How Sustainable Is Your Uni?

Ever wondered how your uni is doing when it comes to sustainability?

People and Planet is the UK’s largest campaigning network, and each year a report is published showing where UK unis rank in terms of sustainability, environmental and ethical performance.

The 2024 report has just been published and 151 unis have been ranked. Just like degree classifications, each uni has been given anything between a first-class rating or a fail. We all know that a third isn’t exactly what we should be aiming for, so with that in mind, you can see what unis are really leading the way when it comes to the environment and ethics and what unis need to put some serious work in.

What are the unis ranked on?

Each uni has been ranked on the following:

  • Environmental policy
  • Carbon management
  • Sustainable food
  • Ethical careers
  • Ethical investments
  • Auditing and EMS
  • Workers’ rights
  • Education
  • Engagement
  • Energy sources
  • Waste & recycling
  • Carbon reduction
  • Water reduction
  • Sustainability staff

All of these factors are put together in order to decide on the final ranking on the league table. There are 151 unis featured and you can read the full league table here, but here are the highlights.

First class unis

1st place – University of Reading

2nd place – Manchester Metropolitan University

3rd place – University of Bedfordshire

4th place – University of the Arts London

5th place – King’s College London

6th place – Cardiff Metropolitan University

7th place – De Montfort University

8th place – Swansea University

9th place – University of Worcester

10th place – Bournemouth University

Other first-class unis include Bath Spa University, University of Exeter, University of Derby, Durham University, UCL, Nottingham Trent University, University of Greenwich, and the University of Bristol.

2:1 class unis

The unis leading the way in the 2:1 division are:

30th place – University of Wales, Trinity Saint David

31st place – Queen Mary University of London

32nd place – University of Kent

33rd place – University of Hull

34th place – Anglia Ruskin University

Other unis scoring a 2:1 include Newcastle University, University of Oxford, University of Manchester, University of Leeds, University of Liverpool, University of Brighton, Brunel University London and the University of Essex.

2:2 class unis

The unis that scored at the top of the 2:2 division are:

62nd place – University of Sussex

Joint 63rd place – University of Nottingham and University of Warwick

65th place – University of Portsmouth

66th place – University of Westminster

Other unis in the 2:2 class division include the University of York, Loughborough University, University of Sheffield, University of Winchester, University of Leicester, University of Bath, Lancaster University and the University of Birmingham.

These unis are all doing decently, but have some improvements to make to rise up in the rankings by next year.

Third class unis

The unis scoring at the top of the third class division are:

Joint 99th place – University of Edinburgh and Teesside University

101st place – University of Cumbria

102nd place – Bishop Grosseteste University

103rd place – St Mary’s University, Twickenham

Other unis that scored a third include the University of Surrey, University of Glasgow, Leeds Trinity University, University of Stirling, University of Chester, University of Sunderland, Royal College of Art and Falmouth University.

These unis could definitely be doing better on a lot of factors when it comes to ethics and the environment.

Failed unis

Finally, the unis at the very bottom of the league table are:

147th place – University College Birmingham

Joint 148th place – Writtle University College and The University College of Osteopathy

150th place – Ravensbourne University London

151st place – Royal Veterinary College

Other failed unis include Edge Hill University, Goldsmith’s University London, Leeds Art University, University of Bolton, University of Wolverhampton, University of Bolton and Roehampton University.

Clearly, these unis have a lot of work to put in, compared to those ranking in the first class or 2:1 divisions!

Don’t forget to check out the full league table and results here.