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One Planet Week

One Planet Week runs every year during Week 6 of Spring Term to celebrate and share sustainability knowledge and research at the University to staff, students and the wider public.

One Planet Week aims to provide a platform from which to promote awareness, and share knowledge and actions on sustainability to staff, students and the wider community.  The title reminds us that we live on a planet with finite resources and that currently we're living beyond those limited means - every year the average European consumes 3 planet’s worth of resources (for the USA the figure is 5 planet’s worth)!

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Sustainability at York

For the second year we have a range of activities online, plus some face to face ones on campus. We aim to record all online activities so they are available for catch-up on the Sustainability YouTube Channel.

For presentations given outside of One Planet Week, we have a range of sustainability and climate change themed talks within this York Ideas YouTube playlist.

“The publication of our Sustainability Plan in October 2021 demonstrated how we are setting sustainability at the heart of the University’s strategic aims, recognising it is of crucial importance for our future. 

I would encourage you to support these goals by getting involved with One Planet Week events and activities, including a Sustainability Forum where you have the chance to raise your questions about our sustainability ambitions.”

Charlie Jeffrey, Vice-Chancellor

One Planet Week 2022: Equity and Local Economy

Our theme for 2022 is Equity and Local Economy, with most events available online and open to the public.

One of the 10 principles of One Planet Living, Equity and Local Economy focuses on creating safe, equitable places to live and work which support local prosperity and international fair trade. It advocates diverse community where there is opportunity for all, across abilities, gender, race, age and sexual orientation, a vibrant and resilient economy where a significant proportion of money is spent locally but where international trade is conducted fairly and without exploitation.

Through some of our events we will look at the creation of a circular economy within the region, how the region is looking to green jobs to respond to the climate crisis and how localisation can solve global problems. We will also showcase how the University is dealing with sustainability in our Sustainability Forum. Equity issues are explored in our events looking at water and fuel poverty and in exploring how a co-operative business works in practice.

Join in with our events

Equity and Local Economy is the lens through which we are focusing on a range of sustainability topics including local food, the climate crisis, practical actions and sustainable businesses:

Food is a big part of our local economy from agricultural production, food producers to local shops and restaurants.

Find out what locally sourced seasonal food you can use to create a delicious veggie dish in our live cooking demo with our Head Executive Chef, Dave Martin. We’ll send you the recipe so you can cook up your own version. If you show us one of the dishes on social media (uploading a photo to by Monday 21 February) you could win a £50 voucher to be spent at local businesses!

What if we could use the concept of the circular economy to ensure that the wastes from one part of a city could be used in another part of the same city?

What does a sustainable economy look like and how can it be developed and promoted? These events look at what changes are needed to develop a sustainable local economy and how this can be approached at different scales, from within the local Yorkshire region through to localisation at a truly global scale.

Following the recent publication of the University of York’s 2021 - 2030 Sustainability Plan, join us for this YUSU and UoY organised open forum event: to give everyone the opportunity to add their voice to the conversation around sustainability at York. 

Find out what the bioeconomy is and why it is a great economic opportunity for the Yorkshire Region.

Developing a sustainable economy will require new businesses. Explore the future of entrepreneurial support and how to use the insights from the ever-growing entrepreneurial ecosystem in a business to really drive success

For decades, we have been tackling our multiple crises – global warming, pollution, inequality etc - from a single-issue perspective. It is high time to drop the single-issue approach and focus on system change.

Fair and equitable access to work as well as resources is crucial to produce a sustainable future for all. These talks and workshops address ways to ensure an equitable response from sharing responsibilities within a working environment to ensuring all people have access to the energy and water they need.

Organised by Lina Khattab, a doctoral researcher with the York Management School, this event is aimed at undergrad and postgrad students - With an online presentation from WaterWise and a live quiz (with prizes!), it aims to raise awareness about the value of water, as one of the most vital natural resources.

The experiences of working in a successful business with no bosses.

Want to save money on your energy bills AND help save the planet? Explore all things energy-saving related, including bills, student housing and fuel poverty, in this collaborative workshop from Yorkshire Energy Dr, YUSU and University of York.

How much do you know about climate change and social justice? Try our quiz in this Carbon Literacy taster session and find out more about why you should become Carbon Literate.

Some of the problems associated with sustainability are too big to change on your own, but together we can work within the community to make a difference and to have fun while we are learning more about sustainability.

A talk from our Grounds and Ecology Manager on the range of habitats, plant and wildlife to be found on campus and how it is managed to promote and increase biodiversity.

Join Halifax College in turning your plastic and glass bottles into something new for One Planet Week.

  • Anne Lister College Quiz Night - Monday 14 February evening

Check Anne Lister social media for details: FacebookInstagramTwitter

An introduction to the GIKI app that we are using in the UoY Carbon Reduction Challenge - find out more about how it can help you to take simple steps to reducing your carbon, water and land footprints.

Join Halifax College for a short documentary, learn about climate action and discuss with others action you can take.

Does your guitar/bass/pedal/amplifier not work how it should, not play how you want it to, or not make the sounds that you would like? Do you want to hear about effects pedals, from how to choose and use them effectively, to how you can build your own? A repair and maintenance workshop for guitars and basses hosted by Wentworth College for University of York staff and students.

Previous themes and events

Find out more about our previous One Planet Week events in the dropdowns below.

We moved all our activities online for 2021 and covered sustainability related to Culture and Community, including sharing a virtual meal in our online cooking demo. We also looked at how different communities are affected by the climate crisis and how sustainability solutions can affect and interact with those with disabilities. Some of the presentations from the week are available on our OPW21 playlist on our Sustainability Youtube Channel

OPW20 was on the theme of Zero Carbon and included a range of educational and practical events to show how low carbon living could be achieved.  We teamed up with GIKI to help people find low carbon foods when they shop and ran a community volunteering event to plant 1000 trees for One Planet both on campus and on local school and community recreation grounds. Some of the presentations from the week can be found on the OPW20 playlist of our Sustainability Youtube channel.


OPW2019 had some great events from the Ocean Plastics Exhibition to Ethical Clothes Swaps, Quizzes, Tombola, Eco-cafe crawls and making your own Beeswax Wrap workshop.

We also had our "More Sustainable Options" labels in the Nisa in Market Square, which highlighted local and seasonal products, vegan options, Fairtrade accreditations, recycled materials, and/or use of sustainable palm oil.

Our calendar below shows all the activities which ran throughout the week.

The calendar is visible to all members of the University - you need to be logged into your University Google Account to see it. Click the +Google Calendar button (bottom right) to subscribe to the calendar.


In 2018 staff and students demonstrated their commitment to the theme (and principle) of Zero Waste! 

Starting with a Karaoke Night in the Courtyard, #OPW18 included a range of workshops from upcycling to fixing musical instruments; a college recycling audit competition; a Zero Waste Challenge; a virtual Wonder Wander in the 3Sixty Room; and building a bug hotel building - to name but a few.

What next?

Being more sustainable isn’t just for One Planet Week!

Check out our web pages to find out more things that you can do to make sure you're living more sustainable and within our one planet's resources.

What you can do

Contact us

Sustainability at York