Top Tips

We have tried to make entering the Green Gown Awards as simple and as easy as possible but here are our 10 top tips for success. 

When thinking about completing your entry form, remember that this is your opportunity to shine. The judges will read through hundreds of entries, and therefore you need to make sure that your entry stands out. It is essential that you provide all the information the judges need to assess your entry.

There is a definite art to crafting a successful award submission. A while back, but still very relevant, we created this short podcast where we take you through the rules and we hear from a couple of judges with their perspective of what they want to see in the applications (representing both FE and HE), as well as from an applicant's perspective. Towards the end there are lots of Q&A from the audience. This will take you through the top tips, to help answer any questions you may have and also help you in the planning phases of your application. For a quick visual overview, you can also read them below.

Here are our top 10 tips: 

1. Be in it to win it

The Green Gown Awards are a great way to raise your personal profile and showcase your institution’s sustainability agenda, acknowledging your team's efforts, engaging your staff and students, gaining recognition from senior management and obtaining UK and international recognition! Make sure that your application does not let you down. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If someone else in your institution has had experience in submitting a winning/highly commended application before and/or you would like a mentor to help you through the process, then ask your peers for guidance. Make sure you do all you can to submit the best application for your project. If you need help and don't know anyone, then ask us and we can help find you a mentor.

2. Time management

Make sure that you allow yourself plenty of time to both consider and develop your entry. Plan ahead. Consider the Awards criteria when planning your project. Set clear objectives from the outset, taking baseline measurements so that you can evaluate the positive impact of the project afterwards.

Make sure that you send in your application form in plenty of time – don’t leave it until the last minute in case of any last minute IT/Internet issues. Check out the deadlines and get the dates in your diaries now.

3. Preparation

Make sure you read the entry criteria for each category and the entry rules before you start to complete your application. You need to ensure you are submitting your project to the best fit category. 

4. Do your research. Learn from the best

Take a look at previous winning,  highly commended and finalist entries covering case studies, presentations, master class presentations and videos. Take your time to go through them to see what they did and what they recommend when filling in the all-important application form. Their top 3 learnings from their projects are also included in the finalists’ and winners’ online listings and brochures from past years.

2023 Showcase of Winners, Highly Commended and Finalists
Past Winners, Highly Commended and Finalists

5. Think about your audience

Consider who will be reading your entry. The judging panel is made up of a cross section of tertiary education and industry experts. Imagine you are one of the judges and think through what you would want and need to read to be able to judge an entry.

If you supply any web links, we cannot guarantee the links will be viewed by all the judges, so you must ensure that all relevant information is written down as text within the application form. The link can back-up what you are saying.

Do not assume everyone knows your acronyms - please put them in full. 

6. Keep it simple

Focus on what the judges are actually asking for in the category criteria. Don’t just fill your submission with the contents of existing sales and marketing materials. Make sure the submission is succinct, clear and easy to understand.

7. Numbers

Judges want detail - provide numbers. Use real figures which you can substantiate, so they provide an accurate representation of your achievements. Emphasise the benefits. Demonstrate how you have achieved clear benefits to the institution, its employees, your customers and the general public. Provide compelling before and after data, wherever possible. Statistical evidence is one of the most important factors in all successful awards submissions. To make a strong application please provide facts and figures to support your application and use the generic criteria as a guide.

8. Shout loud and clear about your achievements

Don’t be a wallflower, make sure that your entry highlights the sense of pride you have in the things you have achieved. Prove you're the best! Always back up your claims with evidence, especially proof of innovation, positive impact on stakeholders, return on investment, strategic success, outperforming the sector, customer focus, leadership and social responsibility.

9. If at first…

Learn from the experience. If you don’t win at the first attempt, learn from the process and try again next time. Use Award entry as a tool for assessing and benchmarking your performance. This will help you improve faster than your competitors and increase your chances of winning awards in the future.

10. We are here to help

If you still need some guidance or are unsure about your application or where to begin, then please contact us. We are here to help and we want to encourage as many of you as possible to apply for a Green Gown Award - contact us at

Good luck with your entry!