Moves to be environmentally sustainable have gained the University of Bedfordshire a First in the People & Planet Green League 2013.
Several initiatives have helped propel the institution to number 20 – a leap of 16 places from last year’s 36 – out of 143 universities in the league, published in The Guardian on Tuesday 11 June.
- Harvesting rain water
- Installing solar panels on new buildings
- Using electric cars for campus to campus journeys
- Buying renewable energy
- Recycling 80 per cent of waste
Vice Chancellor Bill Rammell said: “We have been making huge efforts to be more environmentally sustainable including investing more than £250,000 in carbon reduction projects.
“Rain water harvesting and solar panels will become common features on all our future buildings at both Luton and Bedford campuses.
“Our aim is to make our premises as energy efficient and sustainable as possible.
“In doing this we are very much responding to the wishes and demands of our students.”
The solar panels in the £20 million Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and Postgraduate centre has already generated more than 100,000 KW of electricity in the few months it has been open, since March 2013.
Rainwater harvested in the building is being used for flushing toilets, and its external insulation cladding allows the building to retain its hear.
The £34m Campus Centre at the Luton campus is also built to sustainable standards.
Adam Higgin, Head of Environmental Sustainability said: “The move up in the league table is a result of many initiatives including buying renewable energy from npower, mechanically sorting and recycling our waste and encouraging recycling across campuses by peppering the premises with paper, plastic and tin collection bins.
“All these initiatives are down to the environment policies and sustainable development strategies of the University.”
People and Planet is the largest student network in Britain campaigning to protect the environment. The student-led movement empowers young people with the skills, confidence and knowledge they need to make change happen, at home and globally.