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Thursday 18 June 2009

Nottingham Trent University named most environmentally friendly in the UK

Students at Nottingham Trent University
Nottingham Trent University takes number one spot in People and Planet Green League

Nottingham Trent University has today been named the UK's most environmentally friendly university in a national league table. The People and Planet Green League – published by the Times Higher Education supplement (THE) – places the University in the number one spot, having climbed an incredible 18 places since last year's table was published.

The Green League recognises a university's commitment to environmental management and performance, awarding marks for a number of factors including its environmental policy; the staff it has dedicated to reducing the institution's environmental impact; and the use of renewable energy.

The number one ranking highlights the significant work that Nottingham Trent University's own Environment Team and other staff throughout the University has undertaken during the last eighteen months, working to develop green initiatives, policies and practices across all three campuses. An ambitious carbon management plan which aims to reduce carbon emissions by 10% by the 2012/13 academic year has been introduced, whilst a strict waste management plan, sustainable procurement plan and ethical investment policy have also helped to underpin the University's commitment to the environment.

Earlier this year, Nottingham Trent University was awarded the EcoCampus Silver Award, in recognition of its commitment and innovation in managing environmental impacts. It was the seventh university in the UK to have gained this recognition and only the second to achieve the award at the first attempt covering all of its campuses and operations.

The refurbishment of the University's iconic grade 2* listed Newton and Arkwright buildings have been designed with innovative and futuristic ideas to combat environmental issues. Heating for the newly regenerated buildings will continue to be provided by Nottingham's District Heat Scheme, which saves 149,000 tonnes of CO2 in the city every year.

And, with almost half of all the University's waste already being recycled, an existing contract with waste removal experts Wastecycle is now being extended to include food waste collection and the removal of organic waste materials for composting.

Education and awareness-raising has also been high on the agenda, with various environmental themed activities undertaken throughout the year for students and staff. A recent plastic bag amnesty saw the Environment Team recycle 3,450 bags from staff and students, replacing them with eco-friendly bags for life. Other initiatives include taking part in the national Fairtrade Fortnight, as well as the University's own energy awareness week.

Nottingham Trent University's Environment Officer, Grant Anderson, said: “It's fantastic that we've been named as the number one green university, but we've got lots more ideas to put in place that will make us even greener!”

NTU has secured over £1,000,000 through the Revolving Green Fund, which is supported by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and Salix Finance, to invest in new environmental and energy saving initiatives over the next year.

Almost a quarter of the money will be used to install new software on the University's network of six and a half thousand computers, which will ensure they are shut down when not in use. The investment is predicted to reduce the University's CO2 emissions by an incredible 640 tonnes a year. Other plans include the use of server virtualisation to reduce the actual number of computer servers in use, whilst at the same time optimising the amount of electricity used to run them.

Stephen Jackson, Chief Financial and Operations Officer at Nottingham Trent University, said: “We're doing everything we can to make the running of Nottingham Trent University as environmentally friendly as possible, so we're extremely proud of our new position as the new number one green university in the country. We're committed to continuing to help the environment wherever possible."

Notes to editors:

Press enquiries please contact Matt Wallace, Press Officer, on telephone +44 (0)115 848 8785, or via email or Therese Easom, Press and Media Relations Manager, on telephone +44 (0)115 848 8774, or via email.

Launched in 2006, the EcoCampus initiative was developed in recognition of the need for the higher education sector to follow the lead of businesses and organisations in implementing complex Environmental Management Systems (EMS). Engaging in the EcoCampus programme helps institutions meet many of the requirements of The People & Planet Green League. Nottingham Trent University was one of the first 10 pilot universities to subscribe to the scheme, and immediately worked towards achieving the Bronze award, which was received in February 2008. Since then, the University’s Environment Team has continued to implement changes in policy and practice across all departments at each of the three campuses.

People & Planet
People & Planet is the largest UK student network campaigning to end world poverty, defend human rights and protect the environment. Our network covers 70% of Britain’s universities and 10% of Sixth Forms. For more info visit the People & Planet website.

The Green League is produced as part of People & Planet's Go Green campaign which aims to transform the environmental performance of the UK education sector. This year 39 universities, school and college groups staged campus actions as part of National Go Green Week – the UK’s first national student week of action and events against climate chaos. People & Planet is a founding member of Stop Climate Chaos, the national coalition of civil society organisations campaigning on climate change.

For more information on People & Planet or to interview staff or students, contact:
Richard Roaf
People & Planet – Go Green Campaign Coordinator
Telephone: +44 (0)1865 245678

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