Cardiff Metropolitan University Ranked First in Wales for Sustainability and Eighth in the UK

​14/11/2017

​The University is celebrating after being named the best university in Wales for sustainability in the annual People and Planet University League.

The 10th annual People & Planet University League, published today (Tuesday 14th November) reveals how a decade of student pressure on campus has transformed the sustainable development of Higher Education in the UK.

The People & Planet University League ranked 154 UK universities – awarding them a First class degree, 2:1, 2:2, Third, or Fail – according to 13 criteria including: Environmental policy, audit and human resources and their performance in areas such as carbon reduction, waste and water recycling, student engagement, teaching and learning for sustainable development, energy efficiency, sustainable food and workers' rights. The ranking is based on a combination of information made public by universities online, with raw estates data obtained from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA.)

Cardiff Met is one of only four Welsh universities to be named in the UK's top 30 with  Swansea one place behind in ninth and the University of Wales Trinity Saint David in 12th.

One factor that attributed to the University's success is the development of the Healthy University Strategy which was launched last year to align with the Well-Being Future Generations Act. The strategy, which will run until 2020 aims to achieve a socially cohesive, environmentally responsible and all-inclusive work and study environment.

President and Vice Chancellor of Cardiff Met, Cara Aitchison said: "We have always been and continue to be a forward-thinking university and take our ethical and environmental responsibilities very seriously. Our success in the latest People and Planet University League is testament to the dedication of staff and students to this agenda. Our Healthy University Strategy has been a key driver in ensuring that sustainability is recognised as a core value across the University. Students and staff are encouraged to feed into, and to embrace the opportunities presented to them.

"The schemes included in the strategy were largely developed out of a series of staff and student 'road shows' and are designed around three core aims of Social Responsibility, Environmental Efficiency, and Health and Wellbeing.

"We have a full programme of activities, which have been enthusiastically embraced including cycling initiatives to reduce single car occupancy, Farmers Markets on campus to promote local suppliers, a staff-managed community garden and a range of volunteering opportunities."

The unique People & Planet League has been published for the last decade and is celebrating its efficacy in changing university culture regarding sustainability. The idea of a league table came from a 2003 student campaign demanding universities 'go green' on over 60 UK campuses. A student research project determined the key factors needed for a university to act environmentally and this became the first set of criteria in 2007.

Hannah Smith, Co-Director for Research and Campaigns at People & Planet said: "The league table was a eureka moment; universities love rankings, and finally we would produce one led by students! By 2010 it was clear that this was going to be a game-changer, with all the numbers moving in the right direction, towards sustainability.

"We had clear aims: to make transparent the sustainable development of publicly funded universities, to create competition in the sector that would drive environmental and ethical performance, and to empower students and prospective students with the understanding of whether and how an institution was taking responsibility. The number of universities employing environment staff doubled and in 2013 we celebrated a milestone - 100% of all universities had finally set policy on their environmental impacts. Our table has consistently and unashamedly held universities to account over the last decade.

"This year's league table proves how a public pledge 'The Green Education Declaration' made in 2012 has been successful in holding more than half of universities to account on sustainability 5 years after 40 Vice-Chancellors signed it. However, of the universities that signed, 40% are ranking low in the 2017 league table - which measures environmental performance at higher education institutions."

People & Planet is Britain's largest student network campaigning to end world poverty, defend human rights and protect the environment. It is a student-led movement that empowers young people with the skills, confidence and knowledge they need to make change happen on social and justice issues, at home and globally.

Full results are available online at: https://peopleandplanet.org/university-league