Newcastle University has been awarded first-class honours for its efforts to help the planet and has become the greenest university in the North East.
Being placed 26th out of 145 institutions in the People & Planet Green League published this week, makes us one of the greenest universities in the country.
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.
The award recognises Newcastle’s efforts to make sustainability an everyday part of campus life. Currently more than 93% of general waste is recycled, carbon emissions are down by 1,000 tonnes (by measures such as boiler replacement and lighting controls) and water usage has been reduced by a further 4% despite a growth in the Estate.
Newcastle was one of 46 universities nationally to be given the top award, which will be presented at a special graduation event in London in June.
Professor Tony Stevenson, Newcastle University’s Pro Vice Chancellor for Planning and Resources said: “This is great news and just reward for all the efforts staff have put in to improve sustainability at the University. We are constantly reviewing what we do and looking at ways we can do things even better and I think our position in the league reflects that. Currently we are implementing action plans looking at recycling, cutting carbon emissions and increasing biodiversity on campus.
“Newcastle University is also world renowned for its research into sustainability, so this award recognises that we practice what we preach.”
Louise Hazan, who compiled the People & Planet Green League, said: “Congratulations to all the staff and students at Newcastle University for their role in creating one of the greenest universities the UK has ever seen. Their success in finding creative ways to engage staff and students in the transition to sustainability is exemplary.”
Earlier this year, the University was given a gold star in the National Recycling Stars scheme for improving recycling rates by 70% in three years. It has also been awarded a gold eco campus award for reducing the environmental impact of its activities.
One recent initiative that is helping to reduce the impact further is an electric pool car for staff across the University.
A Peugeot Ion, provided by Commonwheels car club, will be on campus for six months for employees who need to use it for work purposes. The scheme is part of the University’s commitment to encouraging staff to use more sustainable travel.
published on: 1 June 2012