University is third in the world for sustainability


December 12th, 2022

The University of Nottingham has been ranked third in the world in a list of the most sustainable universities – retaining its top three position for a third consecutive year.

The UI Green Metric, produced by the Universitas Indonesia, is the only university ranking in the world that measures each participating university’s commitment in developing an ‘environmentally friendly’ infrastructure. The rankings look at six indicators: setting and infrastructure, energy and climate change, waste, water, transportation, and education.

More than 900 universities from 84 countries take part in the rankings every year and, since first taking part in 2010, Nottingham has consistently been placed in the top four.

Sustainability is at the heart of the university’s core goals and vision. Several initiatives are paving the way to ensure a greener future for Nottingham, from actively working on solutions to reduce demand for energy – particularly in building stock – and generating more of its own power, through to changing travel policies to reduce unnecessary travel and encourage lower carbon journeys to offset the environmental impact.

Global collaboration is also at the forefront of the university’s drive for carbon neutrality, and it is currently working with the Ministry of Transport in Indonesia to develop infrastructure for electric vehicles and SMEs who are working to adapt conventional vehicles for electric propulsion. A new net zero translation centre in West Java will upskill industries to support the transition of Indonesia’s most populous province towards a net zero economy – with an initial target of renewables meeting 20% of the energy needs of 50 million people by 2025.

Closer to home, the university’s pledges filter down to day-to-day activity, such as providing refill points across campus to reduce the need for bottled water, partnering with Too Good to Go – an app that helps businesses sell surplus food, reducing waste – and introducing carbon labelling on some menus to educate staff and students of the CO2 impact of their food choices.

It also recently committed to becoming a nature positive university, aiming to plant more than 800 trees and hedges this month to increase biodiversity and habitats while simultaneously removing CO2 from the atmosphere.

Professor Shearer West said: “I am delighted at this recognition for the work of our colleagues in research, teaching and professional services who are committed to creating a more sustainable university and a zero-carbon planet. At the University of Nottingham, we are doing our utmost to make a difference and sustainability informs every aspect of life and work on our campuses.

“We are delivering zero carbon technologies, building partnerships with industry to scale up and drive transformational change, putting sustainability at the heart of all university operations, and inspiring our graduates to act as globally minded citizens and change-makers. The university has set ambitious, science-based carbon reduction targets: by 2030 to reduce our emissions by 63%, with an aspiration of net zero by 2040 and absolute zero by 2050.

“Our emerging zero carbon research and innovation cluster will create a regional hub, where we will work with our partners in industry to turn discoveries made in the lab or workshop into innovative, sustainable products and services.  We will scale up the delivery of these to homes, business, and society. This cluster will support change, generate regional economic benefit, and place the UK at the forefront of sustainable innovation.

“Times Higher Education’s analysis of REF 2021 places us 7th in the UK for our research power, which takes into account the sustainability, quality, international impact and critical mass of our research. The greatest challenge of our time remains simply enormous; however, we are determined to make our contribution and to work with our partners to meet this challenge head-on.”

More information on University of Nottingham Sustainability can be found here: https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/sustainability/index.aspx

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