Reading in top five green universities in the UK
06 December 2022
The University of Reading has been ranked fourth greenest university in the UK, according to the 2022/23 People & Planet University League, published today.
People & Planet, an independent student campaigning network, reviews the environmental performance of 153 higher education institutions across the UK in 14 areas, awarding degree-style classifications for their overall environmental and ethical performance.
The score of 75.8% (up from 69.9% in 2021) secures another ‘First Class’ rating for the University and represents a rise of 11 places, up from 15 in the League last year.
The fourth place ranking also meets one of the University’s strategic targets four years early: to achieve a top five placing in the People & Planet University League by 2026.
Professor Mark Fellowes, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Academic Planning & Resource) at the University of Reading, said: “We are extremely proud to achieve our goal of a top five ranking in the People & Planet University League.
“This reflects significant and sustained efforts across the University to tackle climate change and reduce our impact on the environment. This is testament to the collective work of our whole university community, and reinforces our ambitions to be one of the greenest universities in the world.”
Reading scored top marks in four areas, including: Sustainable Food, Sustainability Staff, Education for Sustainable Development and Environmental Auditing & Management Systems.
The University won high scores for initiatives such as becoming the first university in Europe to join the Menus of Change Universities Research Collaborative (MCURC), to provide healthy and sustainable meals on campus, and its staff and student sustainability engagement platform Doing #UoRBit.
Significant improvements were also achieved in the Policy and Strategy and Water Reduction areas – reflecting the benefits of some significant water saving initiatives delivered in partnership with Thames Water during summer 2020.
The University’s divestment from fossil fuel companies in recent years has also contributed towards the University’s current position in the People and Planet University League.
In preparing the league, People & Planet review publicly available data, both from institutions' own websites and from data available from the Higher Education Statistics Agency.
The University recently announced it has halved its carbon emissions since 2008/09, representing a significant milestone in the University’s target to reach Net Zero Carbon by 2030.
The sector-wide carbon emissions target set by the former sector body, the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) is a 43% reduction since 2005 – compared to this baseline the University of Reading has achieved a 60% carbon reduction.