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Kingston receive third class ranking for environmental and sustainability practices

By Priyanka Mogul Feb 8, 2015

Kingston University have ranked poorly in People & Planet’s University League, a table that ranks UK universities by their environmental and ethical performance.

Kingston has scored 108 out of the 151 universities across the country, receiving a third class ranking in the league.

People & Planet set up the league in 2003 to support students who wanted to see changes on their campus around environmental issues.

Hannah Smith, People & Planet University League Manager said: “The league was able to show students just how well their universities were doing in the areas they cares about and shone a spotlight on suitability in the university sector, allowing for the pubic and students to hold our universities to account on their impact and on our communities and the wider world.”

However, this year Kingston University is one of 69 universities to opt out of People & Planet’s Green League, forcing the organisation to rank them based on information available publicly and information that has been previously submitted by KU.

A spokesperson for Kingston University said: “When the new methodology [for the league] was launched we were disappointed that some of our ongoing concerns, shared by other universities, had not been taken into account. Having reflected with senior management, we felt that rather than collate the information for this league table, our limited time would be better spent on other sustainability action.”

The spokesperson said that they had been particularly focusing on working closely on the redevelopment of the new Penrhyn Road building, encouraging suppliers to help reduce the University’s environmental impact, and improving ethical performance.

The University has said that because People & Planet researched Kingston using information received in previous years’ submissions and information made public by the University, “the scores cannot be taken as an accurate reflection of the University’s performance”.

However, students were upset to learn how KU had scored in the Green League.

Siobhan Cockram, President of KU Young Greens, said: “We are disappointed to see how badly the university has scored and we hope that it will push the university to find more sustainable and environmentally friendly resources, better waste disposal and a serious university pledge to improve our status.

“KU Young Greens is passionate about protecting our environment and as such as implore KU to take this matter seriously.”

Some of the conclusions that People & Planet drew about KU in their report were:

** These conclusions were drawn based on the information that was available to People & Planet. Updated and accurate information might not have been available to them due to the University refusing to give them this information for the latest report. Read the full report here.

  • Sustainability is not included within the portfolio of responsibilities of a member of the senior management team at Kingston University
  • Kingston University is not accredited to an external environmental management system
  • The University is not accredited by the Living Wage Foundation
  • Kingston University does not have a publicly-available sustainable food policy which sets specific time bound targets for improvements.

A spokesman for KU said: “Everyone at Kingston University has a part to play in making us a more sustainable institution and we would encourage staff and students across the University to get involved.”

By Priyanka Mogul

Priyanka is Online Editor of the River Newspaper for Group D. She is also the Manager of International Political Forum and President of the Kingston University Journalism Society. She has previously held the position of Communications Intern with the United Nations Association, One World Media, and The British Institute of Human Rights.

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