University of Greenwich named UK’s 'greenest university ever'
The University of Greenwich was name ‘greenest university ever’ by student network People and Planet. The results were published in today’s Guardian and shows a record 145 universities participating in this year's Green League ranking and 46 receiving First Class degrees.
The League is an annual assessment of of universities’ environmental and ethical performance. First time winner University of Greenwich pipped previous winners Nottingham Trent, Gloucestershire and Plymouth to the post, and was joined in the top five by new entrant University of Brighton (up 18 places).
In general it as good news as the results reveal that there has been huge progress in the sector.
* Sector-wide carbon emissions are down four per cent on last year
* Double the number of universities area integrating sustainability across their curricula
* 86 per cent rise in universities employing at least one sustainability staff member
* On average universities are sourcing 72 per cent of their electricity from renewables compared to 63 per cent last year
Louise Hazan, who compiles the People & Planet Green League annually, said: “Now is the time for stronger leadership from Government to help build on the commendable efforts of our greenest universities and encourage those further down the Green League table, and in other industries, to turn over a new green leaf too.”
Encouragingly, the number of universities scoring full marks for exemplary Staff and Student Engagement has also risen by 53 per cent. This reflects a broad acceptance within the sector of the need to listen to the 70 per cent of students who want sustainability integrated into their degree courses (according to a new NUS/HEA study out soon).
Neil Garrod, Deputy Vice Chancellor at the winning University of Greenwich, concurs: “We could never have come so far so quickly without the involvement and commitment of the whole university community”.
For the first time, the League reports a four per cent reduction in carbon emissions since last year across participating universities. Winner Greenwich has reduced its carbon footprint by 22 per cent since 2005, an impressive achievement that’s been aided by bold investment in carbon reduction projects which are estimated to save the university well over £3million by 2016.