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Northumbria ranks first-class for sustainability in the UK

21st December 2022

Retaining its top-tier People and Planet sustainability status, Northumbria also strikes Gold in a ‘Green Universities’ study by Uswitch.

Northumbria University has been ranked 15th in the People and Planet’s University League table, as well as being placed in the top tier of Uswitch’s Green University Report 2022 for its commitment to sustainability.

People & Planet’s University League is annually compiled by the UK’s largest student campaigning network, People & Planet. It is the only comprehensive and independent league table of universities ranked against sustainability and ethics criteria.

Not only was Northumbria at the top end of the table, moving up two positions from last year, but it was again the highest ranked university in the North East.

Professor George Marston, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Strategic Projects leads the University’s strategic commitment to support the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and is Chair of the University Sustainability Management Group which oversees the Environmental Sustainability Policy and related activities. He said: “Northumbria proactively aims to minimise the impact our activities have on the environment and support the response to some of the biggest challenges facing the world today, including the global fight against climate change.

“We are very proud to be recognised so highly for our sustainability efforts and will continue to do this through our research, teaching, campus and operations”.

Under Northumbria’s Carbon Management Strategy 2020-2030, the installation of air source heat pumps at City Campus East will save 300 tonnes of carbon emissions per year, helping the University improve its Carbon Management score by People and Planet.

In the Environmental Management Systems category, which analyses and audits environmental impacts, Northumbria scored 100%.

For Environmental Policy which provides a formal, public and permanent demonstration of intent regarding performance, Northumbria scored 90%.

And in the Teaching category, which represents the process of equipping students with the knowledge and understanding, skills and attributes needed to work and live in a way that safeguards environmental, social and economic wellbeing, both in the present and for future generations, Northumbria scored 96%.

In the third annual study by Uswitch, Northumbria was recognised for its outstanding green credentials, including but not limited to its green energy tariff and renewable energy installations on campus.

Northumbria also runs a number of green initiatives such as a Cycle2Campus scheme, no landfill policy, green walls and the British Hedgehog Preservation Society - for which it currently holds the Silver Hedgehog Friendly Campus Status.

Ben Gallizzi, energy expert at, commented on the positive news of universities: “It’s great to see that some universities are going above and beyond in attempting to become green universities. The ways in which becoming greener and existing more sustainably can be achieved are numerous, and the steps that some of these establishments are taking are commendable.”

“Everything from producing their own energy via renewable installations on campus, to having electric car fleets, and doing what they can to protect local wildlife, shows that they are leading by example in trying to achieve net zero carbon emissions.”

Find out more about how Northumbria is leading the fight against climate change and working towards each of the Sustainable Development Goals.

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