The 11th Green Gown Awards were held on the 26th November and saw over 320 sustainability leaders join together in Bristol in the celebration of sustainability excellence within tertiary education.
The evening was hosted by Dr Andrew Garrad, Chairman of Bristol 2015 European Green Capital. Andrew is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and is an Honorary Fellow of New College, Oxford. “I am delighted that, towards the end of our year as European Green Capital, Bristol hosted the Green Gown Awards. These Awards recognise the important role that academic institutions play in ensuring that young people have a proper understanding of both the challenges and the opportunities presented by sustainability.” Each year the Awards bring together the most inspirational projects from across the sector and this year was no exception.
The University was proud to receive a highly commended award in the Continuous Improvement: Institutional Change category. This recognised the success we have had in reducing our carbon emissions as well as increasing recycling and bus travel.
The judges felt that the University was at the leading edge in terms of estates and operations and commended its ambitions and its substantial financial and carbon savings achievements. They particularly endorsed the application of sustainability into the terms and conditions of all employees.
Since 2008, the University’s holistic approach to environmental management has enabled staff and students to come together and deliver significant and quantifiable environmental improvements. The University has delivered a 26% absolute cut in its carbon emissions, meaning it is on track to meet its 35% carbon reduction target in 2016. The University has increased passenger numbers on buses to and from its main campus by 20% each year since 2011, has reduced waste produced by a third and has almost completely eradicated waste sent to landfill. Together, this work has saved £9.9million and 32,155 tCO2, and in 2014/15, the University achieved certification under both ISO14001 and ISO50001.
The University were also shortlisted in the Facilities and Services category for the innovative soap recycling scheme at Greenlands, and in the Food and Drink Category.
The work doesn’t stop here though, we still have plenty more to do and we hope everyone at the University will play their part…