Water Reduction

This section is based on the latest available data from the Estates Management Record (EMR), which is made publicly available by the Higher Education Statistics Agency, HESA.

Water consumption per head

Score 67%

Per head staff and student numbers are calculated as Full Time Equivalents (FTE). This is a standard method used by universities to factor in part time study and work. Students and staff employed by research are also included in our calculation.

The FTE total is taken as the sum of student, research and staff FTE.


As in previous years, universities will be scored by banding values into groups.

Grey or rain water used

Score 33%

This is based on the percentage grey/rain water compared to total water consumption.


As in previous years, universities will be scored by banding values into groups.

Interpretation notes

HESA now provides strict rules for data submission around nulls and zero. Universities are instructed to use null when they do not have the data, and are alerted to the fact that this will mean totals are not calculated by HESA.

People & Planet has interpreted nulls from the viewpoint that points must be earned through transparency and proof.

Null data for total consumption will result in zero score.

Null data for grey/rain water will be assumed zero.

Sometimes there is some null data for staff FTE. Clearly all universities have staff. However, we have had to use zero here, which will result in a slightly poorer performance metric for those universities.

How does People & Planet calculate its scoring bands?

In sections taken from the Higher Education Statistics Agency Estates Management Record (HESA EMR), People & Planet places universities that report the EMR into discrete scoring bands. The boundaries of these scoring bands are set by People & Planet. We take into account continuity with last year’s boundaries, distribution of universities across the bands, and where the data permits, we try to define a boundary where there is a relatively large gap between values.

The purpose of the University League is to drive continual improvement in sustainability practices. Therefore boundaries would only be adjusted towards lower standards in exceptional situations; generally to score well each year requires continual improvement, and to score better requires advancing sustainability faster than other universities.

The scoring bands for the previous edition of the People & Planet University League will be published with the announcement of the new set of methodology each April. In sector feedback universities have stated that knowing the previous year’s scoring band boundaries would be useful, however it should be noted these are likely to change and should only be seen as a rough guide.

Scoring Bands for Water Consumption per Head in the 2023/24 People & Planet University League

Water Consumption per Head (cubic metre)


< 4


< 6.5


< 10


< 19


≥ 0


Score for Grey Water Used in the 2023/24 People & Planet University League

% grey water used










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