Tuesday, 7 June 2011

People & Planet Green League 2011

Today the University of Greenwich rose to 5th in the People & Planet Green League table and was awarded a 1st Class award for its efforts over the last 12 months.

See the story on the Guardian website here and in the education section of today's (7th June) paper.

We are absolutely delighted with the result which has seen us rise from 103rd in 2009 and 61st in 2010 to our current position. We would like to thank everyone at the University who has been supportive of our work, who have been involved with the various projects and who make working at the University of Greenwich a real pleasure! Without everyone’s support and enthusiasm towards improving the University’s sustainability performance we wouldn’t have been able to make such a climb up the table.

Although today is a day for celebrating the achievements we have made we are keen to make sure that next year we are doing even more. There are still plenty more opportunities for the University to tackle issues of sustainability over the next 12 months and we are determined not to rest on our laurels and continue to push the sustainability agenda forward.

The People & Planet Green League 2011 reveals the environmental and ethical performance of 142 universities, awarding First Class 'degrees' to the best and Fail to those doing the least to address their impacts.

Nottingham Trent University takes the top spot this year and also in the top 5 with Greenwich are the universities of Gloucestershire, Worcester, Plymouth and Bournemouth (with whom we are tied for 5th place). We managed to obtain a score 47 points out of a possible 70, so despite our high league table finish there is still plenty more to be done.

The People & Planet website has a full breakdown of the scores and demonstrates the areas where Greenwich is doing well and the areas we need to improve on.

The results show major improvements across the higher education sector in 12 out of the 13 criteria used to rank universities and measure their transition to a fair & sustainable future – including:

• 8.3% increase in universities generating their own renewable energy on-site
• 57% of sector has put in place strong Carbon Management plans and climate targets
• 10% increase in energy-saving & recycling initiatives for students in halls of residence
• 10% increase in universities publishing Sustainable Food policies
• 20% increase in universities employing at least one Sustainability Manager
• 68% of universities have now achieved Fairtrade status

Louise Hazan, who compiled People & Planet's Green League 2011, said:

"This year's results show the sector is making a clear transition towards low-carbon, sustainable operations and responding to increasing student demand for greener universities that offer value for money. However, despite clear progress in the last year on issues such as carbon management planning and student engagement, the fact that carbon emissions are still rising should sound alarm bells for Vice-Chancellors and the Government alike”.

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