The University of Gloucestershire has been awarded a ‘first class honours’ in this year’s University Green League, complied by the People & Planet student campaign group.

And the University has come in second for its green credentials out of 133 British universities, bettering last year’s position of fifth place. This year’s table is topped by the University of Plymouth. 

The Green League is the only league table that measures the environmental performance of universities.  Published in the Times Higher magazine on 10 June, the table awards universities a First, 2:1, 2:2, Third or Fail based on nine environmental criteria, including the percentage of energy purchased from renewable sources, CO2 emissions, having a green travel plan in place and a publicly available environmental policy.

The University of Gloucestershire has scored full marks on policy, staff, auditing and management systems, sustainable procurement, Fairtrade status and staff/student engagement. 

Professor Daniella Tilbury, Director of Sustainability at the University of Gloucestershire is delighted with the news.

“The University sees sustainability as a process of continuous improvement and thus value the feedback provided by the People and Planet rankings. This approach means that experience and learning from experience is important to us. I think it explains why we are the only University to have sustained its position in the top five of the Green League since its inception in 2007.

“Over the last 12 months we have published a carbon strategy, incorporated sustainability into staff induction, invested in voltage optimisation, developed a sustainability education teaching and learning framework, supported the student allotment and black-out projects, sought ways to use ICT more efficiently and scaled up our sustainability procurement efforts. Perhaps most importantly, we took our time to appoint new University caterers so to ensure that sustainability also underpins their current practice.”

Director of People & Planet, Ian Leggett said:
“People & Planet congratulates all those universities which achieved First Class awards in this year’s Green League. Their success is a tribute to sustained leadership and comprehensive efforts to achieve the necessary transition to a low-carbon higher education sector. But we can’t leave it to a small number of leading institutions: all universities must play their part and take urgent and ambitious environmental action now. This year’s Green League shows us that too many in the sector are not responding to the challenge.” 

The University of Gloucestershire has established a reputation for sustainability as the first English University to achieve the ISO14001 environmental management system across all of its activities.  

Sustainable development underpins every aspect of University life, including teaching, research, knowledge transfer and the conduct of its business. 

More about the University of Gloucestershire’s commitment to sustainability can be found at

http://www.glos.ac.uk/vision/sustainability/Pages/default.aspx

Find out more about the People & Planet league table at:

http://peopleandplanet.org/greenleague

People & Planet’s Green League 2010 ranks 133 UK universities – awarding them a First, 2:1, 2:2, Third, or Fail – according to environmental policy, management and actual performance in areas such as carbon reduction, waste recycling, energy efficiency, transport emissions, sustainable procurement and water consumption. See full methodology http://peopleandplanet.org/greenleague/methodology-2010.

It combines data obtained directly from universities through the Freedom of Information Act with Estates Management Statistics data obtained from funding body HEFCE. The table also shows the change in each university’s ranking between 2009 and 2010. The full table is published today in the Times Higher Education magazine and is available in full at: http://peopleandplanet.org/greenleague

People & Planet is the largest UK student network campaigning to end world poverty, defend human rights and protect the environment. Their network consists of student groups at over 70% of Britain’s universities and 10% of Sixth Forms. For more info visit http://peopleandplanet.org

The Higher Education Funding Council’s (HEFCE) sector-wide targets, which apply only to English universities, are 34% or 48% by 2020 from 1990 or 2005 baselines respectively. This is equivalent to a 9.6% reduction on 2005 levels within the next 5 years. Welsh, Northern Irish and Scottish universities are expecting similar and possibly even tougher sector-wide targets to be finalised and applied soon. 

Source: University of Gloucestershire