Green League

The University of Gloucestershire has once again received first class honours in the annual ‘Green League’, after the results of the 2016 People & Planet University League were published yesterday.

Published: 23/11/2016 10:47

The University of Gloucestershire has once again received first class honours in the annual ‘Green League’, after the results of the 2016 People & Planet University League were published yesterday (Tuesday, 22 November).

The University of Gloucestershire came in as the 8th best overall university in the UK for its sustainability performance and innovation across the organisation. First class status was awarded to just 30 of the country’s 150 higher education institutions assessed.

The University scored particularly highly on its sustainability policy, environmental management systems, education change programmes, carbon management and sustainable food initiatives.

Dr Alex Ryan, Director of Sustainability at the University of Gloucestershire, said: “We are delighted to have maintained our first class status and to be placed 8th out of 150 institutions in the UK universities’ sustainability league.

“This acknowledgement from People & Planet as a sector leader and centre of excellence is more meaningful than ever, as their new ranking criteria reflect the way sustainability has advanced in the higher education sector over recent years.

“The University of Gloucestershire is proud of its long-standing commitment to transformational change for sustainability, which shows in the experiences we provide for our students, as well as our core academic activities, business operations and community partnerships. We see sustainability as the big challenge of the 21st century – it offers our students and staff the opportunity to become change-makers and professional pioneers, who can help to build healthier, happier societies whilst protecting planetary resources.

“We have an international reputation for sustainability which is grounded in our innovative approach to learning and change, as well as our intention to serve as an anchor institution for our local and regional communities. Our new sustainability strategy will take this work to the next level, as part of the University’s Strategic Plan for 2017-22.”

University of Gloucestershire sustainability initiatives:

Regeneration for the Future: led by Dr Michelle Williams, involving collaboration across the University of Gloucestershire’s product design, fashion design, interior design and landscape architecture courses. The initiative has redesigned the curriculum and created live site projects, student-led research and community engagement, including Cheltenham's new monthly ‘repair café’. Recognised as an ‘Outstanding Flagship Project' by the United Nations University in 2016 for its transformative learning partnerships with the community, Regeneration was also shortlisted as Finalist in the UK Green Gown Awards 2016.

Sustainability Internships Programme: led by Meg Baker and the Sustainability Team, delivering professional sustainability experiences within university departments and with local organisations in different sectors. Each internship has led to results that have been put to concrete use, improving sustainability thinking and practice for both the interns and their hosts. Recognised as an ‘Acknowledged Flagship Project' by the United Nations University in 2016 for its contribution to youth capacity building, the Sustainability Internships Programme was also shortlisted as Finalist in the UK Green Gown Awards 2016.

The University of Gloucestershire’s notable sustainability achievements include:

  • Consistent 1st class placement at the top of the People and Planet universities’ “Green League” since it began, plus a Special Recognition Award in 2013 for this performance
  • First English university to gain ISO 14001 accreditation, which we have maintained for over 10 years, across all our campuses and for both corporate and academic activities
  • Recognition in our Quality Assurance Agency 2015 institutional review, for good practice in enhancement of student learning experiences in sustainability
  • Awarded ‘Gold’ Green Impact status for our Students’ Union since 2013 and £280,000 from the NUS Students Green Fund for our “Greener Gloucestershire” initiatives
  • Grant capture of £1,405,000 for education innovation and student experience projects, with funders including HEFCE, HEA, UNESCO and the European Commission
  • Achieved Soil Association ‘Food for Life’ Gold catering mark across all our campuses, through our partnership with pioneering sustainable caterers BaxterStorey.