University of Worcester Celebrates Decade of ‘First Class’ Sustainability


In the latest People and Planet University League the University has once again been awarded ‘First Class Honours’ – an achievement it has now held for more than 10 years. The University remains in the top five most sustainable universities in the country, out of the 154 universities in the UK that were rated in the 2019 table.

Professor David Green CBE, Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive, said: “We are delighted to have achieved First Class Honours once again in the People and Planet University League. There is much hard work, both by students and staff, and the Students’ Union, to increase our sustainability and raise awareness.  We are committed to expanding our work in this field to ensure the wellbeing of future generations.” 

Student-led campaigning group, People and Planet, uses information provided by the University to assess sustainability in areas such as the curriculum, catering, energy sources and community engagement.

Recent projects that the University has been pioneering include a pilot of a community electric bike share scheme for students and staff, which could be rolled out to businesses in Worcestershire to help improve mobility and air quality.  Another scheme sees the University and other partners working with student landlords to provide shared student housing with recycling receptacles, information and support from trained student volunteers who mentor their peers. 

The University has also been undertaking research with Worcester Bosch on how to improve heating decisions in shared student housing. A bio-diverse selection of 500 new tress have also been planted at the University’s Lakeside Campus.

Professor Green added: “We’re working very hard to manage our carbon footprint as the University grows, and our future building plans always aim to create a modern, very sustainable campus.  Our most recent facility, the Art House, which opened earlier this year, is a sympathetic renovation of a listed building and incorporated a number of sustainable features.  This included intelligent lighting, user controlled real-time energy management, heating, ventilation and cooling, surface water strategies, cycling infrastructure and electric vehicle charging points.  We are continually piloting schemes, conducting research and holding events to encourage greater sustainability on campus, in shared student houses and in the wider community.”

The news comes shortly after it was revealed that the University is shortlisted in three categories of the national Green Gown Awards, including Sustainability Institution of the Year.

Earlier this year the University was also named as number one in the UK for Quality Education in the inaugural Times Higher Education University Impact Rankings. The rankings are based on universities’ records in contributing to achieving the United Nations’ globally agreed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).