Green demonstrations held in Oxford, Warwick and Glasgow. Photo: People and Planet

Anger as Warwick refuses to participate in Green League

Students from Warwick took to protest on January 20 following the University’s refusal to take part in this year’s People and Planet League.

Alongside 68 other universities, the University of Warwick failed to submit the appropriate data to the green league, which then ranks universities in terms of their environmental footprint.

As a consequence, Warwick has been rated as having ‘failed’. This marks the culmination of a steady decline in the People and Planet university league table.

Since 2009, the University has slipped down the rankings. falling to 129 out of 151 universities.

Dan Goss, Environment and Ethics officer at Warwick, led the student rally which aimed to highlight how little effort the University puts into its environmental responsibilities.

Mr Goss remarked: “Universities have a duty to lead the way on ethical issues and create a world that their students can thrive in the future.

“The University of Warwick is only concerned with its reputation. It has been slipping down the table since 2009 and doesn’t want its shortcomings to be exposed.”

Peter Dunn, director of press and policy said in a Guardian article: “We know that we are not alone in finding that the survey has become so over ambitious and so complicated in the information that it requests that we are no longer willing to assist with the survey in its current form.”

Hannah Smith, who coordinates the People and Planet, commented on the demonstrations which were held at Warwick, Glasgow and Oxford.

She remarked: “These actions tell us that students want more transparency and more opportunities to engage with how their university impacts communities and the wider world.”

Raveena Kaur, a second-year Politics and International Studies student, felt particularly let down by the University’s failure to participate in the green league.

She commented: “I think it’s poor that the University is failing to take seriously its environmental responsibilities. With millions of pounds invested into our university each year, it should be doing more to tackle the environmental dangers we all now face.”

Universities have attributed a number of factors behind their decision to not participate, including the “increasing burden” of providing data and a methodology that doesn’t account for “the difference between old and newer institutions”.

For 2015, the highest ranking university was Plymouth, followed by Worcester and Manchester Metropolitan University.


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