From education to employment

Green Gown Awards Results

The UK & Ireland Green Gown Awards are an established sustainability awards scheme serving the further and higher education sectors.

The Awards celebrate the innovative and change-making initiatives and projects in sustainability across the sectors, recognising their transformative power for our shared future. The UK & Ireland Green Gown Awards have continually grown since their creation, in 2004, and today reaches a global audience of staff, students, supporters and other stakeholders.

Now in its 19th year, the 2023 UK & Ireland Awards, in association with UK Research and Innovation, have celebrated this year’s winners at the Awards Ceremony, which took place at the Titanic Hotel Liverpool on 30th November. The evening showcased a diverse array of innovative projects that universities and colleges across the UK and Ireland are currently leading to create a positive change.

It was a pleasure and privilege to be a platform for guests to share in the passion for positive and inclusive climate action, community leadership and innovation. The 2023 results showcase 20 Winner and 17 Highly Commended institutions. This includes successful outcomes for Northampton College and the University of the West of England, Bristol, who each won in the Sustainability Institution of the Year category, which is sponsored by EAUC. Northampton College won with their prize-winning ‘Go-Green Project’, which is opening their students’ eyes to new practices and facilitates new learning opportunities.

Speaking on the College’s success, Pat Brennan-Barrett, Principal, shared:

“Winning this Green Gown Award is one of our proudest achievements because sustainability runs through everything we do at Northampton College. Going Green has reaped incredible environmental and financial benefits for us and expanded our students’ skills dramatically, giving them an important edge as they embark on their careers.”

The University of the West of England, Bristol, also won in this category, for their stand-out strategic plan, ‘Transforming futures: Our path to 2030’ articulating their commitment to a just transition.

Professor Steve West, Vice Chancellor, said:

“Winning this prestigious award is a fantastic endorsement of UWE Bristol’s exceptional commitment to sustainability and of the efforts of many staff and students. It validates our efforts to inspire and motivate others to practice sustainability and responsibility.”

Charlotte Bonner, CEO, EAUC, who deliver the Green Gown Awards said:

“The Green Gown Awards celebrate the most innovative and impactful work being done by those working in the post-16 education sector. The projects, initiatives and people showcased through the awards this year are, as ever, inspirational – it’s been a privilege to be part of the judging. I look forward to seeing them flourish in future and to using their examples to springboard further action for sustainability.” 

Alison Robinson, NERC Deputy Executive Chair and Director of Business Delivery & Insight, part of UKRI and headline sponsor said:

“Congratulations to the winners of the Green Gown Awards. It is so great to see this exceptional set of finalists showing us what is being done across our sector to reach net zero. The quality of research and innovation alongside the passion and enthusiasm of all the finalists is inspiring. I look forward to following the progress of these projects as they help us all take climate action.”

The ethos of the Awards is to share, inspire and replicate these great sustainability initiatives. The showcase of all the winners, highly commended and finalists’ entries, including project summaries, top learnings and short videos and infographics can be visited here.

Results of the 2023 UK and Ireland Green Gown Awards

Organisational Categories

2030 Climate Action – sponsored by The Energy Consortium

  • Winner – The University of Manchester    
  • Highly Commended – Keele University    
  • Highly Commended – University of Plymouth    

Benefitting Society

  • Winner – Ayrshire College (small institution)
  • Winner – Glasgow Caledonian University (large institution)
  • Highly Commended – University of Birmingham    

Campus Health, Food and Drink

  • Winner – King’s College London    
  • Highly Commended – Keele University    

Creating Impact – sponsored by the Scottish Funding Council

  • Winner – Shipley College    
  • Highly Commended – University of the West of England, Bristol

Digital Futures – sponsored by Jisc

  • Winner – Askham Bryan College    
  • Highly Commended – The University of Edinburgh

Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in Sustainability

  • Winner – De Montfort University
  • Highly Commended – Anglia Ruskin University

Money for Good

  • Winner – Lancaster University
  • Highly Commended – The University of Nottingham

Nature Positive

  • Winner – Durham University
  • Highly Commended – Swansea University
  • Highly Commended – University of Worcester

Next Generation Learning and Skills

  • Winner – Anglia Ruskin University (large institution)
  • Winner – Glasgow Kelvin College (small institution)
  • Highly Commended – University of Gloucestershire

Reporting with Influence – sponsored by Hillside Environmental Services

  • Winner – University of Plymouth
  • Highly Commended – University of Worcester

Research with Impact (Institution) – sponsored by Praxis Auril

  • Winner – University of Aberdeen
  • Highly Commended – University of Leeds
  • Highly Commended – University of Lincoln

Student Engagement

  • Winner – Kingston University (small institution)
  • Winner – University of York (large institution)

Sustainability Institution of the Year – sponsored by EAUC

  • Winner – Northampton College (small institution)
  • Winner – University of the West of England, Bristol (large institution)

Tomorrow’s Employees

  • Winner – Scotland’s Rural College

Individual Categories

Sustainability Champion (Staff) – sponsored by Salix Finance

  • Winner – Lisa McGovern, City of Glasgow College
  • Highly Commended – Paul Astles, Kathleen Calder, Hayley Johns, Catriona Matthews, James Openshaw, The Open University
  • Highly Commended – Sheri Scott, Nottingham Trent University

Sustainability Champion (Student) – sponsored by Salix Finance

  • Winner – Hazel Mooney, University of Leeds
  • Highly Commended – Katie Major-Smith,Plymouth Marjon University

To follow the journey of sustainability with us, visit the website here or @greengowns on Twitter and Green Gown Awards on LinkedIn

Related Articles