The University of Manchester is an internationally distinguished centre of research, innovation, learning and scholarly inquiry, with the aim of becoming one of the leading universities in the world by 2015. As one of the largest single-site universities in the United Kingdom, the university acknowledges that its activities have an impact on the environment, society and the economy.

All staff and students have the moral responsibility to contribute as educated, informed, tolerant citizens to the enrichment of social and cultural life and to the advancement of human wellbeing in their own communities and around the world.

The University of Manchester made a commitment to sustainable development in 2005 when the president and vice-chancellor signed the Talloires Declaration on sustainable development in education. The university is committed to active participation in sustainable development practices through our academic excellence in teaching and research, through responsible campus management policies and practice, and through a wide range of community outreach activities that involve our staff and students.

Various members of staff have responsibility for sustainability issues at the university. At senior management level Professor Maynard Case, associate vice-president for compliance, risk and sustainability drives forward sustainability and in the directorate of estates an environmental and sustainability officer, Lucy Millard, has been appointed. To help ensure that sustainable development issues are tackled across the university in a co-ordinated manner a sustainability steering group has been formed comprising of academics, representatives from the directorate of estates and students.

Working groups have been set-up to address the following sustainability issues and aid implementation of sustainable development initiatives: research; education and outreach; energy and utilities; environmental management (public realm, recycling and transport); university buildings; procurement.