'First class honours' for green performance

People and Planet Green League 2012

29 May 2012

The People and Planet Green League table for 2012 confirms that Aston University is in the vanguard of sustainability, outperforming all but a handful of other UK institutions.

Aston has been awarded ‘First Class Honours’ for its ranking at number 11 out of 142 UK Universities. It is the fourth year running that Aston has been ranked so highly, scoring maximum points in the ‘Staff and Student Engagement’ category as well as for ‘Environmental Policy’ and ‘Environmental Management’.

People and Planet is a highly influential student campaigning network that works in partnership with The Guardian in order to identify how quickly the University sector is moving towards low-carbon, sustainable operations. It was formed in response to student demand for greener universities.

The 2012 League table takes into account a wide range of environmental criteria including carbon emissions per head, recycling initiatives, embedding the concept of sustainability into the curriculum, and sourcing Fairtrade products.

Professor Julia King, Vice-Chancellor of Aston University said; “The First Class Honours Award is a significant accolade, which goes alongside the Gold EcoCampus Standard which was granted to Aston in 2011. Together they demonstrate that it is possible for a world class, research intensive University to lead the way and deliver ambitious carbon management plans, reduce waste, and create a sustainable campus community.”

Activities on Aston’s campus have engaged staff and students alike in green issues. Ranging from a ‘Student Switch Off’ programme, staff ‘Go Green Awards’ competition, ‘Zero waste in Halls’ campaign and culminating in the vibrant ‘Aston Go Green Week’ .

Victoria Johnsen, Aston University’s Environment and Sustainability Officer said; “It has been a fantastic year at Aston for sustainability, which is now embedded into the university strategy ‘Forward to 2020’. We’ve introduced a new binless office scheme and installed a large photovoltaic system on our main building. We have also had more students and staff than ever before involved in green initiatives. Staff have developed a downloadable map of cycle routes in Birmingham and students have launched a map of local ‘green’ shops and restaurants. There is more to do, but we are determined to make even more progress.”

Louise Hazan, who compiled People and Planet’s ‘Green League 2012’, said; “Congratulations to Aston University for being awarded First Class Honours for environmental performance. These results show that Aston continues to be one of the top performing UK universities.”


For further media information contact Alex Earnshaw, Aston University Communications on 0121 204 4549 or email a.earnshaw@aston.ac.uk