Staffordshire University named among UK's greenest universities
Thursday 31 May 2012
Staff and students are celebrating achieving a First class result in the People and Planet Green League 2012 which was published in the Guardian this week.
Staffordshire University is now ranked 31 out of 145 HE Institutions for its green credentials – up a degree category and a rise of nine places over its performance last year.
The People & Planet Green League assesses the environmental and ethical performance of all universities annually, awarding First Class 'degrees' to the greenest and Fail to those doing the least to address their environmental impacts.
Staffordshire University has reduced its carbon footprint by 23% since 2008 and is among 46 institutions to achieve a ‘First’ in 2012 - 10 more than did so last year despite a higher points threshold.
Environmental manager Adam Van Winsum said: “We are delighted with this result as it shows we are making significant improvement year on year and that the investment the University is making in environmental initiatives is being recognised.
“We believe the environment is something that matters to prospective students and engagement with students and staff across our campuses is key to our overall performance in the tables.”
Louise Hazan, who compiled the People & Planet Green League, said: “National improvements across the People & Planet Green League results this year show universities are listening to the 70% of students demanding greener degrees and that the university sector is leading the way to a low-carbon and sustainable future."
Staffordshire University has made a number of environmental gains in the last year as well as continuing with its Green Impact initiative which involves and recognises the work of staff and students across the institution.
New measures include:
The implementation of an environmental management system (stage 1-3 BS8555) for the Estates department
The introduction of an ethical investment policy
A sustainable food agenda which includes local and sustainable food sources, certified by the Food for Life Bronze award
A switch to 100 per cent renewable energy provider for electricity
The University are also looking to get involved in a Student Switch Off campaign which effectively recruits eco-champions in halls to drive changes in behaviour and reduce energy consumption.
Emma Harris, Staffordshire University Students’ Union Commercial Services Officer, added: “Sometimes it’s easy to forget about sustainability, the HE sector is facing challenging times and it can be easy for institutions to let carbon reduction slip off the priority list.
“The Students’ Union would like to thank Staffordshire University for sticking by its principles and making a commitment to the environment. Students really do appreciate this organisations strong sense of global responsibility.”
Staffordshire University will be sending representatives to attend at a special awards ceremony for First Class Award winners on Thursday 21st June in Westminster. The award will be presented by Jonathon Porritt, environmentalist and Honorary Doctor of Staffordshire University.
The People & Planet Green League is the only comprehensive and independent league table of UK universities ranked by environmental and ethical performance. It is compiled annually by the UK’s largest student campaigning network, People & Planet.
Find out more: Sustain Staffs