Press Releases 2016

UWTSD shortlisted for Green Gown Awards

06.07.2016

The University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) has been shortlisted as a finalist for the prestigious Green Gown Awards 2016.

UWTSD is among the 115 motivational and inspiring sustainability projects representing educational institutions across the UK – with a combined student population of 1.5 million students and 240,000 staff benefitting from pioneering teaching, leadership, research and student sustainability excellence.  The University, which has placed sustainability at its core through the institution-wide Institute of Sustainable Practice and Resource Effectiveness (INSPIRE), has been shortlisted in both categories entered.

Green Gown Awards

UWTSD is hoping to repeat the success of last year’s Green Gown Awards, which saw the university scoop three awards and one commendation. 

Established in 2004, the Green Gown Awards recognise the exceptional sustainability initiatives being undertaken by universities, colleges and the learning and skills sectors across the UK and Ireland as the education sector leads a path to efficiency, employability and better quality of life for us all.   UWTSD has been shortlisted under the Continuous Improvement: Institutional Change category through INSPIRE@UWTSD – for Leading continual, cross sector, organisational sustainable development (Tom Yearly) and under the Sustainability Reporting category.

Dr Jane Davidson, Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor and Director of INSPIRE said “This is excellent news that demonstrates clearly the University’s commitment to sustainability.  Colleagues and students across the UWTSD Group have worked diligently to ensure that this important agenda is embedded throughout our core operations and culture.

“We are delighted to be shortlisted in both categories entered and to be recognised for our sector leading work.  UWTSD has placed sustainable development as a core value and aims to ensure that our students and graduates develop the skills and attributes that are required by employers and society across the world.”

The education sector is a critical player in ensuring the next generation is equipped with the skills and experience required to provide a sustainable future. The Green Gown Awards celebrate pioneers that are taking the bold steps that are necessary to develop resilience and adaptability and to showcase the education sector’s contribution to society. “The Green Gown Awards provide our learning institutions and their staff and students a real opportunity to break down the barriers and achieve engagement and change. The Awards bring together leaders, academics, managers, students and wider communities together to recognise the pioneering achievements being made in across education, both in the UK and globally, for a better quality of live and a more sustainable future.” Said Iain Patton, Chief Executive of the Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges (EAUC).

“We recognise the fantastic contribution the Green Gown Awards make in celebrating and encouraging the excellent work on improving sustainability across higher education. This is such an important area for institutions in terms of reducing environmental impact, improving student experience and making financial savings.” says Nolan Smith, Director of Finance, Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and support partner for the dissemination of the Awards and the case studies.

 

The judging panel consists of over 80 representatives from the diversity of the education sector and experts in the various fields, including Universities UK, Department of Energy and Climate Change, PwC, WWF and the United Nations Environment Programme.

 

The winners will be announced at the prestigious Green Gown Awards Ceremony held at The Athena situated in the Cultural Quarter, Leicester on 10 November, in partnership with De Montfort University (DMU) and University of Leicester.

Note to Editor

Last year’s Green Gown Awards saw UWTSD scoop three awards and one commendation.  The category for Best Newcomer – University was awarded to UWTSD for its Institute for Sustainable Practice, Innovation and Resources Effectiveness (INSPIRE). INSIPRE is the University’s institutional approach to delivering sustainability through its culture, curriculum campuses and community. The judges’ described INSPIRE as delivering ‘strong institution-wide strands for sustainability, embedded at all levels of the University. It demonstrates a top-down structured approach with clear goals and good results’.

The Leadership Award was presented to Dr Jane Davidson, Director of INSPIRE at UWTSD. Dr Davidson established INSPIRE in 2012 before which UWTSD had no history of involvement in sustainability. Four years on, INSPIRE has won the Guardian Award for Sustainability in HE in 2013 and the Soil Association Gold Catering Mark for its support of local producers in 2014. In 2015, UWTSD rose from 113th in the UK and a 3rd class degree to a 1st class degree and 8th in the UK (1st in Wales) in the People and Planet University League.

The judges’ said : ‘Jane’s exemplary leadership demonstrated powerfully the role of a university as a catalyst for change and an ‘anchor’ institution impacting city/region and beyond. Jane has championed the embedding of sustainability throughout the university strategy. This is particularly powerful as the university is a dual sector institution, and this agenda connected the community during a time of change. Jane is an inspirational leader, charismatic and enabling of others - she is authentic and her passion has created a unique space for creativity and change led by others’.

The Sustainability Champion Award – Staff was presented to Luci Attala, Anthropology Programme Director at UWTSD. Luci believes that to stimulate genuine and lasting change people need to experience how their actions make a difference. Recognising that future leadership demands confident individuals who make clear, bold decisions, Luci works stridently to empower undergraduates in diverse ways.

Her community work with students in Kenya was recognised with a UN Gold Star Award in 2014 and last year’s judges were impressed with the breadth, quality and scale of the work undertaken by Luci. She has embedded sustainability into the anthropology curriculum, influenced other academics to adapt their teaching and learning techniques and provided a significant amount of support to students to help them raise money for developing countries. Her passion for sustainability was described by the judges as ‘truly inspirational’.

UWTSD’s Gwenllian Beynon, Art and Design Senior Lecturer and Programme Director at UWTSD was highly commended in the Sustainability Champion Award category. Sustainable Pedagogy incorporating ‘social, economic, environmental and cultural’ values, is central to Gwenllian’s role in Higher Education. She has enabled students to study in their own language, to look at their own and global cultures, and to embrace sustainability in creative practice.

The judges were ‘impressed by the way in which she had embedded sustainability into her art and design course, developed the new Welsh language degrees and the international project with St Michael’s School to share sustainability expertise and learning across borders. The judges were also delighted to see the way that Gwenllion had involved the local community in her work – providing practical, sustainability experience for a student from the local school’.