This year’s International Green Gown Award winners have been announced. The awards cover all aspects of educational institutions, including teaching and research; leadership; buildings; food; and how students can benefit the quality of life in the communities around them. Support from the United Nations, national governments and education bodies means that the awards are now established as the most widely recognised signifier of sustainability best practice within the global education sector.
And the winners are…
Recognising initiatives by tertiary education institutions which create significant benefits for local communities, disadvantaged groups and/or society as a whole in either the host country or developing countries.
WINNER: University of Tasmania, Australia
A UN-recognised Regional Centre of Expertise in 2015 was the result of the University of Tasmania’s community leadership in recognising sustainability leaders and establishing a state-wide network of Tasmanian sustainability partners. Ongoing activities help deliver on the University commitment – as a Talloires Declaration signatory – to incorporate sustainability literacy into teaching and learning, as well as its broad-based community engagement and partnership activities in sustainability.
Continuous Improvement: Institutional Change
Recognising sustained and successful activities to improve the performance of tertiary education institutions, faculties and buildings over a number of years, offering a whole institution approach.
WINNER: Canterbury Christ Church University, UK & Ireland
As a Church of England Foundation University, sustainability is part of this institution’s core mission and values. Since 2010, when this became explicitly stated through strategy, the University has transformed both operationally and academically.
The University has held ISO14001 certification since 2013, supported by the LiFE Index performance improvement framework. Since 2015, sustainability has been built into the annual Business Planning process for all schools and departments, and innovative use of the 6 Capitals Model is increasing the understanding of value creation and non-financial reporting.
Recognising that students and staff must work together to achieve goals, combining the top-down and grass roots methods to achieve maximum understanding and engagement.
WINNER: Chiba University, Japan
The only university in Japan to acquire both ISO14001 and ISO50001. Since 2003, the Student Committee for Environmental Management Systems (EMS) has been in charge of operating the EMS. It has a core role in making drafts of environmental objectives and plans for the University, lecturing about EMS at training, serving as internal auditors, and editing environmental reports. It also carries out various activities such as raising ecological awareness, environmental education for children and green conservation. As a result, environmental burdens and expenses have been greatly reduced.
For further information, see the International Green Gown Awards Winners’ Brochure: www.greengownawards.org/international-green-gown-awards