Coventry University has been ranked in the top quarter of higher education institutions for its environmental performance in the People & Planet Green League 2012, published in The Guardian.
The University is one of only 46 institutions to achieve a First Class award in the prestigious league, which assesses the environmental and ethical performance of all UK universities each year based on categories such as carbon reduction, policy and engagement with staff and students.
Coventry scored full marks for its overall environmental management and staff and student engagement, helping the University to 26th overall out of 145 higher education institutions which took part.
This year Coventry University excelled in student engagement, with projects such as the ‘green@cu’ initiative boosting its rating. Managed by student Energy Ambassadors, this innovative energy saving competition involves all students living in University halls and houses, and looks to find new ways of reducing students’ carbon footprints.
Tips, activities, games and prizes are offered as an incentive through social media platforms, multimedia presentations and events to help students understand how easy it is to reduce pollution from energy use while having fun and saving money too.
In 2011, Coventry University was also presented with a national Green Gown award by the Environmental Association of Universities and Colleges (EAUC) in recognition of its innovative inter-building Carbon Challenge competition which has delivered over 2,000,000 kWh of reduced consumption.
Highlighting the University’s ongoing commitment to its low carbon agenda, new buildings on campus such as The Hub and the new Engineering and Computing Building have been rated ‘Excellent’ in the world’s leading design and assessment method for sustainable buildings, BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method).
The People & Planet award follows last year’s launch of the University’s Low Impact Buildings Centre, which has become the base for its Low Impact Buildings Grand Challenge Initiative – an industry-led research programme dedicated to fostering energy-efficiency in the built environment.
Elise Smithson, deputy director of environment and of the Low Impact Buildings Centre at Coventry University, said: “We have worked hard to achieve our ambition to be recognised through the league table for continued improvements in environmental performance. These results reflect a great deal of effort by students and staff who should be congratulated for their actions and interest. The next challenge is to keep up this high standard of recognition across the sector and continue to show leadership in environmental management on campuses and as educators and researchers.”
Louise Hazan, who compiled the People & Planet Green League, said: “Congratulations to all the staff and students at Coventry University for their role in creating one of the greenest universities the UK has ever seen. Their success in finding creative ways to engage staff and students in the transition to sustainability is exemplary.”
Coventry University will receive the award at a special ‘graduation ceremony’ to be held in Westminster by People & Planet on 21st June 2012.