Krishnan Guru-Murthy celebrates sustainability in education sector achievements at the GGAs 2011
Winners and Highly Commended awards were bestowed across 13 categories and guests from universities and colleges from across the UK were joined by leading figures from institutions such as HEFCE, Universities UK, the Guardian Higher Education Network and the Carbon Trust to commend visionary projects which are pushing the environmental best practice boundaries.
Organised by the Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges (EAUC), Chief Executive Iain Patton describes the Green Gown Awards as a shop window for environmental and suitable best practice, stating that “although it is a challenging and anxious time for universities and colleges, this year’s winning and commended entries demonstrate not only that innovative institutions are taking successful action to minimise their environmental footprints and enhance their social contribution, but also that this is often accompanied by other organisational benefits. The financial savings from many sustainability actions are certainly compatible with the belt tightening that seems inevitable in future years. It is therefore all the more important the whole sector learns from the successes of the Green Gown Awards’ winning and commended entries”.
Winning entries included Salford University’s “Energy House” - Europe’s only full-size fully functioning house, which has been reconstructed to replicate the UK’s hard-to-treat properties in a fully controllable climatic chamber and Coventry University’s “Carbon Challenge” scheme which empowered staff and students to take responsibility for their own electrical consumption, resulting in saving of 2,000,000kWh, £213,000 and 1100 tons of carbon in two years.
A full list of this year’s winning and highly commended entries can be found on the Green Gown Awards website, along with the winner's brochure www.greengownawards.org.uk.
Now in their 7th year, The Green Gown Awards were founded in 2004 by the Higher Education Environmental Performance Improvement project and have grown in reputation and stature year on year. With a record number of entries, the Green Gown Awards are firmly established as the most prestigious recognition of sustainability excellence in the further and higher education sectors.