Top ten ranking for the University of Plymouth in national green league

The University of Plymouth has been ranked in the top ten greenest universities in the country by a national league table backed by The Guardian newspaper.

The University was rated as the ninth most sustainable institution in the People and Planet University League for 2021 for its environmental and ethical performance across a range of areas.

This included being ranked joint first for Sustainable Food, joint third for Water Reduction and joint 10th in Education – for the way it has embedded education for sustainable development across the curriculum.

And Plymouth was one of just 29 universities – out of 154 – to be awarded a ‘First’ by People and Planet, based upon data gathered from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA).

Professor Kevin Jones, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science and Engineering, and the strategic lead for sustainability in the University, paid tribute to the result, saying:

“Sustainability has long been a driving force for us. It matters to our students, who engage with sustainability in degrees as varied as dentistry and product design. It inspires our research culture, particularly in environmental and socioeconomic fields. And it drives the management of our estate, whether in the sourcing of local, fresh produce, reducing waste and water consumption or building environmentally excellent new facilities.”
“This top ten ranking in the People and Planet University League is the latest in a long line of recognition for such achievements and is shared by people right across the institution.”

The People and Planet University League position follows this year’s THE Impact Rankings, which placed the University in the top 25 globally. Based on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, the University of Plymouth was rated first globally in relation to SDG 14: Life Below Water; ninth worldwide in relation to SDG 17: partnerships; 19th in the world in SDG 2: Zero Hunger; and in the top 50 globally for its work linked to SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy and SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities.

It also builds on a strong year in national league tables more generally, including a 12 place rise to joint 41st in The Guardian University Guide.

People and Planet found that 46% of the higher education sector is on track to meet the sector-wide emissions reduction target set by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), up from one third in 2019.

“The results show that the sector is moving in the right direction,” 

added Professor Jones. 

“There is more to do, however, and that is one of the reasons why we share our expertise and best practice with others – both in the sector and more broadly. That way, everyone benefits.”