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MMU named UK's greenest university

Published: 11th June 2013

MANCHESTER Metropolitan University has been named the greenest university in the UK.

MMU hit number 1 in the People and Planet League Table 2013 of 140 universities, after rising spectacularly from 91st when the annual tables were first produced in 2007. Last year we were 10th.

Vice-Chancellor Professor John Brooks said: “The whole university community will be thrilled with this recognition from People & Planet. Sustainability has been the main driver for the £350 million rationalisation of our campuses as we can and must meet the imperatives of the present without compromising the needs of the future.

“At MMU, we firmly believe that a strong ethos of sustainability not only strengthens the University’s appeal to students but improves the experience in so many different ways.

Students as partners

“In partnership with our students, we are working to create a sustainable university which goes beyond being carbon neutral and actually has a positive environmental impact.”

The annual survey audits systems, performance and attitudes to green living, with MMU scoring 59.5 out of 70 and maximum marks in

  • Environmental Policy
  • Environmental Staff
  • Carbon Management
  • Staff and Student Engagement
  • Sustainability in the curriculum
  • Waste management

And high marks were scored in ethical investments, procurement and fairtrade, and water and energy management.

Carbon footprint

Annual Carbon emissions are down to below 20,000 tonnes, which is a fall of nearly 20% from 2005/6). Cumulatively this is over 16,000 tonnes.

MMU has a target to cut carbon emissions by 35% by 2016 and it is one of the few institutions with specific policies to reduce indirect emissions from staff and student travel and how the goods and services it buys are made.

It has also invested hundreds of thousands of pounds in solar arrays and green roofs at its All Saints campus on Oxford Road. A further £110,000 is being invested in solar energy at the Crewe campus.

All university buildings are strictly monitored by an energy rating scheme, while the University’s new £75million Business School and Student Hub incorporates many new ‘green technologies including rainwater recycling, borehole cooling and heating, and the new Birley Fields campus will be zero-rated in waste, water and heating.

Student campaigns

The “Student Switch Off” campaign encourages reduced energy use in halls of residence and has already saved 266 tonnes of carbon dioxide 2009-12, with a probable 100 more tonnes saved in 2013 (figures not available until end June).

Another campaign, “Zero Waste - Give it don’t bin it”, where students donated unwanted items to local charities has reduced waste being sent to landfill by 50 tonnes since its launch in 2009 and has proved so successful that it has been adopted by Manchester City Council. Last year alone, 954 bags of clothing, crockery and other general household items were donated.

In Autumn 2009, 83% of students said they were satisfied or very satisfied with MMU’s eco-friendly attitude, now, in Autumn 2012, 94% are.

Find out more about sustainability at MMU at http://www.mmu.ac.uk/environment/ and on Twitter @MMUEnvironment