Going for green: top award for University’s environmental efforts
Press release issued: 14 November 2013
The University of Bristol has won a Green Gown Award for its environmental efforts – its second accolade in just a week - and will now compete at an international level. Bristol’s Sustainability team collected the ‘Continual Improvement: Institutional Change’ gong for its achievements over the past five years.
The Green Gown Awards recognise the exceptional sustainability initiatives being undertaken by universities and colleges across the UK, with 81 finalist institutions.
Bristol will now go head-to-head with the winners of the same category from Australia as they both hope to win the international award.
It was also highly commended in the ‘Courses’ category which recognises innovative actions with regard to sustainability in academic courses.
This latest honour comes hot on the heels of winning the ‘Community Champion of the Year Award’ at the CIWM Awards for Environmental Excellence last week for its Big GIVE campaign to reduce student waste at the end-of-term.
The ‘Continual Improvement: Institutional Change’ category recognises sustained and successful activities to improve the performance of tertiary education institutions, faculties and buildings over a number of years.
Some of the improvements which helped Bristol University to win the award are:
- Reducing carbon emissions by 2,000 tonnes
- Diverting 76 per cent of waste from landfill
- Reducing water use by 13 per cent
- The building of eight BREEAM Excellent Buildings with four green roofs and 250kw of solar photovoltaic panels
- Delivering public transport and cycling programmes so 82 per cent of staff travel sustainably
- Buying local, Fairtrade, sustainable and organic food for its catering outlets
- The delivery of sustainability training to over 400 staff members and students
- The development of the Green Impact Awards and subsequently initiating new schemes for hospitals, accommodation and even dentists
The panel were impressed by the way the initiatives had been embedded into institutional strategy and by the high level of student engagement. The impact of the associated dissemination and outreach programmes and strong institutional leadership were also commended.
Martin Wiles, Head of Sustainability at the University of Bristol, said: “This recognition rewards all the hard work and progress that not only the sustainability team at Bristol has made over the past five years, but also thanks the staff and students who have been active in areas such as food and biodiversity, contributing to the integration of sustainability at the University. Winning also says that sustainability is a key issue for research intensive universities.”
Further informationAbout the Green Gown Awards
Now in their 9th year, the Green Gown Awards recognise the exceptional sustainability initiatives being undertaken by universities and colleges across the UK. With sustainability moving up the agenda, the Awards have become established as the most prestigious recognition of best practice within the further and higher education sector.
The Green Gown Awards are administered by the Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges (EAUC) and are governed by a cross agency steering group.