UoN: Not So Green? Ranks 70th in new environment league table

Months after being named the most environmentally-friendly campus in the world for the fourth time running, the University of Nottingham has been ranked seventieth out of a hundred and fifty universities in a different league table, after universities nationwide are reported to be struggling to meet green goals.

In January, UoN topped the Greenmetric Ranking of World Universities 2015, after boasting the most environmentally friendly campus in the world. UoN beat three hundred and ninety-nine other universities from around the world to the top of the league table.

However, the results of 2016’s People and Planet University League show that UoN is ranked as a 2:2-rated university with a total score of 38.8%.

“UoN’s score contrasts with that of Nottingham Trent University, who were placed first on the list with a total score of 76.2%.”

People and Planet is credited as the UK’s largest campaigning organisation for students, with aims of tackling world poverty, protecting the environment and defending human rights.

Their league table scores universities on factors such as carbon reduction, divestment from funding and investing in fossil fuels, and employment conditions such as payment of the Living Wage.

UoN’s score contrasts with that of Nottingham Trent University, who were placed first on the list with a total score of 76.2%.

Out of the Russell Group’s twenty-four universities, UoN placed seventeenth, with Newcastle, Warwick, Oxford and Cambridge among those who scored higher.

“the University was found to be lacking”

On a wider scale, of the hundred and fifty universities placed, thirty were awarded ‘first class’ status, as an article in The Guardian claimed that only a quarter of universities are set to meet their carbon reduction targets by 2020.

Despite the University of Nottingham gaining the full percentage possible for having an active environmental policy, employing contactable sustainability staff and for being a Fairtrade status university, the University was found to be lacking in other areas.

The investment and being funded by fossil fuels affected the University of Nottingham’s rating, as did the setting of targets in only three of the eight areas People and Planet consider key in Sustainability Strategies.

Larissa Rowan, third year English student said ‘I appreciate that visually the campus is very green and the University makes an effort to be aware of their effect on the environment with things like different recycling bins, but I’ve often been to uni at some ridiculous hours and seen things like the lights left on in Trent Building, even though it is locked. It makes no sense!’

Impact News contacted Emory Cunningham, the Student Union’s Environmental and Social Justice Officer for comment, but had not recived a response at the time of going to press.

Amy Wilcockson

Image: Arran Bee via Flickr. License here.

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