2012 Green Gown Awards

Celebration of the tertiary education sector’s sustainability achievements at the Green Gown Awards Ceremony and the inaugural launch of the Green Gown International Awards 2012.

Click here to view the Winners


The Green Gown Awards Ceremony held on 5 November 2012, hosted by broadcaster and writer Simon Fanshawe, was a resounding success and a fitting celebration for the pioneering environmental and sustainability initiatives that have been championed in the tertiary education sector this year. The Awards Ceremony venue, The Great Hall, University of Birmingham, maintained the important connection between the Awards ethos and its continued support for the sector.

Winners and highly commended Awards were bestowed across 13 categories and included the inaugural launch of the Green Gown International Awards. The UK and Australasia winners across 3 of the categories went head-to-head for the coveted “International Award” for each category.

Guests included university and college representatives from across the UK, joined by leading figures from institutions such as the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), Association of University Directors of Estates (AUDE), Association of Colleges (AoC) and the Learning and Skills Improvement Service (LSIS) to commend visionary projects which are pushing the sustainable good 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 social and environmental sustainability good practice, stating that “sustainability isn't going away: we can't let it. Although it remains a challenging and anxious time for universities and colleges, this year’s winning and highly 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 gained from many sustainability actions are certainly a much needed and welcomed benefit. It is therefore all the more important the whole sector learns from not only the successes of the Green Gown Awards’ winning and highly commended entries but also from all finalists. By promoting these good practice initiatives – nationally and internationally, we hope some of these great achievements can be replicated by others”.

With the inaugural launch of the Green Gown International Awards, combining the excellence from the UK and Australasia, Leanne Denby, President of Australian Campuses Towards Sustainability and partner with the EAUC in delivering the International Awards says “internationalising the Awards provides further opportunity to share learning and experience to ensure that as a sector we continue to improve, progress and recognise the great work being done. These Awards show that the tertiary education sector is committed to sharing examples of best practice internationally and at home, further demonstrating the critical role tertiary education plays in delivering sustainability.”

Applications went through a rigorous two-stage screening process and were reviewed and judged by a panel of sector representatives and experts. It is their substantial experience in the sector that truly makes the Green Gown Awards sector owned.

A selection of winning entries include: the University of Bradford (Construction and Refurbishment category sponsored by CUBO) with “The Green”, a large scale sustainable student village allowing residents to experience and be educated in living a sustainable lifestyle; Lewisham College incorporating Southwark College (Learning and Skills category) with “Eco-skills to influence communities” innovatively providing skills training to hard to reach individuals; De Montfort University (Social Responsibility) with “Square Mile”, an innovative project tackling deprivation through a wide range of disparate projects; Scotland’s Rural College (Research and Development category) with “Green Cow” tackling one of the world’s most intractable problems with immense significance for world agriculture and the University of Technology, Sydney (International Award – Student initiatives and Campaigns category sponsored by SFC) with “Bluebird Brekkie” showcasing an excellent example of an initiative run by students for students incorporating all aspects of sustainability – social, environmental and economic.

The Green Gown Winners’ Brochure incorporating all this year’s winning and highly commended entries can be found below.

In an effort to promote dissemination of good practice, all the 2012 Green Gown winners, highly commended entries and finalists have all been asked to provide a case study and a short video on their projects. These will be available from the Green Gown website in early 2013 and is supported by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).

Now in their 8th year, the Green Gown Awards were founded in 2004 by the Higher Education Environmental Performance Improvement (HEEPI) project and have grown in reputation and stature year on year. The Green Gown Awards are firmly established as the most prestigious recognition of sustainability excellence in the tertiary education sector.

Photos from the night

Delivered by EAUC