Wrexham Glyndwr University has rose almost 50 places up the rankings of a prestigious green league table.
The institution rose from 132 to 83rd in the People and Planet University League 2017, scoring highly for sustainable food, and engagement and education.
There were also reductions in the use of carbon, water and energy sources, as well as a 75% rise in the number of ‘green champions’ – or sustainable staff.
The increase comes after the University unveiled its Campus 2025 vision for an overhaul of the Wrexham campus, to include new student accommodation, car parking, upgraded academic and research rooms and conversion of buildings, including the main entrance.
The first phase of the campus upgrade was unveiled earlier this year, with the launch of new catering and cafe facilities.
Lynda Powell, Director of Operations at Wrexham Glyndwr University, said: “This is a fantastic achievement and shows the University’s commitment to understanding and managing its impact on the environment.
“We are currently updating the University’s Environmental Sustainability Strategy and this will help to strengthen and drive forward more exciting projects and initiatives that will hopefully be recognised as demonstrating best practise in environmental and sustainability excellence
“I would like to congratulate the team for their hard work over the last 12 months and for the commitment and dedication they have shown.
“Collaborating with the Students’ Union, they have made improvements and implemented energy saving systems across our campuses, which have resulted in this amazing rise up the league table.
“We will continue to strive for better, and are committed to enhancing the environment for students and staff for generations to come.”
Students’ Union Vice-President, Angus Hamill-Stewart, added: “We are thrilled to see such a marked improvement in the University’s ranking, which is a testament to the collaboration between ourselves and the University, reinforced by the Union’s Green Impact Award.
“The SU hopes to see a further rise in the years ahead, as the Campus 2025 project is rolled-out and sustainability and conservation remain at the top of the agenda.”
Other initiatives at the university included landscaping and planting indigenous shrubs to increase the biodiversity of the estate; new cardboard and metal recycling facilities; energy metering and new bike shelters to encourage staff to cycle to work.
The University also won an award from the British Astronomy Society for the fitting of specialised outside lamps which shine downwards, reducing light pollution in the surrounding area, as well as a Wrexham Area Civic Society Award for Sustainability.
Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the People & Planet table was created from a 2003 student campaign demanding universities to ‘go green’ and aim for sustainability.
The ranking had clear aims: to make transparent the sustainable development of publicly funded universities, to create competition in the sector that would drive environmental and ethical performance, and to empower students and prospective students with the understanding of whether and how an institution was taking responsibility.
Hannah Smith, Co-Director for Research and Campaigns at People & Planet, said: “The league table was a Eureka moment; universities love rankings, and finally we would produce one led by students.
“The number of universities employing environment staff has doubled and in 2013 we celebrated a milestone – 100% of all universities had finally set policy on their environmental impacts.
“By 2010, it was clear that this was going to be a game-changer, with all the numbers moving in the right direction, towards sustainability.”