Goodier and his team found that RAAC from the 1950s, 60s and 70s is the main safety concern, especially if it has not been adequately maintained. This research involved the closure of some government buildings, including schools, due to safety concerns.  

Loughborough University will continue to expand our research and innovation capabilities related to climate change and net zero. By doing this, we will be able to help shape policy and collaborate with partners in industry and government to achieve net zero by 2050.  

Our policy-relevant work