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MMU Business School

MMU: The UK’s Greenest University

From humble beginnings - 91st when the league table began back in 2007, to 10th last year - this year’s win has come on the back of the university’s desire to not only reduce the its carbon footprint, but to actually have a positive environmental impact.

So just how has MMU gained the highest score ever achieved?

The People & Planet’s annual survey audits both universities’ commitment to systemic improvement, and their actual performance. This year MMU managed to score maximum marks in:


  • Carbon Management
  • Environmental Policy
  • Environmental Staff
  • Staff and Student Engagement
  • Sustainability in the Curriculum
  • Waste Management


MMU also scored highly on Ethical Investments, Procurement and Fairtrade, and Water and Energy Management.

From student campaigns to staff training schemes, investment in green technologies to smarter new-builds, the university is tackling sustainability issues from a number of angles.

Chief amongst the MMU’s sustainability achievements has been the reduction in its annual carbon emissions: down almost 20% from the baseline year (2005/6), to below 20,000 tonnes. With a target to cut carbon emissions by 35% by 2016, and specific policies to reduce indirect emissions from staff and student travel and procurement, MMU is making giant leaps to boost its green credentials.

The last few years have also seen an adoption of greener building practices. Whilst some of the existing university buildings have benefitted from the introduction of solar arrays and green roofs, the newly-built Business School and Student Hub have been designed with sustainability in mind and feature rainwater recycling, and borehole heating and cooling systems. The new Birley Fields campus will be zero-rated in waste, water and heating.

Energy usage at all sites is strictly monitored through a university-wide scheme, with data being evaluated and best practice shared.

And the university’s environmental and ethical performance has also been felt by its students - 94% said that they were satisfied or very satisfied with MMU’s eco-friendly attitude in Autumn 2012, compared with 83% at the same point in 2009.

With universities receiving a cheeky First, 2:1, 2:2, Third or Fail, sadly some universities still have a long way to go to catch up with top-of-the-class MMU.

Under the banner of  ‘Third’ or ‘Fail’ were a number of institutions unfamiliar with the bottom of league tables – most notably Oxford University, who was perhaps this year’s most high-profile failure. Some didn’t even receive a mark, gaining a ‘did not sit exam’ for failing to submit the proper evidence.


For details of the full table, please go to the Guardian datablog:

For MMUs take on events, please go to:

For the methodology and raw data, please go to People & Planet: