De Montfort University Leicester (DMU) has officially been commended with first-class honours as one of the most environmentally friendly universities in the country for a whole decade.
Announced today, DMU was awarded a first-class degree in the annual People and Planet University League in recognition of its environmental and ethical performance.
DMU has been awarded the first-class status since 2011 and this time around the university was ranked 4th overall out of the 154 institutions rated, the first time the university has been placed in the top 5.
The People & Planet’s University League is the largest student environmental campaign group in the UK and the only comprehensive independent league table to rank universities according to their environmental and ethical work.
Universities were judged against 13 different categories covering everything from education and environmental policy to recycling waste and carbon management.
They were then ranked according to their scores in each area and classified using degree-style awards.
Karl Letten, Sustainability Manager at DMU said: “It’s fantastic news to see DMU get a top 5 placing in the University League.
“The University is committed to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and sustainability is at the heart of what we do.
“This extends from managing our buildings, to embedding sustainability into our teaching and learning and to engaging our staff and students on this issue and it’s fantastic to have this recognised in the University League.”
DMU has a long list of measures in place to make the university more sustainable, including:
- giving away more than 21,000 free reusable mugs to staff and students
- wood pellet boiler which are carbon neutral
- fitting the leisure centre with air source heat pumps
- using photovoltaic panels on DMU buildings to generate electricity
- using ground heat pumps in some buildings which draw heat from the earth
- a greener travel policy which sees four times the national average of staff cycling to work
- solar panels all across campus
- embedding sustainability into all teaching and learning
- delivering Carbon Literacy training to staff and students
- gaining Carbon Literate Organisation status for the University
- growing food on campus for use in the DMU catering outlets
- award winning catering offering a low carbon diet
- developing a Hedgehog Friendly Campus
- a furniture recycling scheme to reuse and repurpose redundant furniture
- a recycling rate of over 90%
- the only university in the UK to be given global hub status for an SDG (number 16) by the United Nations
- electric vehicle charging points on campus
Solar panels on the Hugh Aston building
DMU showed improvements across numerous assessment areas in the latest league. The university scored 100 per cent for both its work on reducing carbon emissions and its work on waste and recycling. The university also scored 97 per cent for its work to embed sustainability into teaching and learning across the institution, including promoting the SDGs and becoming reaccredited to the Responsible Future programme.
DMU also showed improvement in its Ethical Investment performance, the university has made significant changes to its investment policy during this time period, moving away from companies associated with fossil fuel production such as coal mining and tar sands extractions and other values which do not promote sustainability.
Mark Hopkins, Sustainability Assistant at DMU said: “We are immensely proud to be recognised as one of the most sustainable higher education institutions in the country.
“This first-class award from the University League really acknowledges the dedication to sustainability of students and staff across the university.
“Looking forward, we hope to build on our sustainability rankings by remaining a highly ambitious and forward-thinking university.”
Posted on Thursday 9th December 2021