University of Worcester ‘Leading the Way’ in Battle to Tackle Climate Change

The University has been ranked as the joint 3rd higher education institution by 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), who have assessed universities and colleges across the UK on their ambitions to take action on the climate emergency and ecological crisis.

It is the latest in a very long line of sustainability accolades awarded to the University in recognition of its commitment to tackling the climate emergency.

SOS-UK gave each institution a score, and the University of Worcester has received one of the very highest scores in the UK – 90 out of 100. Only two other universities scored higher.

You can view the full list on the Carbon Targets website.

University of Worcester Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive, Professor David Green CBE, said: “As a global community we must all take decisive and urgent action to reduce our carbon emissions if we are to protect humanity from unimaginable disaster. At the University of Worcester, we are working collaboratively to embed sustainability into all of our work and aim to inspire students, staff and the wider community to take action themselves. We have taken significant steps to reduce our carbon footprint and aim to be net zero by 2030. This may be ambitious, but it is essential. Staff and students 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, solar heated hot water and generating our own electricity via photovoltaic panels. 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 Sustainable Development Goals.