‘People and Planet’ have published their 2017 report on sustainability at universities, ranking Southampton as one of the worst in the UK at 93rd.
The report looks into numerous aspects which contribute to sustainability, from carbon management to recycling and water usage. As well as investments and human resources for sustainability.
The report found that the University of Southampton is only recycling 55% of its waste, and has cut carbon emissions by just 1% since 2005, despite having a policy of a 20% cut by 2020. It also showed that the university receives £3,204,589 research funding from the fossil fuel industry, including Shell. It goes on to show that the university has invested £700k in fossil fuels which takes up 6% of total investments. Critics say that this is due to the university not having a budget to fund their sustainability strategy, causing them to fail to reach their targets.
The research goes on to show that the University fails to be a living wage employer, does not have Fairtrade status, and doesn’t have free access to water across campus.
‘People and Planet’ are a network of student campaign groups, and have been producing the UK’s only ranking of all public universities by a range of environmental and social sustainability criteria for 10 years. Their purpose is to raise awareness of environmental issues and what universities can do to improve.
To see how Southampton compares with other universities around the UK, follow this link to view the full league tables.