The University of Nottingham has been voted the greenest campus in Europe and the second greenest campus in the world according to the UI GreenMetric World University Ranking. Part of the good rating was due to Ucycle, a Sustrans-managed project to get more staff and students on bikes.
The UI GreenMetric World University Ranking project, from the University of Indonesia, classified 90 universities from over 35 countries around the world. The study ranked participating universities on several factors, including the percentage of green space on their campus, electricity consumption, waste and water management and the application of eco-sustainability policies and projects. The University of Nottingham narrowly missed out on first place, with The University of California, Berkeley, edging ahead to claim the title.
In 2010, Nottingham University focused on getting its students and staff to change their everyday travel behaviour with the Ucycle Nottingham scheme, delivered by Sustrans. The project aims to enable people to switch from everyday car use in the city to travelling on foot, bike or public transport. Its university bike loan scheme is the biggest in the UK, with 210 bikes being loaned out early in the academic year.
Pro-Vice Chancellor Alan Dodson, said:
“Ucycle Nottingham has been a tremendously successful project for the University, and was a clear contributor to our outstanding success as top European, and second best globally in the Green Metric World University ranking. Sustainable transport is an important element of the university’s overall sustainability agenda.”
Joanna Ward, Sustrans’ Project Manager for Ucycle Nottingham, said:
“The success of Ucycle within the university shows that there is a real commitment from the students and staff to tackle environmental issues. The Ucycle bikes have flown off the racks showing that more and more students are choosing cycling as an easy and useful way to get around the city. It’s been great to see such enthusiasm from this institution and we will continue to work with them on making cycling a natural choice for city travel.”
The £3.32m Ucycle project is funded by Nottingham City Council (including via EMDA), Cycling England, the city’s two universities and the Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust. With most halls and student residential areas located within a five-mile radius of the universities, cycling is an easy, affordable and more sustainable way to make short everyday journeys thus helping cut traffic congestion and getting more people active in Nottingham. The project began in September 2009 and runs until July 2011.