Blogs

Welcome to the Green Gown Awards blogs section! You will find a mixture of blogs from our winners and finalists as well as partners, company members, and of course, ourselves.

These aim to be interesting, informative and inspirational! Together, we believe we can lead and empower the post-16 education sector to make sustainability 'just good business'. These Green Gown Award blogs will help show what is happening across the sector from different perspectives and how we can work together to make a better tomorrow.

If you are a finalist and have a blog post you would like to submit - just email us.

Inspiring the next generation to take on the challenges of sustainability  

Our 2018 Green Gown Award Ceremony host, Helen Browning, OBE, sees inspiring the next generation to take on the challenges of sustainability as an issue at the centre of her personal journey in food, farming and the environment. It is also a central part of what the Soil Association does, including training the next generation of Future Growers and serving 32,000 meals in universities every day through the Food For Life scheme. Find out more about how Helen is helping to inspire future generations to tackle sustainability challenges here

Creating a sustainable healthy menu

On 8th November the Green Gown Awards, hosted at the National Railway Museum, will honour the exceptional sustainability initiatives being undertaken by universities and colleges across the UK and Ireland. As an event recognising the sustainability of others, it is only right that we demonstrate these values and we’ve worked to create a healthy and sustainable menu to be enjoyed by our guests. Helen Beresford-Boyse gives an insight into how this was achieved. Read more

Our sustainable print partner - Seacourt’s Planet Positive PrintingTM

Thanks to print firm Seacourt, our 2018 Green Gown Awards UK & Ireland Finalists’ Brochure and Guest Directory continues to be the greenest possible – in fact more natural resources were given back than were consumed in its printing.  Printed on carbon neutral, 100% recycled paper using 100% VOC-free inks and LightTouchTM print technology – waterless, free of harmful chemicals and instantly dried by LED. It is produced by a circular economy business - Seacourt is zero waste, powered by 100% renewable energy and certified by ClimateCare as Beyond Carbon Neutral. It’s important to practice what you preach. We caught up with Seacourt’s Client Partner, Mark Pickford, about how Seacourt became so sustainable.  Read more…

My fall and rise in a creative career using recycled glass (UK & Ireland Green Gown Awards)

With only a few weeks to go until our Winners are announced, we asked our creative trophy artist ,Adele Billinghay, what goes in to designing a Green Gown Award. Design is one thing, but perhaps more important are the sustainability elements.    

“I have been fortunate to be asked to make the Green Gown Awards since 2009 but my career with recycled glass actually began by accident – quite literally! Read more ...

Building Opportunity and Resilience to Tackle an Uncertain Future for Universities and Colleges

Uncertainty and civic responsibility are mega trends UK universities and colleges need to better recognise - so say judges of the 2018 Green Gown Awards.

A panel of over 100 national and international judges – a who’s who of leading names from the education, business and sustainability worlds – met to judge the 2018 Green Gown Award Finalists at the PwC Headquarters in London on Friday 28th September. They represented institutions including United Nations Environment, Unilever, Goldman Sachs, Advance HE, Marks and Spencer, National Union of Students – among many more. Read more...

Continuous Improvement on Sustainability is Fundamental to Institutional Change (UK & Ireland Green Gown Awards)

Jenny Jamieson, Policy Officer and Outcome Manager of EAUC Scotland in the Research and Innovation Directorate at the Scottish Funding Council outlines why continuous improvement on sustainability is fundamental to institutional change.  Jenny is also a Chartered Member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing. 

The Scottish Funding Council is proud to sponsor the category ‘Continuous Improvement: Institutional Change’ in 2017 for the Green Gown Awards UK and Ireland.  This category resonates with much of what the Scottish Funding Council is aiming to achieve, both in the college and university sectors in Scotland and with the ambitions of many of our stakeholders. Read more...

Running a Sustainable Catering Operation (UK & Ireland Green Gown Awards)

Matt White, Chair of The University Caterers Organisation (TUCO), looks at the approaches higher and further education institutions are implementing to reduce the environmental impact of catering outlets. 

“We are very proud to once again be sponsoring the Green Gown Awards. It is imperative that the higher and further education sector continues to look for new ways to drive sustainability and it’s inspiring to see the incredible steps this year’s finalists are making in this area. Read more...
 

Green Gowns: Making Educated Choices Around the Environment (UK & Ireland Green Gown Awards)

We spoke to Emily Gingell, Marketing Assistant for publication University Business (Green Gown Awards media partner) about how post-16 education can lead the way in embedding sustainability.

In today’s fast-paced HE landscape, universities are focusing more than ever on going greener. Sustainability is a key strategic issue for today’s universities; not only is it a way for them to proactively contribute to a more sustainable and eco-friendly society, but it can also help them to stand out from their competitors. Read more...

Sustainable Printing the Seacourt Way (UK & Ireland Green Gown Awards)

Thanks to print firm Seacourt, our 2017 Green Gown Awards brochure is the greenest ever produced.  It is printed on carbon neutral, 100% recycled paper using vegetable-based, VOC-free inks, using LightTouch print technology - waterless and free of harmful chemicals. It is produced by a circular economy business - Seacourt is zero waste, powered by 100% renewable energy and certified by ClimateCare as Beyond Carbon Neutral. It’s important to practice what you preach.
 
We spoke to Seacourt MD Gareth Dinnage about how Seacourt became so sustainable. Read more...

Green Gowns: From Eco Designs to Ocean Clean Up (UK & Ireland Green Gown Awards)

Linda Thomas owns Linda Thomas Eco Design and creates the iconic green gowns bestowed upon Green Gown Award winners. Find out about her journey from Green Gowns to Marine Waste in here own words.

"I became in involved with EAUC in 2015 after my eco dresses were in a fashion show at Colston Hall, Bristol for part of European Green Capital and Big Green Week. I liked that EAUC had joined up thinking and was celebrating sustainability in a sustainable way. Read more...

Green Gowns Judging and the Hot Topics in Education (UK & Ireland Green Gown Awards)

Iain Patton, CEO at the Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges (EAUC), talked to representatives from the education, business and sustainability sectors about megatrends in education.

Sustainability is fast becoming the most frequently used term in strategic thinking. You will find it across all sectors and in many guises – call it ‘corporate responsibility’, ‘resilience’, ‘environmental management’, ‘the circular economy’ – it all comes back to creating processes that meets the needs of today without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own. 
Read more...

My fall and rise in a creative career using recycled glass (UK & Ireland Green Gown Awards)

With only a few weeks to go until our Winners are announced, we asked our creative trophy artist ,Adele Billinghay, what goes in to designing a Green Gown Award. Design is one thing, but perhaps more important are the sustainability elements.    

“I have been fortunate to be asked to make the Green Gown Awards since 2009 but my career with recycled glass actually began by accident – quite literally! Read more ...