The shortlisted entries will now enter stage 2 of the competition.

University shortlisted for four Green Gown Awards

The University of Exeter and Students’ Guild have demonstrated significant steps in improving their sustainability performance over the past four years.

These achievements have resulted in four shortlisted entries for the Green Gown Awards - the most prestigious recognition of best practice within the further and higher education sector.  Now in their 8th year, the Awards recognise the exceptional sustainability initiatives being undertaken by universities and colleges across the UK.

Karen Gallagher Sustainability Manager said:  “I am delighted that the good work of so many areas has resulted in four shortlisted entries for this year’s Green Gown Awards.  Improving our sustainability performance has been the result of many different people working in many different areas and these entries are just a few examples of the varied and positive work which is taking place.”

The four areas shortlisted for Exeter include the Big Dilemmas Project, an extra-curricular cross disciplinary initiative that works towards solving complex sustainability problems, which has been highlighted in the ‘Learning and Skills’ category.  The project is a collaboration between the University’s lead researchers, ambitious students and local stakeholders who all look to find direct solutions.

Also shortlisted is the refurbishment of Kay House, which turned a 1950s refectory block into a modern, flexible, easy to maintain and energy efficient music facility.  The improvements made to the building will result in annual CO2 savings of 79 tonnes.  The project is one of six national developments in the ‘Construction and Refurbishment’ category, and has already received a Green Build award for Education earlier in the year.

The Savvy Cycling campaign has been recognised for its successful approach to highlighting road safety and encouraging staff and students to use their bikes more, in the ‘Promoting Positive Behaviour’ category.  Since 2010 cycling to the Streatham and St Luke’s campuses has increased by 147%.

Finally the Students’ Guild Green ICT initiative has helped to reduce packaging, and driven processes and procedures to be more electronic based.  This has included remote monitoring which enabled the Students’ Guild team to shut down equipment when not in use, purchasing fit-for-purpose ICT equipment and making full use of open source software instead of expensive proprietary ones. This has resulted in cost savings of approximately £65,000 a year.

The shortlisted candidates will now enter Stage 2 of the competition with the final winners being announced at the Green Gown Awards ceremony in November.

The Green Gown Awards are administered by the Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges (EAUC) and are governed by a cross agency steering group.

Date: 14 September 2012