People and Planet, a student network which campaigns for social justice and environmental policy in the UK, released their annual university league table last week. Universities are assessed based on sustainability and environmental impact, with each aggregate score being measured according to 13 categories, such as environmental policy, workers’ rights, ethical investments, and carbon reduction.
For 2021, LSE ranks 11th place out of 154 universities across the UK, rising from 13th place in 2019. Out of Russell Group universities, LSE ranks at 2nd place, below King’s College London. Achieving an overall score of 72.9%, the university scored 100% in the categories Policy and Strategy, Environmental Auditing and Management Systems, and Education for Sustainable Development. These scores were based on a review of LSE’s 2030 Strategy and Sustainability Strategy Plan, externally verified management system, and education resources for both students and academics.
However, it is worth noting that its lowest score pertained to ethical investments, at 34%. Whilst LSE has an ethical investment policy, the university continues to invest in companies such as Glencore, Total, and BHP Billiton, according to their most recent investment portfolio. In a comment for The Beaver, Charles Joly, Head of Sustainability at LSE said:
“Sustainability standards continue to increase across the higher education sector making the People and Planet Green League more competitive every year. We are pleased to see LSE moving up the League from 13th to 11th place this year and being ranked 2nd in the Russell Group. This reflects, in particular, our work developing the School’s new Sustainability Strategic Plan which has accelerated momentum for sustainability at LSE. We were particularly glad to see our Education for Sustainability initiative supporting a 100% score against the League’s education criteria.
“Sustainability is a journey and we are aware we have areas requiring further attention and progress. An aspect of this ongoing work is the review and update of the School’s Socially Responsible Investment policy which will take place in 2022, in consultation with the LSE community.”