Double nomination in prestigious international sustainability awards

Issue date: 15 March 2017

Global accolades could be on the way for the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) after it earned two international nominations for sustainability awards.

Nominations have been received in the Continuous Improvement and Student Engagement categories of the prestigious International Green Gown Awards, with winners to be announced on 30 March.

UWE Bristol – shortlisted in the contest for the first time – has received the most nominations of all 14 institutions vying for prizes.

The International Green Gown Awards recognise exceptional sustainability initiatives being undertaken by universities and colleges. The awards have three categories - Community Innovation, Continuous Improvement and Student Engagement - and cover all aspects of higher education institutions.

Australia's University of Technology Sydney and France's INP Ensat are the rivals in the Continuous Improvement category, in which UWE Bristol has been nominated for its Sustainability Plan for 2013-2020: Positive Footprint.

A joint project with the University of Bristol, Green Capital: Student Capital, is the finalist in the Student Engagement category. The project was funded by a grant from the Higher Education Funding Council for England and saw students donate more than 127,000 hours to sustainable activities as part of Bristol's year as European Green Capital. The two universities face competition from Glasgow School of Art, Aix Marseille University in France, Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden, University of British Colombia in Canada and the University of Waikato in New Zealand.

UWE Bristol earned passage through to the international finals after winning four awards at the UK and Ireland Green Gown Awards 2016 Ceremony (pictured) in November. Its competitors have been drawn from winners of the Australasia and French-speaking Europe & Canada regional versions of the Green Gown Awards, as well as the victors in the Global Universities Partnership on Environment and Sustainability Green Gown Awards for universities in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean and North America.

Professor Jim Longhurst, Assistant Vice-Chancellor for Environment & Sustainability at UWE Bristol, said: β€œTo be awarded a Green Gown is the most prestigious recognition of sustainability practice in higher education. I am delighted that the inspiring work of UWE Bristol's staff and students has been recognised by our peers in two of the three international categories. I am sure that being a finalist will inspire us to do even more as we continue our sustainability journey. UWE Bristol wishes all finalists good luck in the competition.”

Mary Creagh MP, Chair of the UK Environmental Audit Select Committee, will present the awards in a ceremony at Lancaster University.

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