Showcasing our 2023 Winners, Highly Commended and Finalists

The 2023 results showcase 20 Winner, 17 Highly Commended and 65 Finalists institutions. Read about their innovative and replicable sustainability projects, as well as their top 3 project learnings and project specific SDGs. We are extremely grateful to applicants for supporting the Awards ethos: promoting and encouraging sustainability good practice within the higher and further education sector and beyond. 

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

Charlotte Bonner, CEO, EAUC, who deliver the Green Gown Awards: “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.”

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Finalists at a Glance (list view).
(Previous years' winners can be found here or on the Sustainability Exchange.)

Showcasing our 2023 Winners, Highly Commended and Finalists image #1

2030 Climate Action

Sponsored by  

Winner

The University of Manchester

The University of Manchester

Zero carbon without a net

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Highly Commended

Keele University

Keele University

The Smart Energy Network Demonstrator & Low Carbon Energy Generation Park

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Highly Commended

University of Plymouth

University of Plymouth

Charting a course for Net Zero 2025

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Finalist

Aberystwyth University

Aberystwyth University

2.5 MW private wire solar array

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Finalist

Bath Spa University

Bath Spa University

Bath Spa Phase 1 Decarbonisation

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Finalist

Kingston University

Kingston University

Kingston University a whole-institutional approach to achieving net zero

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Finalist

Maynooth University

Maynooth University

The Road to zero – Maynooth University Grounds Department

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Finalist

North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College

North Warwickshire and South Leicestershire College

Green footsteps - our sustainability journey

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Finalist

Oxford Brookes University

Oxford Brookes University

First UK university to retrofit new geo-exchange heating technology on campus

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Finalist

Scotland's Rural College

Scotland's Rural College

SRUC's Climate Change Action Plan

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Finalist

University of Strathclyde

University of Strathclyde

Manufacturing a climate neutral future

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Benefitting Society

Winner

Ayrshire College

Ayrshire College

Connecting Communities

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Winner

Glasgow Caledonian University

Glasgow Caledonian University

Enabling student impact at Glasgow Caledonian University

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Highly Commended

University of Birmingham

University of Birmingham

Creation of a River Cole Community Commons in Birmingham

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Finalist

Aston University

Aston University

Enactus Aston - Chance for change – Take the chance be the change. Sustain a plate!

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Finalist

Nottingham Trent University

Nottingham Trent University

NTU’s sustainability in enterprise: Driving sustainable growth for Nottingham’s SMEs

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Finalist

Robert Gordon University

Robert Gordon University

Origin – the ability to sustain

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Campus Health, Food and Drink

Winner

King’s College London

King’s College London

Feeding a changing world while minimising its carbon footprint

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Highly Commended

Keele University

Keele University

Keele University’s food and drink: Sustainability is at the heart of everything we do across campus

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Creating Impact

Sponsored by  

Winner

Shipley College

Shipley College

A large SDG impact in the smallest FE College

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Highly Commended

University of the West of England, Bristol and Students' Union

University of the West of England, Bristol and Students' Union

Circular economy in action!

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Finalist

Central & South Scotland College Partnership

Central & South Scotland College Partnership

Enhancing sustainability impacts by sharing resources between FE Colleges

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Finalist

Dundee & Angus College

Dundee & Angus College

Breaking barriers and driving change: Where industry meets academia, magic unleashes!

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Finalist

Fircroft College of Adult Education

Fircroft College of Adult Education

Learning via propagation

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Finalist

Heart of Worcestershire College

Heart of Worcestershire College

Small footprint – huge strides

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Finalist

Myerscough College and University Centre

Myerscough College and University Centre

Sustainability to the FORE!: Using research and education to support the golf industry’s environmental journey

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Finalist

Queen’s University Belfast

Queen’s University Belfast

Queen’s Sustainable Lab Fund

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Finalist

University of Chester

University of Chester

Uniting the arts and science to act on climate change

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Finalist

University of Glasgow

University of Glasgow

Green Gowns & Second-Hand Suits

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Digital Futures

Sponsored by  

Winner

Askham Bryan College

Askham Bryan College

Centre of excellence in mixed reality

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Highly Commended

The University of Edinburgh

The University of Edinburgh

IT Reuse: Circular economy in action

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Finalist

University of Salford

University of Salford

Virtual Peel Park: Using digital tools to create inclusive natural environments or outdoor spaces

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Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Sustainability

Winner

De Montfort University

De Montfort University

Decolonising and Decarbonising DMU

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Highly Commended

Anglia Ruskin University

Anglia Ruskin University

Energy SHINES

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Money for Good

Winner

Lancaster University

Lancaster University

Wind Turbine Community Benefit Fund

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Highly Commended

The University of Nottingham

The University of Nottingham

Sustainable investments - positive impact

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Nature Positive

Winner

Durham University

Durham University

Enhancing biodiversity at Durham

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Highly Commended

Swansea University

Swansea University

Buzz across the Bay

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Highly Commended

University of Worcester

University of Worcester

Protecting and enhancing biodiversity at the University of Worcester for over a decade

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Finalist

De Montfort University

De Montfort University

From grey to green – the transformation of a city centre campus

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Finalist

The University of Edinburgh

The University of Edinburgh

Nature positive communities, campuses, and cities

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Finalist

University of Derby

University of Derby

From dull green grass to beautifully wild – the story of our campus

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Next Generation Learning & Skills

Winner

Anglia Ruskin University

Anglia Ruskin University

Ruskin Modules: Collaboration for sustainable change

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Winner

Glasgow Kelvin College

Glasgow Kelvin College

Fighting Fast Fashion

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Highly Commended

University of Gloucestershire

University of Gloucestershire

An anti-greenwash framework to embed quality sustainability learning

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Finalist

 The University of Edinburgh

The University of Edinburgh

Case Studies in Sustainable Development

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Finalist

Dundee & Angus College

Dundee & Angus College

Empowering Lives: Next-Gen Learning & Skills

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Finalist

Queen’s University Belfast

Queen’s University Belfast

Embedding green and sustainable chemistry and 21st century skills into the chemistry curriculum

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Finalist

Schumacher College

Schumacher College

MSc Regenerative Food, Farming and Enterprise: Soul, Soil, Society

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Finalist

The University of Edinburgh

The University of Edinburgh

Edinburgh Earth Fellows: Student power in urgent climate research

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Research with Impact - Institution

Sponsored by  

Winner

University of Aberdeen

University of Aberdeen

Regenerating Scotland’s hemp industry for health, climate, and a green economy

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Highly Commended

University of Leeds

University of Leeds

Investing in the future - Gair Wood

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Highly Commended

University of Lincoln

University of Lincoln

Reversing the impact of coal for a climate positive future

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Finalist

Myerscough College and University Centre

Myerscough College and University Centre

Effectively applying tree biology to an increasingly urban world

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Finalist

University of Aberdeen

University of Aberdeen

Making ends meet - transforming the readymade garment industry by amplifying the voices of those affected

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Finalist

University of Oxford

University of Oxford

Oxford University Research Archive Climate Research Collection

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Finalist

University of York

University of York

Improving sustainable palm oil conserves biodiversity and reduces carbon emissions in the tropics

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Reporting with Influence

Sponsored by  

Winner

University of Plymouth

University of Plymouth

The University of Plymouth is committed to taking action to reduce its impact on the environment.

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Highly Commended

University of Worcester

University of Worcester

This report demonstrates a comprehensive overview of the university’s sustainability efforts, including its successes, challenges, and plans for improvement.

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Finalist

University of Gloucestershire

University of Gloucestershire

Our Annual Sustainability Report communicates clearly to all stakeholders and makes the complex simple for non-expert readers, within and outside the University.

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Student Engagement

Winner

Kingston University

Kingston University

The Kingston Sustainability Innovation Challenge

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Winner

University of York

University of York

University of York Sustainability Clinic

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Finalist

City, University of London (LEAD - 10 UNIS)

City, University of London (LEAD - 10 UNIS)

London Student Sustainability Conference 2023

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Finalist

De Montfort University

De Montfort University

The Daria Project

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Finalist

Durham University

Durham University

Greenspace Movement. Small acts. Big difference

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Finalist

London South Bank University

London South Bank University

Energy Advice Centre at London South Bank University

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Finalist

The Students’ Union at UWE

The Students’ Union at UWE

Sustainable Periods Project

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Finalist

The University of Nottingham

The University of Nottingham

Conservation on campus - working together for a better future

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Finalist

University of Bolton

University of Bolton

The Student Sustainability Panel

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Finalist

University of Cumbria

University of Cumbria

Law for Living - curriculum through partnership

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Finalist

University of Glasgow

University of Glasgow

Student 2 Student Essentials

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Finalist

University of Kent

University of Kent

Kent Community Oasis Garden. A collection of students, staff and community members working to create a sustainability and wellbeing hub around growing food

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Finalist

University of Leeds

University of Leeds

A blueprint for engagement

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Finalist

University of Leeds

University of Leeds

Student Sustainability Research Conference 2023

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Finalist

University of the West of England, Bristol

University of the West of England, Bristol

Nurturing climate concern through learning, sharing, application and empowerment

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Sustainability Champion - Staff

Sponsored by  

Winner

Lisa McGovern, Curriculum Head

Lisa McGovern, Curriculum Head

City of Glasgow College

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Highly Commended

Sheri Scott, Senior Lecturer

Sheri Scott, Senior Lecturer

Nottingham Trent University

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Highly Commended

The Open University Learning Design Sustainability Group

The Open University Learning Design Sustainability Group

The Open University

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Finalist

Aimee Harvey, Student Development Officer

Aimee Harvey, Student Development Officer

University of Highlands and Islands

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Finalist

Dan Priddy, Finance & Business Performance Manager

Dan Priddy, Finance & Business Performance Manager

University of Wales Trinity Saint David

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Finalist

Daria Brazhnyk, Sustainable Supply Chains Coordinator

Daria Brazhnyk, Sustainable Supply Chains Coordinator

De Montfort University

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Finalist

Dr Zareen Pervez Bharucha, Senior Research Fellow

Dr Zareen Pervez Bharucha, Senior Research Fellow

Anglia Ruskin University

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Finalist

Gwen Riley Jones, Socially Engaged Photographer-in-Residence with the Salford Art Collection

Gwen Riley Jones, Socially Engaged Photographer-in-Residence with the Salford Art Collection

University of Salford

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Finalist

Jon Mulholland, Associate Professor in Sociology

Jon Mulholland, Associate Professor in Sociology

University of the West of England, Bristol

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Finalist

Josie Maskell, Student Administrator , School of Physics

Josie Maskell, Student Administrator , School of Physics

University of Bristol

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Finalist

Julian Greaves, Sustainability Manager

Julian Greaves, Sustainability Manager

Bath Spa University

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Finalist

Maynooth Green Campus Committee Team

Maynooth Green Campus Committee Team

Maynooth University

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Finalist

Peter Cross, Senior Lecturer in Food Business and Nutritional Sciences

Peter Cross, Senior Lecturer in Food Business and Nutritional Sciences

University of West London

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Finalist

Steven Haden. Lecturer in Supported Education

Steven Haden. Lecturer in Supported Education

Dundee & Angus College

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Finalist

Sustainability Special Interest Group School of Sport and Health Sciences

Sustainability Special Interest Group School of Sport and Health Sciences

University of Brighton

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Sustainability Champion - Student

Sponsored by  

Winner

Hazel Mooney, Postgraduate Researcher

Hazel Mooney, Postgraduate Researcher

University of Leeds

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Highly Commended

Katie Major-Smith, PhD Student

Katie Major-Smith, PhD Student

Plymouth Marjon University

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Finalist

Louisa Winch, MSc Renewable Energy student and Green Officer

Louisa Winch, MSc Renewable Energy student and Green Officer

Cranfield University

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Finalist

Raghu Mahadevappa, Post-Graduate Student

Raghu Mahadevappa, Post-Graduate Student

University of Aberdeen

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Tomorrow's Employees

Winner

Scotland's Rural College

Scotland's Rural College

SEEDABLE: Graduates that will create a sustainable future

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Finalist

Falmouth University

Falmouth University

The Falmouth Curriculum Ladder for Sustainability - a novel curriculum design tool that informs sustainability embedding in curricula at scale

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Finalist

University of Plymouth

University of Plymouth

A sustainable shift – developing our future leaders in sustainability

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Finalist

University of Westminster

University of Westminster

Mental health, design, and wellbeing

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Finalist

University of Westminster

University of Westminster

The Cavendish Living Lab

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