Greenwich greenest in environment table (UK)

By David Matthews

The University of Greenwich has topped the People and Planet Green League 2012, up from joint fifth place last year. The results, published today, show continuous improvement by the sector, particularly among the Russell Group of large research-intensive universities. Forty-six institutions achieve the top grade for environmental performance, compared with 36 last year.  This includes five from the Russell Group, an improvement on 2011 when only the London School of Economics achieved a “first” for its performance.

Greenwich has cut carbon emissions by 22 per cent compared with 2005 and plans to reduce them by a further 40 per cent over 10 years.  Across the sector, the average amount of electricity bought from renewable sources has jumped from 13 per cent in 2008 to 72 per cent this year.  Among the institutions to achieve the lowest mark, a “fail”, are Aberystwyth University and Liverpool Hope University.  The University of Surrey has risen by the greatest number of places (67), while the University of Wales, Trinity St David, fell the furthest down the table.

Louise Hazan, who compiled the rankings, said: “The 46 universities that top the People and Planet Green League demonstrate clearly how going green can save universities money, improve their graduate prospects and support the UK’s transition to a low-carbon economy. “Sadly, their progress is in stark contrast to the government’s flagging commitment to be the ‘greenest government ever’.” Eight institutions, mainly colleges or university colleges, failed to answer the Freedom of Information requests sent by People and Planet to compile the report.

The top 10 institutions are:

1. University of Greenwich

2. University of Plymouth

3. University of Brighton

4. University of Gloucestershire

5. Nottingham Trent University

6. University of Central Lancashire

7. Bournemouth University

=8. Bath Spa University

=8. University of Bradford

10. Manchester Metropolitan University

Source: Times Higher Education