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Northumbria University ranked 4th in the UK for sustainability

17th July 2019

Northumbria has been named 4th most sustainable University in the UK in the 2019 People & Planet University League, the highest ever ranking for the University in this league table.

People & Planet is a student-led network which produces a comprehensive league table evaluating all UK universities on their sustainability activity and performance. Scoring criteria includes environmental management systems, carbon and waste management, education for sustainable development as well as ethical performance.

Northumbria has been improving its position in the league in recent years; from a starting position of 101st in 2012, it rose to 37th place in 2017/18, followed by the jump to 4th place this academic year. The University is also one of only 30 to be awarded first-class status in the league based on its score.

The University scored particularly well for its Environmental Sustainability Policy and Strategy, carbon management, and waste and recycling.

Northumbria University's Strategy 2018-23 commits to achieving significant improvements in environmental sustainability and to supporting the UN Sustainable Development goals. The rise in the People & Planet ranking reflects the holistic approach the University is taking through embedding sustainability across all of its activities, from its research and teaching to campus operations.

Professor George Marston, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation said: “This is an excellent result and recognises the many sustainability initiatives we have developed and grown over recent years - from fantastic carbon reductions to cutting edge research partnerships, as well as engagement projects with students, staff and the wider community. We look forward to building on our outstanding performance as we make our campuses ever more sustainable, and support the UN's Sustainable Development Goals".

The outstanding score in the league marks another sustainability achievement for Northumbria in an already successful year. The University has recently been shortlisted for two Green Gown Awards in the ‘Benefitting Society’ and ‘Campus of the Future’ categories and its Environmental Management System has been awarded ISO 14001 certification.

For further information on sustainability activities at Northumbria University visit

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