Student Energy News

The people & planet 2016 league table: How Sustainable is your university?

The people & planet 2016 league table: How Sustainable is your university?

People & planet have released their annual league table which ranks universities in order of their environmental and ethical performance. The weighting of each score is made up of a number of factors, including sustainable food, energy sources and staff & student engagement. The biggest weighting however, is for the university's carbon reduction, which accounts for 15% of their total score.

Mimicking the university grade scale, they have awarded universities the status of First Class, 2:1 Class universities, 2:2 Class universities, Third Class universities, and Failed universities. Nottingham Trent was named the best university, receiving a score of 76.2%. This score is explained by the university’s attitude towards sustainability and the environment. In an interview with the Guardian, Grant Anderson, Nottingham Trent’s environmental manager, said “We continue to expand from an initial focus on carbon, waste, transport etc to a more holistic approach, understanding the sustainability opportunities of our core business of education and research. “We made it a formal requirement six months ago that all of our courses incorporate at least one of the 17 UN sustainable development goals.” The bottom slot was taken by Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, which scored 6.8%. Russell Group universities fared no better than other universities in the league tables; in fact no Russell Group university received a score of over 70%. The best score was 68.2% from Newcastle University, and the lowest was 23.7% from Glasgow University.

This research goes to show the amount of work that needs to be done by a huge number of universities to become energy efficient and sustainable. Though some universities have gone up in the rankings compared to last year, such as the University of Warwick, many seem to have stayed at the same level without signs of improvement. If universities invest now in renewable energy sources and environmentally bases programs, they will be investing in a green future.

The top ten universities:

  1. Nottingham Trent University
  2. University of Brighton
  3. Manchester Metropolitan University
  4. Cardiff Metropolitan University
  5. University of Worcester
  6. Aston University
  7. City, University of London
  8. = Newcastle University
  9. = University of Gloucestershire
  10. Swansea University

And the bottom ten universities:

  1. Heythrop College, University of London
  2. Writtle University College
  3. University of St Mark & St John
  4. St Mary’s University, Twickenham
  5. Royal Northern College of Music
  6. University College Birmingham
  7. Stranmillis University College
  8. University of Bolton
  9. Royal Veterinary College
  10. Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance