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Manchester Metropolitan ranked as UK's greenest university

The university's accolade is another example of their commitment to sustainability

Posted by Lucinda Reid | November 15, 2017 | Sustainability

Manchester Metropolitan University has been named the greenest university in the UK, ranked in first in the People and Planet University League.

After climbing to the top of the table in 2013 from 91st in 2007, Manchester Metropolitan is the only university to retain a top three position for five consecutive years, demonstrating a continued commitment to reducing the university’s environmental impact.

It is the only comprehensive and independent league table of UK universities ranked by environmental and ethical performance, compiled annually by the student network, People and Planet, and published today in The Guardian.

It assesses a range of environmental and ethical factors, management practices and policies, and performance in carbon reduction, energy sources, waste and recycling, and water reduction.

Professor Malcolm Press, Vice-Chancellor of Manchester Metropolitan University, said, “I am incredibly proud that our work on environmental sustainability has resulted in us being ranked ahead of every other university in the country. Being ranked first is testament to the continued commitment of staff and students to addressing the key sustainability issues we face both locally and globally. Environmental change and sustainable living are amongst the greatest challenges that we face and we remain committed to work to address key issues including: reducing our carbon footprint through appropriate management of our estate; developing carbon literacy learning for our students; and supporting innovative solutions through the production of green energy, as evidenced by our new Hydrogen Fuel Cell Innovation Centre."

For the 2017-18 intake, 83% believe Manchester Metropolitan is an environmentally sustainable university and two-thirds of returning students stated that they are gaining knowledge to help understand global sustainability

Hannah Smith, Co-Director for Campaigns and Research at People and Planet, added, “We’re delighted to see Manchester Metropolitan University celebrate yet another top position in the People and Planet University League! The University was one of 40 universities to sign the People and Planet 'Green Education Declaration' in 2012 – five years on, they have truly proved their commitment to this pledge. Manchester Metropolitan is showing the sector what's possible when a university community comes together to take action on climate and social justice."

The league table is still the only independent assessment of UK universities rated by their environmental and ethical performance, creating transparency of universities’ commitments and practices.

Manchester Metropolitan scored 77.6% overall and was awarded maximum marks for environmental policy, auditing and environmental management systems, sustainability staff, and education for sustainable development. The University ranked very strongly for ethical investment principles, and carbon and energy management.

As part of the university’s online enrolment process, students provide information about their views on environmental sustainability. For the 2017-18 intake, 83% believe Manchester Metropolitan is an environmentally sustainable university and two-thirds of returning students stated that they are gaining knowledge to help understand global sustainability.

The league table success is just one of a recent collection of accolades that highlight the university’s green credentials.

Manchester Metropolitan, along with partners, won the best reuse and waste prevention project for the ‘Give It, Don’t Bin It’ campaign, at the Sustainability and Resource Awards. More than £200,000 was raised for charity and almost 2,000kg of food items donated from unwanted goods in student residences.

The MetMunch student food network is also a finalist in the 2017 Green Gown Awards for best Enterprise project, taking place tomorrow (November 15). And over the last year, nearly 300 students have received carbon literacy learning.

Dr John Hindley, Assistant Director of Estates Management and Sustainability at Manchester Metropolitan, said, “We are absolutely delighted to have topped the league again in a sector that has responded so strongly to the sustainability challenge, where energy reduction and recycling schemes have become standard. A key area of innovation has been a more systematic and effective engagement with the student journey, training and funding students as ambassadors of carbon literacy to train fellow students. This is unique to the sector and is embedding sustainability in graduate attributes, placing them in a stronger position within a competitive jobs market.”

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