GW4 Living labs for Net Zero Transformation

“Climate change solutions require dramatic shifts in organisations, not just communities. GW4 universities are creating ‘living labs for net zero transformation’ to addressing our own sustainability responsibilities as well as providing exemplary practice to other organisations striving to achieve these and net zero targets”.  
GW4 Alliance Director - Dr Joanna Jenkinson MBE   

What do we want to achieve?

“Universities have an invaluable opportunity to use our research on campuses and with wider communities to co-create, explore, test, evaluate and implement net zero solutions” Prof Pete Walker, Project Lead  

The GW4 universities of Bath, Bristol, Cardiff and Exeter need to become sustainable and net zero organisations. Together, we focus on our hardest-to-decarbonise emissions areas, such as our supply chains and travel.  

We want to work with our external stakeholders to co-create solutions to these complex challenges and help the transition to a greener future for the South West and South Wales. 

GEt involved in our living labs project!

  • We held a practical workshop February 2023 in Bristol bringing together local authorities, community organisations, business, and universities to create living labs for net zero in Southwest England and South Wales. This workshop focused on the largest contributors to Scope 3 emissions: our supply chains and travel. 
  • Read a short report on the principles of living labs HERE
  • Read a more detailed literature review HERE
We will publish the workshop report as soon as possible after the event. If you were unable to attend and wish to receive a copy of the report please get in touch via email at 
  • If you are working on a living lab-style project or have an idea for one, we would love to hear from you.  Get in touch
  • Take a look HERE at current living lab activity across GW4 

why Develop Living labs?

“A Living Lab is where real-world sustainability challenges are formally addressed in stakeholder partnerships” Alliance for Sustainability Leadership in Education (EAUC) 

GW4 Climate Alliance is developing a living labs model for finding, testing and sharing net zero solutions across the South West and South Wales. 

Living labs involve all partners equally in developing solutions to sustainability challenges. This includes everyone in our university communities – students, researchers, campus staff – and non-university partners in communities, local authorities, and businesses. This approach is about working inclusively and across sectors to co-create solutions that are right for different locations and communities.