4 London institutes feature in the UK's top 20 most green universities list

Edwina Langley

Four London universities appear in the 2019 People & Planet University League's top 20, it has been announced today.

The league, which determines which UK universities fair best in environmental and ethical performance, positions City, University of London in fifth place, London School of Economics and Political Science in 13th place, the University of Greenwich at 14th, and University of the Arts, London, 19th.

People & Planet, the student network behind the league table, have stated a tech error meant University College London's ranking was miscalculated and were it not the league's policy to remain unaltered post publication, the institute would have been placed 18th. It is currently positioned 37th.

Just outside the top 20 was King's College London, which ranked 21st overall.

The comprehensive list is comprised through the combination of information taken from individual university websites and data published by the Higher Education Statistics Agency, the Estates Management Record, and other 'independent and external verification agencies'.

It hones in on 13 areas, including environmental policy and strategy, environmental audits and systems, sustainable food, waste and recycling, and carbon reduction.

Topping the list this year was the University of Gloucestershire, which scored 100 per cent in carbon reduction, sustainable food, carbon management, and environmental auditing and management systems.

It was followed by Manchester Metropolitan University and Nottingham Trent University in second and third place, respectively.

Other findings highlighted by the league include the revelation that 50% of UK universities are now measuring and reporting on their associated travel emissions, including business trips, commutes and inter campus travel.

A total of 25 universities – nine of which are in London – have reduced their carbon emissions by 40% compared to 2005 levels, meaning they are on track to reach the league's carbon reduction target by 2020. Amongst them, are City University, SOAS, the Royal College of Music, the Royal Academy of Music and the Courtauld Institute of Art.

Yet in spite of these positive findings, less than 16% of UK universities overall have set targets to reduce their carbon emissions based on their reported findings.