UK: Green naming and shaming

The universities of Gloucester, Plymouth and the West of England topped a "Green League" table published by the student campaigning organisation People and Planet. The group noted a remarkable improvement in environmental management and performance as universities had increased their environmental staff by 25% but more action was needed, it said.

The University and College Union congratulated those universities doing the most to combat climate change and urged all universities to step up the involvement of staff and students. The union called for a carbon reduction strategy on every campus after consultation with staff unions and student representatives.

Roger Kline, head of employment rights at UCU said: "'People and Planet and its student activists are to be congratulated for their continuing pressure on higher education to improve environmental performance. Many universities are responding and UCU congratulates them,
but progress is patchy.

"To create a carbon reduction strategy on every campus the support of the workforce and students is essential. The greatest progress will come from strategies developed with the input of staff and students, and where there is a sense of shared ownership of the process and proposed actions.

The league table takes into account a university's environmental policy, staff and audit, its fair-trade activity, ethical investment, waste recycling, energy source, carbon emissions and water usage. Then it awards them marks out of 60 and categorises them into degree classes: First is a solid environmental performance, 2.1, fair but could do better; 2.2, must try harder; 3rd, poor, and fail.

Among the 2.1 class were Glasgow, Sheffield Hallam and Bristol; Lancaster, Warwick and Oxford in the 2.2s; London's Institute of Education, Hull and Leicester in the 3rds; and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Imperial College, London, and Stirling failed.