The University of Exeter has moved up to sixth place in a league table that ranks UK universities on sustainability and ethics.
The 2022/23 People & Planet University League shows 59% of universities failed to meet the target of reducing direct carbon emissions by 43% between 2005/6 and 2020/21.
Exeter – which aims to reach net zero emissions by 2030 – met the People & Planet League target, cutting carbon emissions by 45%.
The sixth-place ranking – up from 16th last year – places Exeter top among the Russell Group, and makes it one of People & Planet’s “first-class universities”.
“Exeter’s position reflects our efforts to lead meaningful action against the climate emergency and ecological crisis,” said Joanna Chamberlain, Director of Sustainability at the University of Exeter.
“Thank you to our staff and students for their hard work and dedication that has contributed to this success.”
People & Planet is the largest student network in the UK campaigning for social and environmental justice.
It aims to empower the next generation of change-makers, achieve systemic change and transform the education sector.
The 2022/23 league ranks 153 universities on 14 criteria including environmental policy, auditing and human resources, carbon reduction, waste and water recycling, student engagement, education for sustainable development, energy sources, sustainable food and workers’ rights.
Exeter’s Strategy 2030 puts the climate emergency and ecological crisis at the heart of the university’s mission, including in education and management of campuses.
The university, which has more than 1,400 researchers working on the environment and climate, is collaborating with partners in the South West, the UK and worldwide to drive action in this crucial decade for our planet.