The greenest campus on earth

January 31st, 2012

The University of Nottingham is the most environmentally friendly campus on the planet, according to a new league table of sustainable universities.
The University is first in a new international ranking that judges institutions according to their energy management programmes, sustainability-related teaching and research, waste and water management, percentage of green space on campus and the application of eco-sustainability policies and efforts.
The Greenmetric of World Universities 2011, produced by the University of Indonesia, covers 42 countries.
Nottingham’s aim is to become a sector-leading green university in all its activities, and the past year has seen staff and students working hard on a range of initiatives to reduce its carbon footprint.
These include the maintenance of its award-winning parkland campuses incorporating green gardening practices, the use of innovative architecture and sustainable design in building new facilities, reducing the environmental impact of IT use and introducing sustainable procurement practices into contracts with
a growing number of major suppliers.
The University launched an environmental strategy in 2010, managed by an Environmental Steering Group, which outlines its aims in achieving excellence in sustainability and has been underpinned by the introduction of initiatives supporting its green agenda.
Professor Karen Cox, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Environment and Infrastructure, said: “Last year Nottingham was ranked no.2 in the Greenmetric league table, so it’s very pleasing that our continuing work has been recognised with a move up into the top position.
“Campus-wide efforts on sustainability have yielded our first-ever reduction in carbon emissions — a cut of over 1,100 tonnes of carbon dioxide on the previous year. Taken against a background of increasing student numbers, new infrastructure on campus and an extremely harsh winter, this is a considerable achievement.
“I’d like to offer my congratulations to all those staff and students who have worked hard to contribute to our success in this area.”
With 330 acres of rolling parkland, beautiful period buildings and a large lake, University Park is considered to be one of the most attractive campuses in the country. In 2011, it was awarded a Green Flag Award for the ninth year running. Nottingham was the first university to win a Green Flag for its parks and gardens.
Across all its campuses, the University is currently investing £90m in teaching and learning facilities, with new buildings opening in 2011 in maths, engineering, humanities, veterinary and biosciences, and a revamp of campus cafes and food facilities. New and refurbished building designs meet the highest environmental criteria, and a range of renewable energy systems have been deployed in existing and new buildings.
A sustainable transport strategy is in place, with new cycle infrastructure, car-parking charges, availability of inter-campus hopper buses and a cycle hire scheme.
The University has submitted plans for three wind turbines on land near the River Trent, near Clifton Bridge in Nottingham, which, if approved, would supply green electricity to its University Park campus. The turbines, which would meet one-third of the electricity needs of the campus, would reduce the University’s carbon emissions by 7,000 tonnes per year, equating to 40% of the target reductions required by 2015.
The UI GreenMetric World University Ranking was launched by the University of Indonesia in 2010 to provide an online survey highlighting the activities and policies of universities in relation to sustainability and green campus issues. This year the survey attracted submissions from more than 170 universities. Ranked second and third this year are Northwestern University and the University of Connecticut, both in the USA.
More information on Impact: The Nottingham Campaign is available at:

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