People and Planet University League 2023-24

The annual People & Planet University League for 2023-24 has been released, with the University of Leeds achieving a 2:1 classification.

University of Leeds campus

The annual People & Planet University League for 2023-24 has been released, with the University of Leeds achieving a 2:1 classification.  

The University moved up ten places from last year to be ranked 39th overall. 

People & Planet is the UK's largest student campaigning organisation. Its annual People & Planet University League ranks 151 UK universities against sustainability and ethics criteria.  

Universities are assessed against published criteria, based on the information available on their websites and data reported to the Higher Education Statistics Authority (HESA). The criteria cover a range of categories including policy and staffing, carbon management, student and staff engagement with sustainability, and education for sustainable development. 

A photo of the certificate received by the University detailing its 2:1 status in the ranking

The People & Planet University League ranking contributes to one of our key performance indicators under the category ‘delivering environmental sustainability’, alongside reducing our carbon emissions and delivering against our Climate Plan

As part of our Climate Plan, we recently shared our Net Zero Delivery Plan and set out how we will significantly reduce the greenhouse gas emissions we produce and balance remaining emissions with projects that remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.  You can read more about some key projects we are working on.  

Professor Hai-Sui Yu, Interim Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Leeds, said: “This year’s People & Planet University League is testament to the willingness and commitment of our students and staff to living and learning sustainably. We still have a lot of work to do, but this progress shows we are on the right track to overcome the sustainability and ethical challenges we face.”  

The University of Leeds scored the highest available marks in the categories of Environmental Management Systems and Auditing, Education for Sustainable Development, Staff and Student Engagement, and Staff & HR. Scores also increased compared with last year in a number of other categories. 

Thom Cooper, Head of Sustainability in the University’s Sustainability Service, said: “We’re very proud of the work we do to embed environmental and social sustainability across the University, working collaboratively with our University community. In particular it’s great to see our People & Planet scores reflecting our continued work around staff and student engagement and the ongoing development of our Sustainable Curriculum, which contributes to the University’s Climate Plan.” 

Our lowest scoring categories were Ethical Investment and Ethical Careers and Recruitment. Both of these scores have increased year on year and work is continuing across the University to further develop our approach.  

In line with the Responsible Investment principle of our Climate Plan, the University’s policy on responsible investment is to invest in companies that are sustainable and that purposefully set out to solve the problems of people and the planet profitably, without benefiting from causing harm to the world. We do not invest in companies that are materially engaged in certain sectors, including thermal coal, the extraction of fossil fuel from tar sands, oil and gas extraction, production, or refining. 

Visit our Climate Plan SharePoint hub to find out more. 

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