University of Exeter listed in the top 20 greenest universities

The University of Exeter has been awarded a first class award for the fifth year running and ranked 13 out of 143 universities.

The People & Planet Green League 2013 is the UK's only comprehensive and independent green ranking of universities. It assesses the environmental and ethical performance of all universities, awarding 'first class degrees' to the greenest and ‘fail’ to those doing the least to address their environmental impacts. The University of Exeter is among 43 institutions to achieve a ‘first’ in 2013 and has risen to 13th from 24th position in the league.

Karen Gallagher, Sustainability Manager, said: “I am delighted that we have achieved such a high result this year. To have risen from 24th position to 13th  is fantastic.  We are committed to ensuring that the principles and practices of sustainability are embedded at all levels and have witnessed increasing levels of engagement from our staff and student community.”

In the past 12 months the University of Exeter has continued to develop its green initiatives and has had many successes, including Campus Services being awarded the IS014001 certification for its Environmental Management System. Developments in sustainable procurement and sustainable food have also progressed in a number of ways, including all catering outlets working towards the Food for Life Catering Mark.  The Catering Mark provides an independent guarantee that what's on a menu is freshly prepared, free from undesirable additives and better for animal welfare.

Most significantly the University has made a commitment to making its CO2 reduction targets more challenging by pledging to reduce carbon emissions from 28% by 2020 to 43% by 2020 to align with national and sector targets

Louise Hazan, who compiled the People & Planet Green League, said: “The University of Exeter thoroughly deserves its first class ranking this year and is helping to drive up environmental and ethical standards for the higher education sector as a whole. Their success in finding creative ways to engage staff and students is exemplary.  We congratulate the University of Exeter on listening to its students who are quite rightly demanding greener degrees and that the University tackles issues like climate change head-on.”

UK universities are doing more to improve graduate prospects by preparing them for the future low-carbon economy and increasing their focus on sustainability in the curriculum; 47% of Universities gained full points for integrating sustainability into the curriculum, compared to 27% just two years ago.  For the first time this year the University of Exeter has launched the Grand Challenges programme which is designed to provide all first year students with an exciting educational and social experience at the end of the academic year and has been created to allow students to tackle some of societies big dilemmas.  Sustainability has been a key theme of the two week programme, and has enabled students and experts to work together.

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