We have joined the Race to Zero carbon, and launched a target to become Climate Positive by 2030 and to protect and restore nature.

Vast green forest - photo taken from above

The scientific evidence is clear: our planet faces twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss, both caused by humanity. The risk is acute and current.

Many of Earth’s natural systems, and the huge benefits they provide to humankind, are in the process of being disrupted, degraded and destroyed.

The consequences for our planet, and humanity, are daunting.

In May 2021, we launched our 10-year sustainability strategy in response to this emergency, which includes a sustainability commitment to join the Race to Zero carbon, and become Climate Positive by 2030.

Kew has a significant role to play in tackling the climate and biodiversity emergencies facing our planet.

As well as changing the ways we operate, we will also use our world-leading expertise and respected voice to evidence sustainable practices and advocate for sustainable action, supporting progress towards the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Read our new sustainability strategy (PDF)

Climate Positive by 2030

As part of our sustainability commitments, we have already taken our first steps on the path to becoming Climate Positive, by measuring our carbon footprint and establishing a science-based carbon reduction target to join the Race to Zero. We will work to:

  • Transition away from fossil fuels on our sites
  • Implement an energy strategy to support low-carbon electrification
  • Travel less, and choose low-carbon transport wherever possible
  • Use resources efficiently and transition towards a circular economy
  • Measure and reduce emissions from our supply chains
  • Invest in nature-based carbon sinks
  • Report transparently on our sustainability performance
  • Maintain our ISO 14001 Certification
  • Meet or exceed the Greening Government Commitments and show leadership within government by reducing our climate impacts as rapidly as possible

Our scientific and horticultural expertise

Our scientists and horticulturalists will use their world-leading expertise to evidence and shape sustainable practices, and support nature-based solutions for climate, biodiversity and livelihoods. We will:

  • Work to understand and measure the carbon sequestration and other ecosystem services provided by our sites at Kew Gardens and Wakehurst
  • Aim to understand and measure the carbon sequestration impacts and other ecosystem services of our largest scientific conservation projects around the world
  • Build and maintain cross-disciplinary partnerships to support and implement nature-based solutions, and guide best practice to ensure natural climate solutions maximise biodiversity and livelihood benefits
  • Demonstrate and showcase sustainability best practices across our horticultural operations
  • Use our living collections and landscapes to support research into climate resilience, mitigation, adaptation and sustainable practices
  • Convene evidence and expertise to shape policy and practice on biodiversity loss, sustainable livelihoods and climate change
  • Develop and curate learning and development opportunities to support staff at all levels in understanding broad carbon and sustainability topics

Our voice

We can use our respected voice to shine a spotlight on the urgency of environmental sustainability, inspiring and empowering diverse audiences to take action to tackle climate change. We will:

  • Use our visitor interpretation and programming, events, exhibitions, member communications and digital reach to engage our audiences with powerful stories about sustainability, and inspire them to take action to protect nature, biodiversity and the climate
  • Use signage that can be reused wherever possible and minimise waste in our interpretation planning
  • Deliver every event with sustainability in mind and investigate suitable event certifications to establish whether we could reach net zero or other sustainability standards for large events
  • Work with the media to amplify more diverse and trusted voices to discuss environmental and sustainability issues, seeking to engage previously under-represented audiences 
  • Continue to raise awareness of the climate and biodiversity crisis through our educational and outreach activities, and equip all learners with the skills and motivation to take positive actions to tackle climate change and biodiversity loss, and support sustainable livelihoods
  • Communicate stories about how Kew Science and Horticulture are helping to solve global challenges and the ways in which visitors can play their part through our volunteer Guides and Explainers
  • Collaborate openly and transparently with other organisations on sustainability, and support development of a new sustainability network among international botanic gardens

Follow our progress

We report our environmental impacts and carbon footprint in our Annual Reports.

Green, needle-like leaves and purplish-blue flowers of rosemary

Join us on our journey towards sustainability

The world needs our help, so Kew is on a journey towards sustainability. Protecting biodiversity is a crucial step. Join us in this urgent work.

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