The University of Bedfordshire has received a first class award in the 2021 People & Plant University League, retaining its position at eighth place out of 154 institutions.
Bedfordshire scored 75.2% overall, meaning the institution proved to have kept its sustainability performance consistently high.
People & Planet is the largest student network in the UK campaigning for social and environmental justice. This year’s People & Planet University League measured a number of environmental areas including carbon management and reduction, water reduction, use of alternative energy sources, sustainable food and recycling.
Adam Higgin, Sustainability Manager at the University of Bedfordshire, said: “Our top ten position in this externally audited league table is testament to the degree to which the University’s executive team and governors have supported our ‘Sustainability Agenda’ every year since 2010.
“Well before the Paris Accord and COP26, Bedfordshire made decarbonisation and sustainability business as usual – rather than just a temporary initiative – and this league table result reflects this effort.”
Some of the ways Bedfordshire has been successfully implementing sustainability across its campuses so far include rainwater harvesting to flush toilets, use of cross-campus electric vans, introducing solar panels and planting wildflower meadows to encourage biodiversity.
At the start of 2020, the University launched its Target Zero initiative as part of its ongoing commitment to becoming carbon neutral by 2050. At the start of 2021 Bedfordshire was also awarded a top Platinum certification by EcoCampus for the second year running, following the success of implementing an accredited framework for managing and maintaining sustainability across its campuses since 2013.
Adam continued: “I am proud to have helped Bedfordshire get this far and our ‘green league’ position is a result of collaboration and cooperation within the community. However things don’t stop here – there is still so much work to do if we are to play our part in keeping global warming under 1.5c by 2030.”
Donald Harley, Deputy Vice Chancellor for Resources – including sustainable development – is proud of how the University is prioritising sustainability and climate commitments for current and future generations. He said:
“Higher education institutions play an important role in influencing change in a number of ways with the impact on the environment, climate and sustainable living being a key priority on the agenda. Here at the University of Bedfordshire, we work with all our stakeholders to reduce our institution’s environmental impact and to promote sustainable thinking, education and practices to benefit our students, staff and local communities now and long into the future.”
For further information on how the University of Bedfordshire is committed to sustainability, visit: www.beds.ac.uk/sustainability