Plymouth University People & Planet University League 2017 Scorecard

Award class badge: 1st

Section Score
1. Environmental Sustainability; Policy and Strategy 80
2. Human Resources for Sustainability 10
3. Environmental Auditing & Management Systems 100
4. Ethical Investment 10
5. Carbon Management 95
6. Workers Rights 45
7. Sustainable Food 70
8. Staff and Student Engagement 50
9. Education for Sustainable Development 100
10. Energy Sources 62.5
11. Waste and Recycling 62.5
12. Carbon Reduction 57.5
13. Water Reduction 78

Section 1. Environmental Sustainability; Policy and Strategy

80%

The full methodology for this section can be found here.

We looked at Plymouth University's publicly available environmental policy - you can read it here if we found one:

www.plymouth.ac.uk/uploads/production/document/path/2/2593/Environmental_policy_for_2015-18.pdf

We wanted to see that the policy wasn't just sitting in a dusty desktop year after year and we needed to know that the policy meant something to staff, students and decision makers at the university. So to score 50% here, the policy needed to have been published within the last 5 years and demonstrate that it was reviewed regularly by someone sitting in a senior position at the university (because if the university is failing to uphold their policy, then someone should know about it ..... and be able to do something about it).

1) Plymouth University scored: 50 / 50% for their environmental policy

Next we looked at whether the policy was accompanied with a plan for action or Sustainability Strategy, you can read it here if we one found one:

www.plymouth.ac.uk/your-university/sustainability/waste-and-recycling

The university could only score 50% if they had set SMART targets in all 8 of key areas below, and if we could see that the strategy had been reviewed in the last 5 years, (much like the environmental policy, a strategy only works if people are using it), and we didn't give credit for strategies that were out of date:

  • Construction & Refurbishment
  • Emissions & Discharges
  • Community involvement
  • Biodiversity
  • Waste management
  • Travel and Transport
  • Sustainable procurement
  • Water

We found that Plymouth University is working towards targets in the following areas:

Waste management, Transport, Sustainable Procurement, Water, Construction and Refurbishment and Biodiversity

Therefore...

2) Plymouth University scored 30 / 50% for their sustainability strategy.

10% Section 2. Human Resources for Sustainability

10%

The full methodology for how we score this section here.

Having a policy on environment and ethics is a good start - working out how to meet the policy with a strategy is a great start - next we wanted to see how well Plymouth University resource their policy and strategy. You can't meet your targets without dedicated staff to do all the hard work!

We looked to see whether environmental sustainability if someone in the university senior management team has responsibility for sustainability. It really helps when climate and social justice issues are the responsibility of someone who can make decisions about how the action can be resourced. If we found that someone, you can read about them here: www.plymouth.ac.uk/staff/sarah-jones

1) Plymouth University scored 0/20% for senior responsibility for sustainability

We also wanted to see how many staff were currently employed to work on sustainability issues, and whether students and staff could find them easily online and contact them. We thought the number of sustainability staff should also be shown in relation to the number of staff and students at the university.

Plymouth University has 17200 students,1000 - 2000 staff and 2 sustainability staff

When assessing the number of dedicated sustainability staff at Plymouth University - we looked for the following info:

  • job title / role
  • contact info
  • specific area of sustainability

If we found that information, here's the link: www.plymouth.ac.uk/your-university/sustainability/our-sustainable-campus

2) Plymouth University scored 10/55% for numbers of sustainability staff

Once a university has employed staff, it can be hard for them to do their job without money available. People & Planet looked for evidence that the sustainability strategy was resourced with a budget and that costs were included as part of the commitment.

3) Plymouth University scored 0/10% for evidence of a budget to fund the sustainability strategy.

It isn't just the job of sustainability staff ... the whole university community is key to the culture of sustainable development, and when properly supported, they can make all the difference!
We looked at whether the university supported a staff engagement scheme (like Eco-Champions or inter-departmental green team competitions) to engage all staff across the university in environmental and ethical practice through training, workshops and projects.

4) Plymouth University scored 0/15% for supporting a staff engagement scheme.

100% Section 3. Environmental Auditing & Management Systems

100%

The full methodology for this section is here.

We looked at how well Plymouth University manages and audit their environmental performance and progress. If you can't measure it, you can't improve it!

Plymouth University is accredited to an externally verified environmental management system (EMS). It scored 100/100% for the level and coverage of its EMS.

P.S We know this all sounds very technical ... find out more about Environmental Management Systems

10% Section 4. Ethical Investment

10%

Want more? The full methodology for this section is here.

Investments in the fossil fuel industry or arms trade can be contradictory to an institutions broader sustainability aims and goals. A strong ethical investment policy ensures an institution’s investments and banking practices are conducted transparently and in an economically-viable, socially-responsible manner.

1a) Plymouth University scored 10/10% for having a publicly available ethical investment policy. The policy is here if we found one: www.plymouth.ac.uk/uploads/production/document/path/7/7061/Ethical_investment_Policy_Schedule_S10_from_Treasury_Management_Policy_2015.pdf

1b) and  0/60% for including specifics within the policy, including: (N/A)

2) Plymouth University scored 0/10% for reviewing and making progress on the policy's objectives - which is here is we found it: (N/A)

3) 0/20% for making a public announcement that it won't invest in fossil fuels and or arms, and if they have, you'll find it here: (N/A)

When looking at our Fossil Free university campaign aims, here's Plymouth University's own Fossil Free outlook:

Divestment Commitment none

Fossil Free Scorecard: Plymouth University

Investments

£0
Invested in fossil fuels.
Data direct from FoI

Research funding

£84,211 Research funding from fossil fuel industry, including: BP, Total

£296,965 Research funding into renewables industry since 2001.

Banking

HSBC £84.3m in bank
Santander ATMs on campus Branches on campus
Note: Fossil fuel extraction research funding may not include all oils and gas research. Updated data will be available soon.

95% Section 5. Carbon Management

95%How well is Plymouth University managing its carbon emissions?

Want more? The full methodology for this section is here.

As it's a funding requirement, there aren't many universities that don't have a plan for managing and reducing carbon emissions, here's what we found: www.plymouth.ac.uk/uploads/production/document/path/2/2574/CARBON_MANAGEMENT_PLAN_2016_2020_MAR_16.pdf

1) Plymouth University scored 25/25% for having a publicly available carbon management plan that meets set standards

Jargon buster: the following are examples of greenhouse gas emissions called 'scope 3' emissions: business travel, student and staff commute travel, student end of term travel home, supply chain (stuff the university buys) and waste (i.e. rubbish).

2a) 5/5% for including scope 3 emissions within the university Carbon Management Plan.

2b) 5/5% for reporting the university's scope 3 emissions to the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA). 

In the most recent year, Plymouth University reported emissions from: waste, business travel , staff commute and student commute to HESA.

It's important that universities aren't forgetting their halls of residences or other student and staff accommodation when thinking about carbon emissions. If we found info on this, it will be here: (N/A)

2c) Plymouth University scored 0/5% for publishing carbon emission data related to both in-house and externally provided student accommodation.

3) Plymouth University scored 30/30% for including baseline figures for scope 3 carbon emissions  in the following: Waste , Water , Procurement, Travel. business trips, Travel. commute and Travel. student end of term.

Plymouth University  scored 30/30% for including targets to reduce scope 3 carbon emissions including Waste , Water , Procurement, Travel. business trips, Travel. commute and Travel. student end of term.

45% Section 6. Workers Rights

45%Is Plymouth University behaving responsibly to those it employs and those who work in its supply chains?

Want more? The full methodology for this section is here.

1) Plymouth University scores 0/25% for being a Living Wage accredited employer.

2) Plymouth University scores 15/15% for being a Fairtrade status University

3) Plymouth University scores 10/40% for improving workers rights in the university's ITC supply chain by working with Electronics Watch

4) Plymouth University scores 20/20% for improving workers rights in an area of the university supply chain other than electronics

70% Section 7. Sustainable Food

70%How sustainable is the food and catering at Plymouth University?

Want more? The full methodology for this section is here.

1) Plymouth University scores 0/10% for having a publicly available sustainable food policy meeting set standards

If we found one, it should be here: (N/A)

2) Plymouth University scores 40/50% for continual improvement in sustainable food across the university catering outlets and conference services through a sustainable food framework and for the level reached on that framework OR for sustainable food activities

3) Plymouth University scores 10/10% for specifying that contract caterers and suppliers meet the requirements of the university sustainable food policy

4a) Plymouth University scores 0/5% for being certified to the Marine Stewardship Council standards - ensuring traceability of sustainable fish all the way to your plate

4b) Plymouth University scores 5/5% for using local food in university catering or campus to kitchen food projects

4c) Plymouth University scores 5/5% for providing free access to drinking water across the university and for highlighting where this can be found on the university website (here if we found it): (N/A)

5) Plymouth University scores 15/15% for providing space or other resources for university community food projects

If they are, you can find out more here: www.plymouth.ac.uk/your-university/sustainability/sustainability-education/innovation-projects

50% Section 8. Staff and Student Engagement

50%

How well is Plymouth University engaging its staff and students in sustainability?

Need more? The full methodology for this section is here.

1) Plymouth University scores 40/60% for having a strategy in place for student and staff engagement that includes a framework to track progress against smart targets and for including the following engagement actions:

c student induction, d go green or environment themed week, e climate or sustainability or social change campaigns reaching the whole university community, f providing resources or funding for student or staff led sustainability projects and g university has set strategy and targets for student and staff engagement

  • Oversight and involvement of students and staff in the development and ongoing monitoring of the university Carbon Management Plan.
  • Oversight and involvement of students and staff in the development and ongoing monitoring of the university environment or sustainability policy / plan / strategy.
  • Engagement opportunities for sustainability are a component of student induction processes.
  • University actively supports an annual Go Green Week or environment / sustainability week.
  • The university runs environmental sustainability campaigns that reach all students and staff.
  • Availability of university funds and / or resources /support for student or staff-led practical sustainability projects

2) Plymouth University scores 0/10% for evidence that the university sustainability policy is included in staff inductions, and if it is, you can see more here: (N/A)

3) Plymouth University scores 0/10% for Trades Union representation on the membership of sustainability strategy committees

4) Plymouth University scores 0/10% for student representation on university committees concerned with estates, planning, finance and strategic decision making. 

5) Plymouth University scores 10/10% for students' union progress towards environmental sustainability.

100% Section 9. Education for Sustainable Development

100%

How well is Plymouth University including sustainability in its education?

Need more? The full methodology for this section is here.

1) Plymouth University scores 20/20% for its public commit to education for sustainable development (ESD)

2a) Plymouth University scores50/50% for having a framework or strategy for ESD

2b)

3) Plymouth University scores 10/10% for providing suitable support and training for ESD

4) Plymouth University scores 10/10% for evidence of student coursework linked to sustainability projects to improve the environmental manegement of the university (often called the Living Lab)

5) 10/10% for supporting or highlighting School, Faculty or Research team projects for Sustainability, including the pedgagogy of sustainability

62.5% Section 10. Energy Sources

62.5%Where does Plymouth University get its energy from?

Need more? The full methodology for this section is here.

1) Plymouth University scores 45/45% for using combined heat and power (CHP) energy.

2) Plymouth University scores 17.5/35% for generating some its own electricity (the more it generates the higher the score).

3) Plymouth University scores 0.0/20% for buying some or all of its electricity from renewable sources. 

62.5% Section 11. Waste and Recycling

62.5%

How does Plymouth University perform on waste, as compared to other universities?

Need more? The full methodology for this section is here.

1) Plymouth University scores 12.5/50% for recycling 36.25% of its waste.

2) Plymouth University scores 50.0/50% for the amount of waste per head (staff and students) compared to the rest of the sector.

57.5% Section 12. Carbon Reduction

57.5%

How well is Plymouth University reducing its carbon emissions?

Need more? The full methodology for this section is here.

1) 20.0/50% for carbon intensity change over the last 12 months (since the last University League).

2) 37.5/50% for achieving a 32.45% reduction in its carbon emissions since a 2005 baseline.

78% Section 13. Water Reduction

78%How responsibly is Plymouth University using water?

Need more? The full methodology for this section is here.

1) 67.0/67% for its use of water per head (staff and students) compared to other universities

2) 11.0/33% for use of grey water (like rain water harvesting)

Please see our comprehensive Sustainability Report produced in accordance with the Global Reporting Initiative framework. This includes full disclosure of our 2016 performance against our sustainability targets.

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