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University of Portsmouth named among UK’s ‘greenest universities ever’

The University of Portsmouth has been awarded a First Class Award and ranked 16th out of 145 in the People & Planet Green League 2012.  It puts the University in the top twenty greenest Universities in the UK.  The results of the UK’s only comprehensive and independent green ranking of universities were unveiled today in The Guardian.

Portsmouth named among UK’s ‘greenest universities ever’

University of Portsmouth named among UK’s ‘greenest universities ever’

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. Portsmouth is among 46 institutions to achieve a ‘First’ in 2012 – 10 more than did so last year despite a higher points threshold.

The University of Portsmouth scored 47 points – its highest score since the green league started in 2007.

Energy & Environmental Manager, Ian McCormack, said that this year’s ranking, and the best ever points score, reflected the continual commitment to improving the University’s environmental performance.

He said:  “Our success demonstrates our relentless pursuit of a greener campus and finding ways to achieve it.  I’m thrilled that our efforts over the past 12 months have earned us a First Class award.”

Recent initiatives include tightening up waste management processes to reduce all forms of waste across campus, from paper and electricity to food and water.  There are imminent plans to reduce energy consumption which include installing LED lighting in lecture theatres and motion sensors to activate lights.

The award is the second time the University’s green initiatives have been recognised in a matter of months.  In March the University was among a select few universities in England to be awarded ISO 14001 certification, the top classification for sustainable and green management practices from external auditors.   The Environmental Management System is aimed at not only recognising a host of green standards being achieved, but a continuing commitment to achieving even more.

The ISO 14001 certification was presented to the Vice-chancellor Professor John Craven by external auditors in March.  The University will receive the People and Planet award at a special ‘graduation ceremony’ to be held in Westminster by People & Planet on 21st June 2012.

Professor Craven said: “I am delighted we have twice been recognised for reaching the highest standards in our management of the environment which acknowledges the work of our dedicated environment team in inspiring efforts across campus. Such achievements save us money in energy bills in the short-term but the real gain is it highlights our commitment to the community in which we operate.”

Louise Hazan, who compiled the People & Planet Green League, said: “Congratulations to all the staff and students at the University of Portsmouth for their role in creating one of the greenest universities the UK has ever seen.

“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.”

UK universities are also doing more to improve graduate prospects by preparing them for the future low-carbon economy and increasing their focus on sustainability in the curriculum.  People & Planet Green League shows a 96% increase in the number of universities integrating sustainability into their Teaching & Learning Strategies since 2011 (about a third of the sector).

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