Reading #1 in sustainable universities league table
13 December 2023
The University of Reading has been ranked as the number one university in the UK in the latest People & Planet University League table.
The University has climbed three places to claim the top spot in the 2023/2024 rankings, which measure UK universities by their environmental and ethical performances.
First place was achieved after Reading made progress in criteria including ethical banking, workers' rights and carbon reduction. The University was also recognised for managing carbon emissions, providing climate education resources and a sustainable food policy.
Professor Robert Van de Noort, Vice Chancellor of the University of Reading, said: "As a University we have a long history of leadership in environmental and agricultural science, as well as social and political issues. We’re nearing our centenary as a university and have always aimed not just to educate people and do research to learn about the world, but to do something about it as well.
“We’ve developed a position as one of the leading scientific institutions on weather, climate and agriculture, but our commitment to sustainability can be seen across all our subject areas – from the built environment to business and computer science to law. Our commitment to address climate change and be a leader in global environmental sustainability came from the ground up – it was what our students, academics and local community told us that they wanted to do.
“It is wonderful to top the People & Planet league, but we must continue to drive forward. We’ve cut our carbon by 60% but have much to do to achieve our commitment to Net Zero carbon. We are working towards ensuring students of all ages have a good climate education, within the University and within schools and colleges. We have inspired countless conversations about the climate, and need to see those conversations turn to greater action.
“As thrilled as I am that we have been recognised as the greenest university in the country, there is still much we must do to reduce our carbon footprint, to inspire our community to play their part, to inform best practice and work towards the solutions we so urgently need.
“I hope we can share our experience and inspire other universities to commit to maximising their contribution to addressing these challenges. As the COP28 conference closes, it is clear that the impacts of climate change will be far-reaching and we all need to work faster together to avert the worst consequences.”
The University ranked first in the People & Planet University league table with a score of 81.8%, up from 75.8% in 2022/2023. Measures Reading scored 100% in include:
●Environmental auditing and management systems
●Staff and HR
●Education for sustainable development
Ranking #1 in the People & Planet University League table comes after Reading won the inaugural Outstanding Contribution to Environmental Leadership at the Times Higher Education (THE) Awards 2023. Read the news story.