Lincoln University’s dedication to sustainability is receiving major international recognition, with the institution making a massive leap in the GreenMetric World University Rankings for 2020.
Lincoln is the only New Zealand university to achieve a ranking in this system and has been rated 51st out of 912 universities from 84 countries, up 97 places from last year’s 148th position.
GreenMetric measures universities’ commitment to developing environmentally-friendly practices and looks at six key indicators, including Setting and Infrastructure, Energy and Climate Change, Waste, Water, Transportation, and Education.
This year, Lincoln received a near perfect score in the Education indicator and gained significant increases in Energy and Climate Change, as well as Waste and Transportation.
Acting Vice-Chancellor Professor Bruce McKenzie said he was delighted with the result, as it recognised the ongoing improvements the university was making in sustainability.
“We ranked highly in Education because sustainability issues underpin many of our courses, research and publications and we’re always exploring innovative ways of assisting the land-based industries to care for the environment as they carry out their business practices.
“Our score has nearly doubled in the Energy and Climate Change indicator, as we increased our renewable energy sources on campus this year by installing a second large solar array and devised a sustainability plan to continue moving forwards.
“We have improved in the Waste and Transport indicator due to ensuring that all food waste goes through a circular system and devising a plan to support cycle access, car parking consolidation and creating a more pedestrian-focused campus.
“We will also work with Environment Canterbury and other partners to increase the effectiveness of public transport to and from campus.”
Lincoln University’s bold objective to be carbon neutral by 2030 and cease the combustion of coal by 2024 recently received a major endorsement by the Government, with the confirmation of a $4.576 million investment from the $200 million Clean Powered Public Service Fund.
This will enable Lincoln to convert its existing heating network from coal-fired steam to 100% electrification in time for the winter of 2024. The university’s boiler plant and coal stack will then be decommissioned and deconstructed, making way for a regenerative and biodiverse central greenspace.
In partnership with Meridian Energy, Lincoln also boosted its commercial-scale solar energy generating capability in 2020, with several roof-mounted solar installations delivering 250,000 kWh of clean renewable energy to the campus network per year. Further capacity will be introduced soon when a new solar array is installed on the roof of the Lincoln University Gym.
These projects form part of a wider campus development programme that includes the construction of two new fit-for-future science buildings, an extensive upgrade of the Sport and Recreation Centre and visionary landscaping projects that will enhance the vibrancy of the park-like campus and promote a positive learning, research and community-focused environment.
For more on sustainability at Lincoln University, click here.