4th Jul, 2022

University of Warwick 'disappointing' ranking in green league table - with Coventry University flying high

Felix Nobes 24th Jul, 2019

COVENTRY’S two universities have been ranked 53 places apart in a student campaign group’s sustainable league table.

The People & Planet student campaigns network has created a ranking system to measure UK universities’ environmental and ethical performance.

In this year’s table, the University of Warwick ranked 60 out of 154 UK institutions, receiving a total score of 42.9 per cent.

It was praised for its environmental management system and its sustainability staff who carry out the university’s policies on making the campus greener and more energy efficient.

But it recorded low marks for water usage reduction, workers rights, ethical investment and cutting carbon emissions – after an 11.5 per cent reduction in its carbon emissions since a 2005 baseline.

Coventry University trumped its city competitor achieving a very respectable ranking of seven, achieving a ‘first-class honour’ and a score of 66 per cent.

Let down only by its ethical investment, the university scored full marks for its green policies and its environmental management system – how well it manages and audits its own sustainability performance.

It also recorded top tier scores and was praised for its water reduction, waste and recycling record and its use of sustainable energy sources.

It also trumped Warwick by receiving a much higher score on carbon reduction – after reducing its carbon emissions 14.2 per cent since a 2005 baseline.

The rankings were calculated from a mixture of publicly available information and data from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA).

There are 13 different criteria and universities are marked out of 100 for each, contributing to an overall score.

A spokesperson from the University of Warwick said: “Unfortunately this tables does not compare like with like so its usefulness is limited.

“Warwick for instances retains the ownership of our first year and much of our postgraduate accommodation on our campus, and our own cleaning services, while many others contract much of that out to the private sector so that will add to a great many of our activities in this table from water use to waste.

“We have expanded the work we do in crop research but that has meant more labs and facilities so it’s impossible to come at the top of those tables while we succeed and grow to that extent so we settle for changing the world as a whole for better instead.”

Leader of the Green Party group on Warwickshire County Council Jonathan Chilvers tweeted: “University of Warwick finished a disappointing 60th in this year’s sustainability league tables – let down by investing in fossil fuels, not being a living wage employer or fair trade organisation. Come on you can do better than that – I want to be a proud alumni!”

A Coventry University spokesperson said: “We are extremely proud to have achieved 7th position in the People and Planet University League.

“This result reflects the ongoing level of work and commitment to sustainability from our staff and students across the University.”

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