Oxford Brookes University shows sustainability credentials with rise in People & Planet rankings

Image of Oxford Brookes University students on campus

Oxford Brookes University has moved up 35 places in the annual People & Planet University League, which ranks UK universities on their environmental and ethical performance.

The University has risen from 69th place to 34th in the 2022/23 rankings, and received further recognition by  being awarded a 2:1 certificate for sustainability by People & Planet, compared to a 2:2 last year. 

Michele Morley, Head of Environmental Sustainability at Oxford Brookes, said: “This is a really positive leap forward in the People & Planet University rankings for Oxford Brookes, which demonstrates our continual commitment to improving our sustainability performance.  We are very proud of the efforts of our staff, students and partners who have each contributed to this achievement.

“This latest jump in rankings demonstrates that the University is on track to reach our emissions targets and sustainability objectives, and we are close to achieving the next grade up of a 1st class accolade. Our sustainability journey is key to our success as a modern, forward thinking university. We will continue to work hard on reducing our environmental impact and in delivering carbon targets in collaboration with the Zero Carbon Oxford partnership, to help reach the city’s target of reaching net zero by 2040.”

Oxford Brookes’ green credentials 

In July 2022, Oxford Brookes became the first UK university to have a state-of-the-art Geo-Exchange heating system operational on campus. The pioneering development introduced  a heating system that replaces fossil fuels and will ultimately reduce carbon emissions on campus by 20%.

Also in the same month, the University was awarded Fairtrade Status for the 2020-22 academic years. This is an area in which Oxford Brookes has led the way, becoming the world’s first Fairtrade University in 2003.

The University  has also become the first in the world to install bee-centred Freedom Hives for bees on campus, we’ve extended our flower meadows, introduced rewilding schemes and have introduced bug hotels and bird, bat and owl boxes around campus to improve biodiversity. 

In 2021, Oxford Brookes declared a climate emergency, and also signed up to the Zero Carbon Oxford Charter pledge to support the city’s aspiration to achieve net zero by 2040.

Read more about Oxford Brookes’ sustainability activities and commitments.