University of Worcester ‘Leading the Way’ in Battle to Tackle Climate Change
Wednesday, 25 November 2020
As the Government lays out its green agenda, the University of Worcester is “leading the way” in the battle to reduce carbon emissions, according to a new independent report by SOS-UK.
Students Organising for Sustainability UK (SOS-UK), working alongside the National Union of Students (NUS), the University and College Union (UCU) and People & Planet (P&P) have assessed universities and colleges across the UK on their ambitions to take action on the climate emergency and ecological crisis.
They gave each institution a score, and the University of Worcester, which was last year named Sustainability Institution of the Year for the UK and Ireland and went on to be globally commended at the United Nations, has received one of the very highest scores in the UK – 90 out of 100. Only one other institution scored higher – University College London (95) – and two institutions also scored the same - King’s College London (90) and University of the West of England (90).
This places Worcester among 27 institutions deemed to be “leading the way” in the battle to reduce carbon emissions. You can view the full list on the Carbon Targets website.
University of Worcester Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive, Professor David Green CBE, said: “Climate change is a rea threat to humanity. Storms and summer wildfires are increasing in intensity and severity around the world as the planet warms. At the University we are committed to reducing our carbon footprint and aim to be net zero by 2030. This may be ambitious, but it is also essential. Staff and students, Students’ Union and University are all united in this cause as we work together for a sustainable future.”
The University, in close partnership with the Students’ Union, has pioneered many initiatives to promote sustainability over the last 15 years, including much improved recycling, promoting walking and cycling wherever possible, and practical changes such as introducing less energy intensive lighting and solar heated hot water. The University has built up an enviable record of sustainability and has been awarded First Class Honours in the People and Planet University League, which measures sustainability performance at higher education institutions, for more than a decade.
From sustainable development projects, to piloting innovative transport schemes, to community awareness initiatives, the University is always looking for ways that it can make a difference, including working with developers to ensure the University’s physical campus is as energy efficient and low impact as possible, and with contracted caterers to reduce food waste and source food more sustainably. It has also invested in a fleet of electric vehicles. Many of the University’s ideas have been co-created with students, who also are pivotal in auditing and checking the work and helping the University to continuously learn and improve.
In 2019, the University of Worcester and Worcester Students’ Union both signed the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Accord, pledging officially to work towards a more sustainable future and supporting the United Nations’ internationally agreed 17 SDGs.
In the Times Higher Education’s (THE) University Impact Rankings, which are based on the contribution made by universities around the world to achieving the United Nations’ internationally agreed Sustainable Development Goals, Worcester has been among the best performing in the world across many areas.