Sustainable UCL


UCL again ranked First Class University for Environmental Sustainability 

23 November 2016

First Class Award


UCL has received a First Class award for the second year in a row in the People & Planet University League 2016, ranking 29th place out of 151 UK Universities and 6th out of the Russell Group universities.

Compiled by student campaigning organisation People & Planet, the University League is an independent ranking of UK universities on their environmental and ethical performance. 

UCL scored maximum points for its Environmental Policy and Sustainability Engagement Programmes. It also scored highly for its Environmental Management System, Sustainable Food initiatives and for its commitment to embedding Sustainable Development into the curriculum. You can view UCL's full scorecard here.

UCL’s Director of Sustainability thanks everyone at UCL for helping us to achieve this fantastic award:

“I am extremely pleased that we have achieved a First Class Honours award once again. The award is a testament to all the hard work which has been undertaken by a number of individuals and groups across the entire institution. It demonstrates our continued commitment to become a leader across the HE sector in terms of environmental sustainability. There is still a lot of progress to be made, and while the Sustainability Team will continue to improve the University’s environmental impacts, we need the whole UCL community to help us.”

Measures that helped UCL to achieve this score include:

  • Improving UCL’s Environmental Management System: UCL achieved EcoCampus Gold accreditation this January.  This recognises the progress made to embed environmental compliance, processes and values within the University. We are now working towards the international standard for environmental management, ISO 14001.
  • Building a Sustainable Campus: UCL has embarked on an extensive building and refurbishment programme - Transforming UCL, and at its core is environmental sustainability. All new buildings and major refurbishments follow UCL’s Sustainability Design Brief and must achieve BREEAM Excellent or above. The new Sainsbury Wellcome Centre gained UCL’s first BREEAM Excellent award and our new Student Centre, which has solar panels and a green roof is set to achieve BREEAM Outstanding.
  • Education for Sustainable Development: UCL is committed to embedding sustainability into the curriculum, providing students the opportunity to explore issues of sustainable development and solve some of society’s most pressing issues through using UCL’s campus and operations as a test-bed. See our programmes, ‘The Living Lab, Global Citizenship Programme and Grand Challenges.’
  • Sustainability Engagement Programmes: With 38,000 students and 11,000 staff; UCL is dedicated to engaging the UCL community in sustainability to help them become the sustainability leaders of tomorrow. Last year 33 teams participated in the Green Impact engagement programme to ‘green’ their departments, and we have a strong Green Champion Network. The University also runs bike workshops, gardening events, environmental training, bird walks, environmental lectures and conferences.
  • Sustainable Food: UCL works with its catering partners to ensure our catering outlets provide healthy and sustainable food, with limited waste, packaging and deliveries. As a result we have achieved the Silver Food for Life Catering Mark.
  • Being a sustainability leader across the HE: This year the UCL Sustainability team worked alongside the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) to develop SKA HE, a new sector-wide environmental assessment methodology for small refurbishment projects.

To get involved

Visit our ‘Get Involved’ section of the website or to find out more contact UCL’s Sustainability Communications Officer, Hannah Biggs at hannah.biggs@ucl.ac.uk

Here are 3 quick ways you can get involved now:

- Take part in Green Impact

- Visit UCL's Bentham Farm

- Join the UCL Conservation Group