21st January 2015

2:1 for People and Planet

The University of Chester has won an Upper Second Class Award and been ranked 33 out of 151 universities in the People & Planet University League 2015 – the UK’s only comprehensive and independent green ranking of universities unveiled January 20.

The People & Planet University League, an annual rating by the national student campaign group, assesses the environmental and ethical performance of all universities, awarding First Class ‘degrees’ to the greenest and ‘Fail’ to those doing the least to address their environmental and social impacts.

The University of Chester is one of 30 universities to achieve a 2:1 in the 2015 league.

It has made changes in how it monitors and measures its energy use and is preparing to integrate alternative energy technologies into its campuses. This is a key component of planning and implementing its newly revised Carbon Management Plan and Scope 3 Emissions Action Plan. In addition the University recently signed an agreement with energy supplier SSE to ensure its annual electricity volume of 9.21 GWh is sourced from renewable generators. 

The University’s new Sustainability Strategy 2020, sets out the institution’s vision and objectives for across the University and underpins the engagement initiatives we run, including Green Impact and DoNation.

Green Impact has been particularly successful at reaching out across departments as well as working with students to ensure the University is providing the responses to sustainability challenges, which they expect as part of their journey through higher education. More information about this can be found at http://www.chester.ac.uk/about/social-responsibility/sustainability

Alice Elliott, Head of Sustainability at the University, said: “We aim to embed sustainability into all of our educational activities and services in order to help achieve our vision of a sustainable world for present and future generations.

“Strengthening our position in the league for the third year running is a testament to the fact that we are on the right path, even if that path is long and winding.”

Hannah Smith, who compiled the People & Planet University League, said: “The University of Chester is demonstrating great achievements in working with its students, staff and community to bring about a culture of change in social and environmental practice and working on sustainability across the board, from curriculum to catering.

“It’s clear that the universities awarded with a 2:1 in this year’s League are taking their response to climate change and social justice more seriously. When students and the public ask our universities what they are doing to meet the biggest challenges of our time, we'd expect them all to answer.”

At the end of the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2004-14) 44% of all UK universities now demonstrate a high level commitment to integrate education for sustainability across the curriculum.

The universities ranked show a 3.4% carbon reduction overall against last year’s emissions.