Derbyshire university is ‘first class’ on environmental issues

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THE University of Derby is officially ‘First Class’ when it comes to being environmentally responsible, new figures show.

It is ranked 22nd out of 142 UK universities in the 2011 People & Planet Green League – which each year grades higher education institutions on their environmental and ethical performance – published in The Guardian newspaper today (June 7). Only 31 of the universities received a First Class grading; with others getting a 2:1, 2:2, Third or Fail.

Derby’s position has shot up more than 20 points from 48th in the 2010 report, when it was then given a healthy 2:1 grade.

The People & Planet League report assesses universities’ environmental performance and commitment using 13 criteria including environmental policy, carbon management, ethical procurement (of supplies), staff and student engagement, and (disposal of) waste and recycling.

Significant improvements have been made in the University of Derby’s environmental performance in the last few years.

As well as the completion of a £13.5m scheme to increase the heat and energy efficiency of the three towers at its main Kedleston Road site in Derby, the University is now generating its own electrical energy through wind turbines and solar panels.

In January (2011) it launched a ‘carbon footprint calculator’ on the Environment section of its website where staff, students and the public can calculate the amount of carbon emissions their lifestyle produces.

Lynn Richards, Environmental Manager at the University of Derby, said: “A lot of hard work has gone into making the University more environmentally responsible, and getting staff and students involved in that process.

“Having such a huge boost now in our ranking in the prestigious annual People & Planet Green League is really the ‘green’ icing on the cake.”

For more information about the University of Derby’s environmental work and to use its ‘carbon footprint calculator’ see website www.derby.ac.uk/environment .