Green Gown Awards: UK’s most sustainable academic institutions revealed

More than 360 sustainability leaders attended the 10th annual Green Gown Awards at the University of Manchester's Whitworth Hall this week to witness the announcement of 15 of the UK's most sustainable higher education institutions.

Guests at the ceremony – organised by the Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges (EAUC) – included representatives from institutions such as the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), Leadership Foundation for Higher Education (LFHE) and the Skills Funding Agency (SFA).

Neil Pemberton, director of specialist sales at BT – one of the Awards’ sponsors – said: “At BT, we use the power of communications to make a better world, so it is an honour for BT to be sponsoring the Green Gown Awards in their 10th year.

“Sustainability is steadily increasing in importance for institutions in terms of their financial and operational performance, and these awards are testimony to that.”

Sustainable institutions

Winners from the three international categories: Continuous Improvement: Institutional Change (University of Strathclyde); Social Responsibility (Hull College); and Student Engagement (Manchester Metropolitan University and Redbridge Institute of Adult Education) will compete for the International Green Gown Awards with winners from Australasia, French-speaking regions and the UK.

University of Strathclyde was the 100th winner of a Green Gown Award. The institution won the award for Continuous Improvement: Institutional Change for its ‘Sustainable Strathclyde’ strategy which includes a plan to be carbon neutral by 2030.

In April, edie reported that the University of Strathclyde was one of six UK universities to receive a £3m cash injection from the government to run projects investigating a range of energy efficiency strategies.

Hull College won the Social Responsibility award for its ‘East Hull Voids transform lives’ initiative which supports families in need by transforming derelict properties into modern and affordable homes.

Queen’s University Belfast won the Research and Development Award for its solar disinfection of water initiative to improve water quality for 5.8 million people in more than 30 countries.

Green Gown Awards 2014 winners

– Uxbridge College – Best Newcomer
– Lancaster University – Carbon Reduction
– University of Exeter – Construction and Refurbishment
– University of Strathclyde – Continuous Improvement: Institutional Change
– Plymouth University – Courses and Learning
– Plymouth University – Enterprise
– University of Worcester – Facilities and Services
– Plymouth University – Food and Drink
– Queen’s University Belfast – Research and Development
– Hull College – Social Responsibility
– Manchester Metropolitan University – Student Engagement (Large Institution)
– Redbridge Institute of Adult Education – Student Engagement (Small -Institution)
– University of the Arts London – Technical Innovation for Sustainability

Individual Awards winners

– Professor Patrick Bailey, Keele University – Leadership Award
– Roisin Lyle-Collins, University of Glasgow – Sustainability Champion Award

Stay tuned for edie’s special feature on education, coming soon…

Lois Vallely

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