Durham University’s Focus On Sustainability Rewarded
Durham University has been rewarded for its focus on improving its sustainability by breaking into the list of the top 100 most sustainable universities in the world, according to the annual Times Higher Education Global Impact Ratings, Palatinate reported.
The higher education institute has been working hard on improving sustainability in the areas surrounding the United Nations’ (UN’s) sustainable development goals (SDGs) and as a result was named 87th in the world for its efforts.
This marks the first time the university has made it into the top 100, having been ranked 101st last year, just missing out on that accolade.
Among the work the university has done that has seen it climb so far up the rankings in just a year are focusing on the biodiversity on its estate and committing to no net loss of biodiversity across its land, as well as supporting water conservation on its campus.
Reducing water use is something that all of us should be focusing on after the Environment Agency revealed that the UK could be facing water shortages by 2050 if action isn’t taken to take better care of the country’s water resources and reduce usage where possible.
Emma Howard Boyd, head of the Environment Agency, told Sky News earlier this year that “it’s very clear that the country as a whole needs to pay for the environment that we want and we may all have to step up, including customers, for clean, plentiful water”.
It is therefore encouraging to see an organisation like Durham University taking responsibility for its water usage and exploring the various ways in which it can be more sustainable and safeguard the futures of those who are studying there.
Among the other steps Durham University has taken that have propelled it up the sustainability rankings for global universities are introducing greater use of renewable technologies, including ground-source heat pumps, and ensuring that the food offered on campus is sourced sustainably.
It has also paid £6.5 million for its infrastructure improvement project that has provided the financial support for sustainable travel, biodiversity and nature conservation across its estate.
The university has also lent its support to various events, including Water Awareness Week, which might be the kind of activity your business also wants to get involved in. Making sure that you are keeping an eye on your water use and that you have the best business water suppliers are simple steps you can take to do your part for the environment too.
Although the university has obviously taken a number of positive measures, ECO DU told Palatinate that it hasn’t gone far enough and that there is more it could do to both improve its sustainability and raise awareness about issues in this area.
“One thing the university hasn’t done yet is declare a climate emergency,” the organisation told the publication. It explained that the next issue of its magazine “discusses the importance of such language and the impact of an emergency response that treats the climate crisis with the urgency it deserves”.