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City named the greenest university in London

City tops the London green leagues and finishes joint fifth nationally in the People & Planet’s University League Table.

by Matthew Little (Communications Officer)

The league which appraises a universities sustainable effort by their environmental and ethical performances positioned City eight places higher than its nearest London competitor.

Focusing on 13 areas including waste and recycling, energy sources, sustainable food and carbon reduction, City scored an average of 66% equating a 1st class award.

Eleanor Simes, Sustainability Officer and one third of City’s dedicated Sustainability Team, reflected on the success and City’s commitment to sustaining our planet.

“We face different challenges as a London university, so to be four spaces off the top spot nationally is a huge achievement for us.

“We are building with the future in mind as our construction of the new Law School building on Sebastian Street will include solar panels and a ground source heat pump, which uses the temperature of the ground to heat or cool the building depending on the season, therefore using less electricity.

“Looking at our energy consumption we have reduced our carbon emissions by 45% based on a 2005/6 baseline – exceeding our target of 43% by 2020.”

Eleanor Simes, Sustainability Officer

Part of City’s success has been making issues around sustainability recognisable to a general audience.

“We have created vegetable and edible flower gardens on campus to get staff and students involved in sustainability with things that they will recognise.

“Our beehives are of great interest and a strong way to get people talking about sustainability.”

Empowering students to fight climate change

City’s top London spot comes weeks after it signed a document committing to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

“One of the most important pieces of our work has been involving students and our Students’ Union in City’s fight to counter climate change.

“The targets outlined in the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), are things which will affect our students in their lifetimes, so we have to engage and help prepare them for this now.”

The NUS report that 88% of UK students say we need to conserve water and that 91% of UK students support increasing the use of renewable power to tackle climate change, meaning involving students is essential.

“At our first London Sustainability Conference, students from across the University of London were invited to put ideas forward on how we can achieve the SDGs.

“There is not one single discipline that will solve these problems, the conference encourages our students who have the knowledge and ideas to use other skills like critical thinking, collaboration and communication to get across their solutions.

Eleanor Simes, Sustainability Officer

“The work we are hoping to continue is to keep addressing what the Higher Education sector demands and equipping our students with what they will need to achieve these targets.”

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