Policy paper

Sustainability and climate change strategy

The Department for Education’s strategy for sustainability and climate change for the education and children’s services systems.

Applies to England



Education plays a vital role in:

  • helping to tackle climate change
  • creating a better, greener world for future generations

We can positively impact, influence and inspire communities by improving the:

  • sustainability of the environment in and around education settings
  • knowledge and understanding of children and young people

To do this, the Department for Education (DfE) has developed a sustainability and climate change strategy to:

  • help the education sector and children’s services systems do this
  • inspire action on the international stage

Whilst developing our strategy we’ve engaged with:

  • educators
  • subject specialists
  • representative bodies
  • leading experts
  • young people

Our strategy

Our strategy responds to recommendations for education from the:

  • Committee for Climate Change
  • Dasgupta Review
  • Green Jobs Taskforce report.

It builds on existing work being done across the sector. It will support the delivery of the UK government’s 25 Year Environment Plan and Net Zero Strategy.

The strategy’s vision is for the United Kingdom to be the world-leading education sector in sustainability and climate change by 2030. In England, we will achieve this through 4 strategic aims:

  1. Excellence in education and skills for a changing world: preparing all young people for a world impacted by climate change through learning and practical experience.
  2. Net zero: reducing direct and indirect emissions from education and care buildings, driving innovation to meet legislative targets and providing opportunities for children and young people to engage practically in the transition to net zero.
  3. Resilient to climate change: adapting our education and care buildings and system to prepare for the effects of climate change.
  4. A better environment for future generations: enhancing biodiversity, improving air quality and increasing access to, and connection with, nature in and around education and care settings.

The strategy includes the following key action areas:

  • climate education
  • green skills and careers
  • the education estate and digital infrastructure
  • operations and supply chains
  • international action

We will continue working with the sector and young people as this strategy is implemented .

Watch a summary of:

  • the aims of the strategy
  • 2 key initiatives, the National Education Nature Park and Climate Leaders Award

Sustainability and Climate Change Strategy, Nature Park and Climate Leaders Award animation

Published 21 April 2022