YUSU have rejected the findings of a recent ‘Green League Table’ produced by People & Planet. YUSU Environmental and Ethics Officer Tom Langley said the table, which gave York an overall score of 54%, was not “representative of the University’s environmental performance.”
The table placed York 50th in terms of tackling environmental issues, coming behind local institutions such as Sheffield Hallam and Leeds Metropolitan, which came first. Criteria included the percentage of total energy derived from renewable source and the percentage of waste recycled.
Langley said there were many problems with the survey, including an over-reliance on quantitative rather than qualitative data and the omission of York’s performance in the categories of renewable energy sources and percentage of waste recycled. He added it was unfair to compare the very different energy needs of campus and city universities.
“The report doesn’t give any sense of the progress the University is making environmentally or the direction it is taking,” he said. “I do feel that York has been seriously slighted here and that we deserve to be much higher. While I applaud what People & Planet are trying to do, more care needs to be taken in compiling the data and presenting the report. I think that students in particular should be proud of what they’ve achieved.”
A spokesman for People & Planet rejected claims that the survey was poorly constructed. He said the league table was created using “information universities have submitted to the Higher Education Funding Council for England. York failed to do this. If they are not submitting information to such bodies, then they are not paying enough attention to measuring impacts.”