People & Planet Green League 2013 Methodology

NQA EcoCampus logo

The methodology for People & Planet Green League 2013 is developed in close consultation with key sectoral stakeholders and has evolved gradually over the seven years since its first publication. Today, as in 2007, it takes a dual approach to environmental management - looking both at universities’ commitment to systemic improvement (40 points) and at their actual performance (30 points).

Both are essential indicators of an institution’s commitment to and actual transition towards a low-carbon, fossil fuel-free future which will require resilience and innovation from all sectors of society. The first nine Management and Policy criteria demonstrate whether an institution has a systematic means of improving its performance. The following four indicators in the Performance section reveal how well an institution is actually performing on the ground in comparison to other institutions.

Ongoing consultation with the sector and Green League Oversight Group has highlighted several key areas for further consideration in the longer term and we are committed to exploring these together with stakeholders as part of a full review of the People & Planet Green League in 2013/14.

People & Planet remains 100% committed to the following principles in producing the People & Planet Green League in 2013 and beyond:

  • Full transparency & accountability
  • Independence
  • Recognising diversity within the sector
  • Celebrating best practice
  • Uniform metrics and data
  • Quality assurance
  • The right to appeal

Time for a rethink?

As a key driver of sustainability within the Higher Education sector, People & Planet has a big responsibility and is deeply committed to improving the Green League year-on-year. By drawing on the expertise and feedback of a wide range of stakeholders and other experts, we’ve made significant improvements to the league table since it first launched in 2007. However certain critiques of the Green League methodology persist and we know there is more to do ensure it is measuring each and every institution according to its own merits in a fair and flexible way.

We think its time to launch a major review of the Green League and the role it plays in driving up environmental, ethical and social performance in the sector. Throughout 2013 and early 2014 we’ll be undertaking a comprehensive audit of its methodology, criteria and scoring systems with a view to relaunching a new and improved People & Planet League in 2014 that reflects the growing diversity of the sector and the considerable progress towards sustainability made since 2007.

Through a series of consultation events, conference calls and working groups with the sector and external experts, this work is already underway and will continue throughout 2013. The Green League Oversight Group(GLOG) - so crucial in shaping the recent Green League improvements, will play a crucial role. In November 2012 we recruited a wide cross-section of universities to sit on this year’s GLOG.

What this means for 2013 methodology?

The key changes to the People & Planet Green League 2013 are focused on refining and embedding previously planned changes in criteria weightings and clarifying how points are awarded rather than introducing new criteria or making significant methodological changes.

As a result, you’ll notice fewer changes than usual in 2013. Where there are changes these are clearly highlighted. In total we have shifted 3 points from criteria which are consistently met by over 90% of the sector. These have been re-allocated to those criteria where significant further improvements are needed or to newer criteria which were introduced with comparatively low weighting and already had planned increases approved by the majority of stakeholders. Below is a quick summary of the minor changes to this year’s methodology:

  • Environmental Policy: reduced by 2 points
  • Carbon Management Plans: reduced by 1 point.
  • Sustainable Food: increased by 1 point
  • Staff and Student Engagement: increased by 1 point
  • Curriculum: increased by 1 point and renamed to Education & Learning.

  • Download a copy of the People & Planet Green League Guide 2013 here