Green banner unfurled

July 23, 2009

Where better than the university to pioneer a more sustainable future ("When it comes to saving the environment, academics don't practise what they preach", 2 July)? If students graduate with no grasp of the social, ethical and environmental context in which they live and work, we will have failed them.

Students are taking matters into their own hands. The recent student-led Green League table has pushed the issue up the agenda, and the sector is responding. Some 57 universities have just reported their environmental and social responsibility performance in the UK-wide Universities That Count programme, which encourages sustainability and social responsibility. It does not name and shame but extends a hand to universities so that they can be what they need to be while shining a light on relative performance. Next year I hope every university in the UK will stand up and be counted.

Iain Patton, Executive director, Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges.

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