Today is a rather exciting day for the Environment Team to begin the intrepid journey into the world of online blogging. Resident in the ever bustling home of the University of St Andrews Estates on East Sands, the team currently consists of 5 beavering green go-getters: Roddy Yarr (Environment manager), David Stutchfield (Energy officer), Barbara Aitken (Environment officer), Hanna Plant (Sustainability officer) and Graeme Noble (graduate engineer).
Today, the year’s efforts from the Environment Team were recognised with a 1st class award from the People & Planet Green League 2011! The League featured on the front page of the Guardian’s Education pages this morning.
Rising this year from a 2:1 award in 2010, St Andrews managed to secure 37 points, coming in equal with Aberdeen University. Edinburgh Napier (the only other Scottish university to achieve 1st class) topped the Scottish universities with 44.5 points and ranking at 13th place.
The Environment Team are keen to keep up the good work and do even better next year. The Green League has always been a fantastic tool to check out the sustainability leaders and highlight the kind of sustainability leadership needed from HEI’s in the UK.
The top priority for the Team now is to ensure the ratification of the current new and revised draft Sustainable Development Policy and Strategy. We’ve all got our fingers crossed that this could be any day now!
The Green League this year also highlighted the improvements still to be made by HEI’s. As Louise Hazan (mother of the P&P Green League) quite rightly pointed out that sector’s total carbon emissions have risen by 3.9% since 2005 and that 63% of universities are not yet on track to meet government carbon reduction targets:
“This year’s results show the sector is making a clear transition towards low-carbon, sustainable operations and responding to increasing student demand for greener universities that offer value for money. However, despite clear progress in the last year on issues such as carbon management planning and student engagement, the fact that carbon emissions are still rising should sound alarm bells for Vice-Chancellors and the Government alike”.
At least now we have a blog. 🙂