The universities in Scotland have been urged to do more in their efforts to reach carbon emission targets, after a survey revealed that there are some glaring differences in their environmental credentials. A study was held that looked at institutions of higher education across the UK, and then rated them according to their usage of renewable energy and also their rates of recycling.
The study also took into consideration their attempts at reducing their carbon output and the effort they put into promoting Fairtrade products. Edinburgh’s Napier University came out top in Scotland, but was only ranked 13th overall. Dundee’s University of Abertay was one of the worst performers, coming in at 130th out of 142. The overall winner was Trent University in Nottingham.
The CE of Friends of the Earth Scotland, Stan Blakely, said that these findings clearly demonstrated the gaps in the action that the Universities in Scotland were taking to help the climate change. He added that traditionally, Scottish universities were reputed to be leaders as far as research, innovation and teaching were concerned, so it was shameful that they had performed so badly.
The head of policy for the environmental group WWF Scotland, Dr Dan Barlow, welcomed the success of Napier, but warned that those lagging behind needed to buck their ideas up and needed to make improvements to their environmental credentials. He said that it was a mixed picture as far as cutting climate emissions was concerned, and if the education sector was to play its part is assisting Scotland to meet its climatic targets, it was important that every university upped its game.
People & Planet carried out the survey, as they work alongside student groups to take action on matters such as environmental issues and world poverty. They calculated the score of each university and then gave them a ranking akin to a degree; they were awarded a first, a 2:1, a 2:2 or a third. Aberdeen, Napier and St. Andrews were the only universities in Scotland to win a first class award.