In their first ever virtual ceremony, the Green Gown Awards UK and Ireland took place on Wednesday 24th March 2021 to celebrate the inspirational work and projects of 74 Finalists in 12 different categories, displaying the importance of sustainability commitments even in the most unprecedented of times.
This year’s Green Gown Awards finalists represented over 850,000 students and 130,000 staff, all leading the way with their commitment to the global sustainability agenda and providing the value that universities and colleges bring to the wellbeing of society.
Winning initiatives ranged from social projects, like The University of Nottingham's Vets Need Pets initiative that provides free care for pets belonging to homeless and vulnerably housed people with the help of students, to projects that focus on a low carbon future, like South Eastern Regional College's Girls in Energy project that gives female engineers of the future a platform to drive positive change with their skills.
This year, Salix sponsored the Sustainability Champion Student and Sustainability Champion Staff Awards and would like to say a huge congratulations to the winners and highly commended for both categories.
The winners of the student awards, Charlotte Evans and Millicent Sutton from the University of St Andrews, created and initiated a sustainability module which is now compulsory for all 11,000 students at the university. The module, TESA, engages and supports Environmental and Sustainable Action locally, globally and practically, making a significant contribution to the environment since reaching out to students.
The highly commended sustainability champions, Meggie Eloy and Carla Field from the University of Leicester formed the university’s only sustainability-focused student society and ran several activities and campaigns to make a difference. Emma Kidd, from Glasgow Caledonian University created a successful, accessible an innovative public engagement intervention in sustainable consumption called the Fashion Detox Challenge which allows people to access from anywhere at any time.
The staff award saw winner Dr Katherine Haxton from Keele University who believes chemistry students must learn about sustainability through their degrees beyond ‘just’ green chemistry in a laboratory content and as such, created and led two modules with sustainability tackling social, political and economic contexts. The modules highlight the real-world challenges that must be tackled by chemists for a more sustainable society, including inequalities such as poverty, race and gender.
The high commended sustainability champion, Dr Amanda Slevin from Queen’s University Belfast identified a clear need for innovative approaches to teaching, learning, research and public engagement on socio-ecological issues and has instigated key partnerships with peers, students and civil society groups to design and deliver sustainability projects within and beyond the University.