In the 21st century, materialism is heavily ingrained into our society. Clothing trends change on a seasonal basis and electronic gadgets are constantly being updated and improved, with new models of some of our best-known brands regularly being released. Ever improving technology and aesthetics, along with wide spread advertising across all media platforms, have contributed massively to society’s insatiable demand for the latest trends. However, do we really understand where our gadgets, clothes and electronics come from?
Last month university staff up and down the country announced they’re going on strike over pension reforms. Universities UK are trying to take away our lecturers’ right to a defined income when they retire. Our teachers and staff stand to lose up to 40% of their retirement income.
Monday 5th February - University of Edinburgh announced it will move its entire investment portfolio out of the fossil fuel industry over the next three years. The University currently holds £6.3million in fossil fuels companies: Total, Atlas Copco and BG Group.
The University of Sussex has now moved it’s investment fund out of fossil fuels, after four years of Fossil Free Sussex, the student run campaign, lobbying the university to divest.
Sussex University has moved it’s money into Liontrust Sustainable Futures Managed Fund – which excludes any organisation involved in Fossil Fuels.
Fossil fuel divestment is the removal of investment assets including stocks, bonds, and investment funds from companies involved in extracting fossil fuels, in an attempt to reduce climate change by tackling its ultimate causes.
2017 was an incredible year for the global fossil free movement! In 2018, together we’re going to take it to the next level.
How about some New Years Revolutions* for transforming the face of global finance by taking the fossil free fight to the banking industry this year?
As People & Planet’s annual University League is published, the University of Manchester has ranked in the middle of the road in 71st place. This is yet more evidence that the University is lagging behind on sustainability and ignoring its students’ demands for action for the environment.
Determining the environmental impact of your degree course can be tough – between greenwashing, behind-the-scenes investments and dodgy supply chains, it can be really hard to know how Green your University really is. That’s why I find the People & Planet University League Table so informative – they ask the big questions, and crunch the big data, then rank Universities accordingly on several different criteria including Environmental Policy, Waste & Recycling, Education and Ethical investment.
Not only has the 2015 #1 failed to make any recognisable progress this year, the University of Plymouth has also failed to maintain it’s ranking between 2016 and 2017, falling a further two places down to 14th.
Two of the University of Plymouths lowest scores are for Ethical Investment and Workers Rights.