City university is runner-up in 'green' league
PLYMOUTH has been named one of the UK's top two 'green' universities.
The annual People and Planet University Green League ranks Plymouth University second out of 145 universities.
The university retains the accolade of being the national league's top overall performer since it began in 2007 and follows its recent 'Green Gown' award for continuous improvement last year.
Building on its Fairtrade and ISO14000:1 status, the university is now pushing into new territory with its winning 'tri-cameral' approach as it recognises that sustainability is not just about the environment, but also financial and social responsibility.
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Director of Procurement and Sustainability Jenny Bushrod said: "At Plymouth we take a holistic view, working together across our operations, research and the curriculum. The decisions we make must take the environment, financial and social responsibility into account and there is an intricate tension in getting that balance right."
Sustainability synergies have been created across the University with research enriching operational strategies whether carbon management, food, travel or water.
Students play a key role in conducting research to inform the university's space strategy. There are plans for a smartphone app that will enable students to take pictures of what they see as 'good or bad' use of space. Engineering students have been involved in the construction of the new marine building, while others have helped with an arts inventory and a project to review the leases on all university properties.
Professor Wendy Purcell, Vice-Chancellor, who recently gave a keynote on sustainability to an international UNESCO audience, concluded; "The brand has never been truer. We have a strong culture of partnership working and we understand that our strength in sustainability is so much more than a sum of parts. It is about students, staff and community working together. We are turning our ambitions into actions and now have the opportunity to share our learning with others so that we can help shape how the sector moves forward, as it must."
The People and Planet Green League is the only league table ranking all UK universities by environmental performance.